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How to Set Goals and Values

The desire to improve and progress is a natural human trait. Many people, however, are confused as to how to move forward. They have no idea how to set goals or determine what their true values are.

If you are not clear on your values, it is easy to miss important opportunities. One main cause for not achieving is lack of clarity regarding values, which results in confusion as to how to set goals. This ultimately ends in frustration and lack of motivation. Before you can set appropriate goals, you need to clarify true core values.


Things You’ll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil


4 Steps to Set Goals and Values

Set Goals and Values

1. Determine your core values.

Take a look at who you perceive yourself to be. Often we think we know who we are. One reason people have difficulty remaining motivated is because they carry values that are not theirs but have been conditioned into them from the past from any number of sources. Values can also change over time. Create a list of values you feel are important.

Make the list as long as possible. Do not judge or edit what you write down. Consider relationship, financial, personal, health, spiritual and work values. This is vital to determining who you are.


2. Narrow the list to five values you feel are the most important to you.

Look at each of these values separately, for one week, from the perspective of a stranger observing you. Ask yourself how that person would know by your actions that this value is important to you.

For example, if you determine that good health is a top value, but you eat poorly and get no exercise, good health would not appear to be an important value for you. If you find that you are not honoring these values in your everyday life, it is a sign that either life changes need to be made to align with these values or that these are not true core values for you.


3. Make a list of the things you want to accomplish.

Write specific goals and activities related to and aligned with your core values. If goals and actions are not consistent with your values, they work against each other. It causes mental conflict. For example, you may write that you want to make more money. Ask yourself why.


4. Make your goals measurable.

For example, you may set a goal to exercise for 30 minutes three times each week. Review your goals regularly, making sure you are not getting off-track.

Make adjustments as needed. As you set and follow these value-centered goals, you not only start to achieve your desires, you also begin to have a true understanding of who you are.


Tips & Warnings

Examples of core values include health, family, love, acceptance, abundance, energy, friends, recognition, anonymity, spiritual and many more. Extensive lists of core value examples can be found on-line if you need additional ideas.


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