Values First, Then Goals = SUCCESS

Remember my goals from last week?  As I mentioned in the post, they didn’t just come out of thin air.  I also didn’t just make a list of things I wanted to happen.  Instead, I started my goal planning a little bit more intentionally.  Before I solidified ANY of my goals, I created a list of my core values.

Time with family is one of MY core values!
Time with family is one of MY core values!

What do I mean by core values?  Here are some definitions I found in the dictionary:


To regard highly, esteem

– relating to or consisting of principles or standards

In other words, by core values, I mean what is most important in your life.

Most people have some similar values – health, family, etc., but our CORE, MOST IMPORTANT TO US, values tend to vary from person to person.  For example, you and I might both value work or our jobs, but you might live to work, whereas I might work to live.  Work IS important to both of us, but it’s only a core value to you.  Make sense?

How do you figure out what your core values are?  The first step is to just sit down and ask yourself.  What is most important to ME?  What do I care more about that anything else?  And don’t write down what you THINK you should say, write down what how really feel.

Another good way to narrow down your list of values is to start by making a list of EVERYTHING that’s important to you and then ask yourself if you will wish you spent more time on each item on the list 30 years from now.  This is an easy way to put your thoughts into perspective and start considering what is most important in your life.

Need some inspiration?  Here are some common core values:  faith, family, work, relationship, fun, enjoyment, cleanliness, order, etc.

Once you’ve narrowed your list of values down to 3 – 5, take another look at your New Year’s resolutions or goals.  Do they align with YOUR core values?  If you have a lot of health goals, but being healthy isn’t one of your core values, it’s going to be hard to stick to those goals – in the big scheme of things, those goals just aren’t that important to you.  If your goals don’t match up to your values, it’s time to either dump them, or re-align them.  For the health example, maybe health isn’t a core value but family is.  Perhaps you can change your goal to something like “eat healthy foods and lose x pounds so that I have the energy and feel good enough to spend quality time playing with my kids.”  Get the idea?

I challenge you to take some time this week and create your list of core values and then check your goals against them – if they don’t match up, do a little tweaking – you’ll be on the road to a much more successful and fulfilling 2015!

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