Help your employees create everyday habits based on purpose and meaning

One of the key ways to maintain good mental health is to live life in a way that gives a sense of pleasure, achievement and a feeling of being close to others. Providing resources to help your employees live life in line with their values, and with a sense of purpose, will help you promote good mental health across your organisation. In order for employees to live life in this way, they need to know what their values are.

Help your employees create everyday habits based on purpose and meaning

All employees will have different values and need to know what to do each day, each week, each month, each year to keep their values energised. Share this exercise with your employees to help them determine the values which matter most to them and set goals for activities they can engage in to help navigate any difficult times ahead.

Exercise One: Building a life of purpose and meaning

A value is a life direction, an internal compass which guides us throughout life. Values are different to goals which have an end point. Values are often life-long, giving our lives meaning and purpose.

To identify our values, we can think about what it is in life that is really important to us – what gives our life meaning and purpose. Is it our relationships? Our careers? Connecting with nature? Healthy living? Community service? Or making a difference?

Having identified our values, we know where we want to go in life and 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.

Identifying your values

This questionnaire can help you identify the values which matter most to you in your life.

As you reach each life component, ask yourself how important each of these areas is in your life – regardless of how much time or effort you currently put into fulfilling the needs of that area.

  • Rate the importance of each component on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being not important at all and 10 being extremely important.
  • Do your best to rate them honestly, according to your own true feelings, not to what you think you should rate them.
  • You can then use your responses to the questionnaire in the exercise that follows, which will help you move towards engaging in what you value.

Valued living questionnaire

Valued living questionaire


Exercise Two: Action for change

This exercise will help you create a more fulfilling life for yourself by formulating intentions and committed actions based on your values. It will help you think about ways to make your life feel more fulfilling based on what you think is important.

Committed action

Using the valued living questionnaire above, identify the components of your life that you rated as a 5 or higher (from moderately important to extremely important).

  1. Put the names of those areas in the first boxes below.
  2. Think about one intention for each of those valued components which will help you make your life feel more fulfilling.
  3. Then, identify the actions you are willing to commit to doing that will move you towards your intentions, stating when you will begin them.


Committed actions


The purpose of these exercises is to fill your employees’ lives with activities that are important to them. Creating a life that they value can help them deal with other situations that are distressing. These exercises will help your employees build everyday habits to improve their emotional wellbeing.

Whether your employees want to get fitter, eat healthier or continue to work on their mental health, our experts share five steps for defining and reaching goals in our latest Meet our Experts video. Find more employee resources on this topic.

The author is Brendan Street, professional head of emotional wellbeing at Nuffield Health.

This article is provided by Nuffield Health.

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