Do you set goals only to fall flat when it comes down to it? You have the best intentions, yet no matter what you try, you never quite get there.
Sound familiar? You aren’t alone, but there’s good news.
It’s easier to achieve your goals if you choose your values, then align your goals to your values. That way, when you think about why you do what you do, the intended result feels more impactful.
As a result, you’ll feel much more motivated to reach those goals. How does it work?
Keep reading to learn how to set yourself up for success.
Determine your Values
You likely know your values already, but putting them into words can seem difficult when you’re trying to tie them to your goals.
Here are a few steps to get you started:
- Consider the traits you admire or what you look for in a person. What means most to you? A few examples include honesty, integrity, independence, responsibility, and curiosity.
- Think about what inspires you to keep going. For example, do you love perseverance, accountability, a go-getter attitude, respect, or something else? What drives you?
- Think about times when you were the proudest. Why were you proud? What happened and what helped you get there? Your values hide in these times.
- Think about things you’d love to change about yourself. What causes you to feel jealousy when you look at others? These could be values that could drive you.
Turn your Values into Statements
Next, turn your values into statements. This gives your values context or meaning rather than just stating them.
Think of it like giving your values a definition, but one that means something to you and not one you get out of the dictionary.
For example, if one of your values is loyalty, think about what that means to you. The ‘book definition’ of loyalty is ‘a strong feeling of support.’ But put it into your own words.
Here’s an example.
Loyalty means always being there for the ones who matter most to you. No matter how tough things get or much you want to quit, you keep forging ahead because you know you’re both better off because of it.
If perseverance is a value you want to embody, write your statement for it, like this:
Perseverance means doing whatever it takes to make your goals happen. Even when you don’t feel like it and it feels like you have no support, you keep going. You push through the bad days and treasure the good days, helping habits stick and goals get accomplished.
Write Down your Goals
Now that you have your values, it’s time to write down your goals. These are separate from values, but in the next step, we’ll tie them together.
For now, focus on what you want to achieve in the next 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years. Make your list as short or long as you like. For each goal, get as detailed as possible. Include a timeline, checkpoints, and ways to measure how you’re doing – are you on track?
Tying your Values to your Goals
Here’s where the magic truly happens – tying your values to your goals. When you include your values in your goals, you’ll feel more invested in them. It won’t just be a number you want to achieve or a notch in your belt. It will feel like a true accomplishment to you, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
A few examples:
My goal to give up sugar this year folds into my personal value of perseverance, because I can stick to my no-sugar plan even when temptation is all around me.
My goal to journal every morning is important because it supports my personal value of being emotionally healthy and engaging in practices that contribute to an emotionally healthy state.
When you put your heart into what you want to achieve, you’ll feel more motivated to accomplish your goals. It’s more than saying you achieved it, but achieving your goals will shape how you carry yourself.
Your values and goals go hand-in-hand, but you must figure them out separately. Start with your values – write them down, finesse them, and even prioritize them. What means the most to you? In other words, what would push you to achieve your goals the fastest? You’ll need this list when you set your goals.
Next, look at your goals. How do your values tie into them? Write it down – make a statement for each goal so you can see how your values tie into them. Then track your goals and watch how much easier it is to see progress when you include your values.