VALUES:  Our Meaningful Life Direction

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy



Values are part of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy's Commitment and Values-based Living, helping to to learn to free yourself from the traps and barriers of life, and see what you really want your life to be.


A value is a life direction, an internal compass which guides us throughtout life. Values are different to goals which have an end-point.  Values are often life-long.  Perhaps what we would like to be remembered for, or written as our epitaph, our headstone inscription. 

Values give life meaning and purpose. 

To identify our values, we can think about what it is in life that is REALLY important to us, the most important, what gives our life meaning and purpose.

Is it our relationships, e.g. to be a good parent?  Is it our careers, connecting with nature, healthy living, community service or making a difference?  Consider what legacy you want to pass on.

Having identified our values, we know where we want to go in life, the direction we want to progress towards.  We might set goals along the way. 

Knowing our values will help us decide how to react to stress and distress.  In spite of how we feel, we can still move in the direction and service of our values.

Finding Meaning & Purpose

Find Meaning: Live a Life of Purpose -  Video


You can use the Getselfhelp Values card pack to help you identify your own Values.

Getselfhelp Values Cards

Use the Getselfhelp Values Cards to help identify your Values.  A Value is a chosen life direction – something that guides us throughout our life.  A Value is what we want to be remembered for. Our passion. Our Values give us meaning and purpose.  Once we have identified what our Values are, we can take committed action to set goals and work towards those Values, helping us lead a more purposeful and enriching life.

There are 52 word cards and 4 blank cards for you to add your own words, with 8 "cards" to each A4 sheet. 

  • Purchase the cards.

  • Download them to your computer.

  • Print them onto (ideally) card, or paper,

  • Cut them them into individual cards.

Use the Values Cards for yourself or with others.



Purchase both Getselfhelp Card Pack and Inspirational Quote Card Pack and get Values Card Pack FREE

PURCHASE NOW 7 for all 3 card packs




How to use the Values Cards

Go through the cards and put them into 3 piles:


         Not so important

         Not at all important

Take the “important” pile and lay them out face up. 

The aim here is to reduce them to the 2, 3 or 4 MOST important.   These are likely to be your Life Values. 

You might merge some of the cards as they are very similar or are closely related.   

Once you have identified your Life Values, consider the Value card and ask yourself e.g. “In what way…?” or “What is it about this…?”  For example, if you have chosen “Environment” – ask yourself what is it about the environment that is important to you.  Enjoying?  Photographing?  Conserving?  Protecting?  How do you do that? 

Some cards may, for you, fit together e.g. “Protecting” and “Environment”.

You can change the name of the Life Value to best fit your own life – choose your own words.  E.g. “Conservation”, “Keeping the woods clean” or “Gardening”.

Identify goals or steps to help you move towards your chosen Life Value, your life direction to create a more purposeful and enriching life.



More about Acceptance & Commitment Therapy

ACT Videos

Values vs Goals

Passengers on the Bus

Demons on the Boat

The Internal Hijackers

The Unwelcome Party Guest

Finding Meaning & Purpose

ACT:  Accept, Choose, Take Action!

STOPP - 5 self-help steps for difficult situations

Defusing Exercises

Flexible Thinking

The Visitor


Mindful Music

The Mind Bully

The Poisonous Parrot

Nature as Therapy

What are my Options?  Accept, Change or Let Go?

Accepting Anxiety  PDF

ACT worksheet  PDF


Self Help Books

Get Out Of Your Mind And Into Your Life

The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free From Anxiety, Phobias, and Worry

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy For Dummies

The Happiness Trap

ACTivate Your Life: Using acceptance and mindfulness to build a life that is rich, fulfilling and fun

The Reality Slap

Act Made Simple: An Easy-to-Read Primer on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (New Harbinger Made Simple)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The Process and Practice of Mindful Change

A CBT Practitioner's Guide to ACT: How to Bridge the Gap Between Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy