A Giant List of Virtues
What follows is a list of virtues. This list is not exhaustive as virtues can, indeed, be derived from personal goals or desires. Under each virtue I have a short definition of the term followed by precepts to guide behavior or offer a sort principle to make it easier to remember for your weekly focus. If the principles do not strike you, craft your own or try a different virtue.
This project is not about the virtues themselves. It's about you improving your own character.
Many of these virtues overlap but have nuance that better suits what you want to improve. Do not feel like you have to take each virtue as written - if the meaning does not align directly with your thoughts, go with your own definition!
To consider circumstances, especially those that can not be changed, as satisfactory.
- Do not rally against circumstances outside my control
Do not impose my will upon others
The quality or state of being accountable; especially: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions.
- Stand by my actions irrespective of outcome
- Keep all promises
Take more responsibility for my job/family/residence.
Having a strong desire for success or achievement.
- Take projects or assignments outside my comfort zone.
- Hold myself to higher standards
- Achieve better results but not at the expense of others
Disposed to or characterized by bold or confident assertion.
- Ask for the things that I want or need in all of my relationships
- Speak up for myself when I have strong opinions
Do not allow others to talk over me
The quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit. Aesthetic harmony.
- Love myself and my body for the beauty it has not what it could have
- Engage in self care activities that keep my in harmony with myself
Look for the beauty in others first.
The disposition to do good.
- Volunteer at local organizations
- Help friends or family with no expectation of recompense
- Say "yes" first
to give care. A concern for...
- Take care of family members as if they were me
- Join Big Brother/Big Sister programs
Generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering. Aid given to those in need.
- Donate monthly to charity
Start or volunteer with charity groups in my area
Purity in conduct and intention.
- Be genuine and forward in my affections
- Avoid selfishness in actions
Avoid lustful thoughts or lewdness in my speech or behavior
Avoidance of rashness, attention to safety.
- Always pause before taking action/making a choice.
- Write out pro/con lists for important decisions.
- Avoid dangerous places or situations.
Careful to keep clean : fastidious, habitually kept clean.
- Tidy rooms as you leave them
- Do the dishes every night
- Don't leave clutter
The firm carrying out of purpose.
- Do the things you say you will do
- Commit and show commitment to your spouse
- Be firm and consistent in reasoning
Sympathetic awareness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it.
- Inflict no emotional pain on others
- Do not manipulate others for personal gain
- Be sincere and attentive with loved ones
A feeling of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances. Faith in oneself.
- Recognize your accomplishments
- Accept compliments when receiving them rather than sidestepping
- Exercise your skills and become better at them
- Focus on weaknesses and make them strengths
Thoughtful and sympathetic regard for the needs of others. Careful thought.
- Show affection for others
- Attend to all conversations, even small talk
- Ask others for their ideas or input on important projects or decisions
The quality of feeling satisfied with one's possessions, status, or situation.
- Fix things you have rather than buying new
- Avoid impulse purchases
- Stop caring about "Keeping up with the Jonses"
To associate with another or others for mutual benefit/to achieve a shared goal.
- Work with others on projects rather than doing it all yourself
- Recognizes the involvement of others
- Ask for help when you need it
A quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain without showing fear.
- Acknowledge and confront my fears
- Stand up for those with less means than I have
Polite, respectful or considerate behavior mindful of other people.
- Always say "please and thank you"
- Be chivalrous to all people
- Be aware of others around you and try not to interfere or impede their activities
A quality involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations of the creative mind between existing ideas or concepts.
- Do something creative every day
- Take time to brainstorm and problem solve during the work day
A desire to find out and know things.
- Take genuine interest in others
- Read or do something new every day
- Never deny the impulse to ask questions or pursue an interesting thing
Reliable, worthy of reliance or trust.
- Be "the person" your friends go to for help
- Always give help when asked
- Follow through on promises you make to yourself
Freedom from attachments.
- Get rid of one unnecessary thing you own every day
- Remove yourself from emotion when starting to argue
- Practice Tibetan meditation
Firmness of purpose.
