A couple of years ago, during a rough patch, I made up a set of values for myself. They are cheesy but I like them. As time has passed, I often read them and sometimes edit them.
Below is my current iteration of my values document.
To live an optimal life.
Pillars of an Optimal Life
Health is not a means to an end, it is a foundational requirement to living an optimal life. I believe that unless my health is constantly refined and improved, nothing else can be fulfilled.
Physical health, including a nurturing diet and exercise are requirements. Financial, emotional, and spiritual well being also fall under this category.
Fulfillment, joy, and happiness
I believe being able to experience fulfillment, joy, and happiness is why we are here.
My relationship with my wife and son, my parents, my friends, art, programming, climbing, gardening, and biking are all examples of this pillar.
Leaving the planet better than I found it
If I can live a life that is fulfilling for myself and improves the world for others then I have an extraordinary life. The actions I take in any project, whether the project is successful or not, should make things holistically better.
This document will be referred to and reflected on over time. If my actions are not fulfilling these pillars, it is a good time to rethink and change my actions.
I'm hardly an objective being, despite how I like to think I am. Having these pillars helps me course correct when no one else is there, although they work better when someone else is around.
In each moment, I rarely meet the expectations I have set for myself. Some moments I do, and those moments are great. No matter what, I find having this in the background makes me think more about my actions. Often I have to rectify things, although on good days I avoid stupid actions completely, and just by doing that usually makes for a really good day.