The values we hold ground our families. They are the base from which the rest grows. If we value nature, you’ll find us outside, no matter the season. If we value volunteering, you’ll find us around town, sleeves rolled up, right in the midst of things. What we value, and how we express it, will change as our children grow. If your little one has not yet turned one, how you experience and express your values will be different than when they are taller than you are. But no matter their age, we are always expressing to them what matters.

Each week this summer will be a chance to focus on a new value. So today’s work is to make a list of 11. It might be a list of values you already focus on, it might be values you want to bring up more, it might be a mix. For some, the challenge will be limiting themselves to 11. For others? it’s daunting to know how to begin. No matter which camp you are in, start here.

If you need a bit of inspiration, I’ve put together four levels of help.

The list began at over 400 from this source here {you can find various versions of it all over the web}.

I’m a sucker for well-rounded numbers, so I trimmed it a bit. Here’s a downloadable PDF of 400 values.

But I didn’t want you to get lost trying to find your handful of most important values in a too-big haystack. So that’s why there’s this list of 300. I tried to keep a variety of options without tipping my hand to my own values, but it is, I’m sure, skewed {perfection, for example, was one of the first to go}.

Then I was on a roll, and decided to keep hacking away, and thus was born the 200 list.

And finally, I thought 100 would be helpful. Reasonable. I got it down to about 107. Then my son arrived. And I gave him the power to cut the last 7. But instead, he wanted to add two more in – one that I had cut earlier- playfulness. And a second that hadn’t ever been on the original list- equality.

In the end, his list was 101 values. And that’s where it has stayed. As for finding the values that matter most to you? As my son said, “I’d go with what your heart tells you.”


Have your list of 11? Ready to put them in place? Here’s how to add them to real life.

Free Guide: 5 changes in 5 minutes to make parenting better, easier, right now!