- Set your purpose for the day every morning
- Define or write out your short, medium, and long term goals
- Do that thing you've been meaning to do for ages - run the race, take the class, find anew job
A great love or loyalty, enthusiastic zeal.
- Express your love for your spouse and family every day
- Send a note of gratitude to a friend every morning
- Work on a hobby or new business or an idea every day
Conscientiousness in paying proper attention to a task; giving the degree of care required in a given situation. Persevering determination to perform a task.
- Stop "multitasking"
- Finish a project before you start a new one
- Write out your top 3 tasks for the day and do them before bed
The ability to distinguish; judgement; Discrimination; To distinguish between things; To perceive differences that exist.
- Buy for quality, not quantity, of things
- Research a thing before you purchase
Being discrete in ones speech, keeping secrets.
- Keep all secrets
- Do not gossip
- Spend time in quiet
The trait of being well behaved and under control.
- Avoid lewdness or rudeness in manner
- Acknowledge your emotions but do not let them run rampant
- Meditate every day
Powerful and effective language. Fluent, persuasive and articulate speech.
- Accept all opportunities to speak in front of others
- Join a Toastmasters club in your area
- Recite poetry, speeches, or fiction from your favorite authors aloud
Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives.
- Assume for the best in people
- Do not assume you know a person's motives for doing something
- Seek to understand in all things before interacting
A feeling of excitement. Exuberance: overflowing with eager enjoyment or approval.
- Do not be afraid to like the things you like
- Allow yourself to feel joy in anything your do
- Choose to be enthusiastic about even the mundane tasks you complete
The quality of excelling; possessing good qualities in high degree.
- Hold yourself to higher standards each time you try something
- Cut no corners on projects
- Begin early and finish early
Steadfast in affection or allegiance; loyal.
- Be faithful to spouse, friends, and family
- Dedicate yourself to a cause
Adaptable, able to be changed to suit circumstances.
- Embrace change
- account for the unexpected in projects and plans
- Be patient when things aren't going as intended
Concentrated awareness and effort.
- Stop checking email constantly during the day
- Reduce distractions - social media, games, or other things that break your attention
- Start a task, finish a task
Restraint under provocation; patience: good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence.
- Exhibit patience with others
- Control strong feelings
- Walk away from emotional situations to regain composure
To cease to feel angry or bitter towards a person or about an offense.
- Forgive yourself for your foibles in inadequacies
- Accept apologies when they are given
- Hold no grudges ever
Strength of mind that enables one to endure adversity with courage.
- Meditate every day
- Seek mental challenges - like learning new skills or reading difficult books
Agreeableness is a tendency to be pleasant and accommodating.
- Be kind to strangers
- Make space for others in your life or even on the subway
- Stop and smile occasionally through the day
Prudence in avoiding waste. Being economical with resources.
- Use coupons, cost saving smartphone apps
- Cook more meals at home than you eat out in a week
- Repair things instead of replacing them
Giving or ready to give freely, free from meanness or prejudice.
- Be generous with your time with others
- Be present and engaged and lavish with your attention
- Give to charity
Moderate; mild, quite; not rough or severe.
- Speak softly and with kindness
- Relax your body and demeanor when interacting with people
Elegance and beauty of movement or expression.
- Think before speaking and acting
- Slow down, do not rush
- Care for your appearance - clothes, skin, and hair
- Every day, tell someone you appreciate them
- Acknowledge when someone is helpful to you
- Write down something you're thankful for every day
Being outgoing, talkative, enjoying the company of others
- Always accept invitations out with friends
- Accept all opportunities to speak in public
- Talk to at least 1 new person at every social gathering
The quality of providing useful assistance.
- Always say yes to helping others
- Teach people your skills
Truthful; sincere; not lying or cheating.
- Never dissemble in interactions
- Own yourself feelings and responses
- Be direct but not inconsiderate
Not disposed to cheat or defraud; not deceptive or fraudulent. Worthy of being honored.
- Do as you say you will do
- Follow a code or specific set of laws
The general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled.
- Avoid sarcasm
- Believe in yourself and others
Modest; not arrogant or boastful.
- Do not self-aggrandize
- Avoid avarice
- Be modest in dress, food, and possession
A disposition to be humble; a lack of false pride.
