Understanding the mission is critical in the military. In Whole Health, you’re asked to consider your “Mission, Aspiration, or Purpose” when setting health goals. What you want your health for helps to guide the choices you and your healthcare team make. We call this exploring your values.

Have you ever considered how missions are developed? The best ones are based on core values, such as the Soldier’s Creed or Semper Fidelis, that serve as the foundation for what you want to accomplish and how you want to live your life.

While most people never define their own mission, they also never think about their personal core values. Reviewing a list of values and choosing the ones that mean the most to you, then thinking about them and writing down why they’re important, is a powerful motivator for pursuing your mission. This values worksheet includes a long list of common personal values as well as exercises to help you decide which values are most meaningful to you, help you think about how to put them into practice, and them help you recognize what might be holding you back from living by those values.

As we come to the end of one year and the beginning of the next, it’s a perfect time to think about what matters most to you, and why. This will help you choose how to live based on your core values.

Can you take an hour today to plan for the next year? You can start by reflecting on your values while following this 40-minute Guided Awareness Meditation produced by the War Related Illness and Injury Center (WRIISC) and led by Louise Mahoney:

By Marc Castellani, Ph.D., NBC-HWC, is the Whole Health clinical education coordinator for the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation

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Published on Dec. 13, 2021

Estimated reading time is 1.4 min.

Views to date: 994


  1. Carl D. Mervyn January 1, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    I don’t need medication. I need someone in the VA hospital to understand and be able to hear me.

  2. Jinjin January 1, 2022 at 4:23 pm

    At first I balked at meditation but I can say it helps so much with being stable, grounded and mentally fit. There are literally 1,000s of meditations to do. So if this one isn’t for you try another!

  3. J Dunlap, Sgt USMC, Nam Vet December 31, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Naysayers Beware: Whether you believe in this or not, don’t be too quick to make a negative decision. Speaking from personal experience, I rejected an opportunity to get well in 1970 thinking nobody doesn’t drink. I continued my march to oblivion as a high-functioning drunk for 18 more years, just knowing that one day I’ll surely find a way to feel better without attending all those stupid meetings centered around a book written back in the dark ages. It didn’t even have a real name as all members/former members called it “The Big Book”. What ignorant kind of thinking is that? But in 1988, something clicked for me and I finally caved in to asking for help. While I thought much of that help was unnecessary and I for sure didn’t need it, there were others who had been exactly where I was that convinced me to be patient. I know not why, but I became not only patient but willing! This meditative program may be your salvation if you’ll just be patient and open-minded. The negative remarks may be running off the very people that this idea might work for them. You certainly have the right to continue to be miserable, but please don’t try to take somebody else with you.

  4. Dave Spencer December 30, 2021 at 11:50 am

    Meditation exercises aren’t an instant cure for our problems, but they do offer a time for introspection and a moment of relief from the invading thoughts that too often wreck our whole day because something that we saw or heard or were involved in reminded us of some traumatic instant in our past. I’ve been working on making meditation a response to stressful situations, to just relieve me in the moment, if nothing else. I hope you all will try it, especially in concert with your efforts with a counselor or psychiatrist as part of your ongoing therapy. Many blessings and best wishes!

  5. Kevin Davis December 30, 2021 at 11:16 am

    I feel bad for those that think this does not work for them. Well maybe not this one, but I hope everyone will find – The One – that works for them.

    Changed my life (not this exact one) for the better in many ways, well worth the time and effort to find one for you. Keep Looking if this is not an great fit for you.

  6. Dr. E December 30, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Suggest promotion of a more powerful and meaningful endeavor to achieve tranquil relaxation and introspection such as PRAYER as an alternative to the eastern, non-christian practice of meditation.

    • Kevin Davis December 30, 2021 at 12:04 pm

      Well Yes! You can do both! I pray and both give thanks and ask for guidance while I meditate – you make it – into – what works for you.

    • Leon Amer December 30, 2021 at 1:04 pm

      Whatever floats your boat, Doc …. for many of us, organized religion is among the roots of our difficulties from way, way back, like, before puberty … but don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it, or it didn’t float your boat as well as other options … also, keep in mind that before the Old / New Testament era, back to when our species first walked upright, and in other parts of the world outside the Mediterranean region, people didn’t have “prayer” in the Christian sense because they hadn’t heard about it, so what did they do? Can you cite studies that conclusively state what they did worked less well than prayer once Adam, Eve, Abraham, Noah, …, JC came on the scene?

  7. Leonard j jungclaus December 30, 2021 at 9:42 am

    Worked for me. Hard for most to let go of the world around you to reflect on yourself. But, if even for a few minutes, the comfort of relaxation is worth the process.

  8. John G Crase December 29, 2021 at 7:03 pm


    • Kevin Davis December 30, 2021 at 11:28 am

      Hey John, It is just not the right one for you, please keep looking – it really is life changing to just let go and be – in the moment. It took me a while (months) to really understand what that meant to me.
      I hope you find it too. What ever ‘in the moment’ means to you.

      For me it means leaving all the accumulated negativity from the news to the family to everyday things behind for a while and “just be”.
      We are – after all – just human beings – not human doings.

      Kevin ex-Navy & Army USS Kitty Hawk & 62nd Eng. BN

  9. miriam calluche December 21, 2021 at 11:21 am

    Doesn’t work

Comments are closed.

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