- Emulate your heroes
The ability to perceive, enjoy, or express what is amusing, comical, incongruous, or absurd.
- Accept others and their quirks
Embrace your idiosyncrasies
High mindedness: elevated ideals and conduct; the quality of believing that ideals should be pursued.
- Define and follow an ideal
- Spend time thinking more broadly about a topic
Moral soundness; Integrity is consistency of values and actions. Unbroken completeness with nothing lacking.
- Cultivate a habit
- Always keep promises
Fair. An inclination to weigh both views or opinions equally without bias.
- Mediate arguments
- Ask for opinions from others around you
- Complete a list of tasks daily
- Regularly work on tasks you don't like as much as others
- Do household chore every day
Guileless, not guilty.
- Be direct in communication
- Never lie
- Harm no others physically, emotionally, or legally
The emotion of great happiness
- Embrace your happiness
- Do something that brings you joy every day
- De a joyful influence on those around you.
Fair, impartial, giving a deserved response.
- Consider all affected parties in a decisions and choose what helps the most
- Understand any privilege you have that others don't
- Give equitably to everyone regardless of race, sex, creed, or ability
Friendly, helpful, well meaning.
- Never speak a mean word against another
- Never gossip
- Do something nice for a different person every day
Part of the hierarchy made up of data, information and knowledge. Data are raw facts. Information is data with context and perspective. Knowledge is information with guidance for action based upon insight and experience.
- Take a field of study and wrestle with it every day
An inclination to favor progress and individual freedom the trait of being generous in behavior and temperament.
- Engage in political discourse
- Embrace a new social norms and mores
- Celebrate diversity in all its forms regularly
A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.
- Be affectionate with your loved ones
- Remind people that you love them
- Accept strangers as you would family
Steadfast in allegiance to one's homeland, government, or sovereign. Faithful to a person, ideal, custom, cause, or duty.
- Choose a cause and work for it every week
- Don't talk behind a person's back
Great and impressive dignity.
- Choose to dress more formally more regularly
- Never cheat others or yourself
The feeling of patient, submissive humbleness; a disposition to be patient and long suffering.
- Be quiet and still with others
- Hold no ire towards slights, intended or otherwise
- Serve another person regularly
Clemency: leniency and compassion shown toward offenders by a person or agency charged with administering justice.
- Give to the poor
- Explain why something is wrong rather than punishing a person
The avoidance of extremes in one�s actions or opinions.
- Monitor your diet
- Consume less fuel by riding public transit or riding a bike places
Freedom from vanity or conceit. Not inclined to boast.
- Do not boast of yourself
- Neither act nor dress provocatively
- Explain yourself, your actions, plainly to others without exaggeration
Willingness to obey, to be controlled when necessary, to carry out orders.
- Serve another person
Ready and willing to talk candidly. Un-secretive.
- Be forthright in all interactions
- Accept new experiences even if they feel uncomfortable at first
- Seek to understand opinions contrary to your own
neatness and tidiness. A personality trait which involves the organization of things into a state of order and symmetry. The quality of appreciating method and system.
- Remove clutter from your home
- Build a system to track your tasks at work or at home
- Create a routine and perform it every day
The ability to endure delay, trouble, pain or hardship.
- Do not rail against tardiness
- Slow down with projects to complete them well
Freedom from mental agitation; serenity.
- Practice mindfulness
- Take time to get away from worry or strife
Being persistent, refusing to stop despite failures, delays and difficulties.
- Never drop a project after a setback
- Learn and practice a new skill every month
Humble devotion to a high ideal.
- Work for a cause or charity
- Explore religion or your spirituality
Wise or careful in conduct. Shrewd or thrifty in planning ahead.
- Plan all your projects, big or small
Outline your options before making a choice
The quality or habit of adhering to an appointed time.
- Wake up earlier
- Set your clocks ahead to give yourself more time
Leave for any event 30 minutes earlier than you think necessary
Having a definite goal.
- Define goals for the day, week, month, or year
- Set career goals to work towards
- Create an emergency savings fund and retirement plan
Can be trusted to do something.
- Fulfill all promises
- Schedule regular check ins with your spouse or significant other
- Be authentic with the world
The quality of being firm in purpose.
- Pursue your goals regularly and systematically
- Resolve to do certain tasks every day
- Give up a bad habit or build a new good one
The ability to act effectively or imaginatively, especially in regard to difficult situations and unusual problems.
- Learn to forage or grow your own food
- Learn practical skills like car repair or sewing
- Take up a martial art
Admiration for others. Treating people with due dignity.
- Treat others as good or better than you wish to be treated
- Use terms like "sir" or "madam" irrespective of station
- Honor and learn from the experiences of others
Having control over and accountability for appropriate events.
- Accept new responsibilities in your job
- Become a care taker for a person, family member, or animal
- Own your mistakes and seek to mend them
- Controls your emotions
- Reduce your caloric intake
- Choose less expensive options for things when available
Adhering to moral principles. Holiness.
- Fight for justice even when it won't help you
- Write and adhere to a moral code
- Act with conscience and compassion
The quality of unselfish concern for the welfare of others.
- Help those less fortunate
- Live modestly, below your financial means
- Give help even when it may be hard for you
The giving up of one's own benefit, especially giving up one's life, for the good of others.
- Give large sums or personal affects to charity
- Set up college funds for your family and relatives
Work done by one person or group that benefits another.
- Volunteer every week
- Work for another person directly
Inner peace. Being silent.
- Speak less, allow others to speak first
- Dedicate time every week to be in absolute silence
Straightforward; not complex or complicated. Unpretentious.
- Eat simple food, raw or organic, or become a vegetarian/vegan
- Reduce your wardrobe to a consistent uniform
- Reduce your carbon footprint by using public transit or ride a bike
Free from pretense or deceit in manner or actions.
- Engage with others without malice, contempt, or prejudice
- Acknowledge your shortcomings and account for them
- Understand others before responding in conversation
Serious, solemn and calm. Free from intoxication.
- Give up alcohol
- Give up sugar
- Give up non prescription drugs
Natural, not planned.
- Embrace change
- Do something new or different every day
Capable of exerting great force.
- Begin weight training
- Embrace your fears and seek to reduce them
- Increase your ownership or leadership at work
Consideration in dealing with others and avoiding giving offense.
- Speak calmly and carefully
- Understand and reduce your prejudices
- Call out others for racist, sexist, or discriminatory behavior
Moderation and self-restraint, as in behavior or expression. Restraint in the use of or abstinence from alcoholic liquors/intoxicants.
- Maintain calmness in all things
- Avoid alcohol, drugs, or substances that affect your mind or mood
- Do nothing to excess
Warm friendly feelings of gratitude.
- Express gratitude any time you feel it
- Thank people for any help they give
- Accept thanks given to you with sincerity
The characteristic of using a minimum of something. Saving.
- Save money automatically with your bank
- Always leave more for others - even simple things like paper towels or milk
- Reduce waste by turning the water off while you soap up in the shower
Tending to permit, allow, understand, or accept something; tending to withstand or survive.
- Embrace differences in people
- Accept change, transition
Serenely quite and peaceful; undisturbed.
- Meditate every day
- Calm yourself when becoming agitated
Having confidence in others; lacking suspicion.
- Believe the best in people
- Do not infer more than what is said
- Clarify rather than assume
Accurately depicting what is real.
- Embrace science and empiricism
- Do not exaggerate self or situations
- Interact with clarity of intent/desire and without duplicity
Comprehension, assimilation of knowledge. The holistic awareness of facts.
- Do not admonish people and yourself for making mistakes
- Do not assume for malicious intent in others' actions
Exuberant physical strength or mental vigor, energy.
- Exercise every day
- Remove processed foods from your diet
- Learn something new every day
The trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight.
- Use your experience to teach classes
- Mentor an individual
- Write or journal every day about your experiences
The feeling aroused by something strange and surprising.
- Embrace childlike fascination with something you're doing
- Ask "why" about things you don't understand
Ardor. A feeling of strong eagerness. Tireless devotion.
- Embrace your enthusiasm
- Seek the things you're passionate about
- Allow yourself to like the things you like despite what others may say