Values trump goals

For as long as I can remember, I have had goals. At the end of a goal (successful or not) the question is always the same: What now? For a long time, the answer was another goal. This has been a treadmill to nowhere. When I started asking the question of where do the goals come from, it became clear that it was my values. My values determined what goals I thought were important. For a very long time I was unconscious of my values. I now spend most of my time exploring values and the goals follow from that. This can be either an unconscious process or a conscious process. The fact is that values drive goals. You set goals based on what you value. Life becomes enjoyable and easy when goals come out of considered values. The goals don’t seem to be so much work anymore.

Step 1 is to wake up to the fact that values drive goals.

Step 2 is to become conscious of your values.

How to take step 2? Take step 1 first. There are good value exercises like this one, which can get you started. Consider a purpose statement with my handy dandy tool. Don’t worry about getting them all right the first time, it is a journey, a process not a goal. I have found it useful to keep a values document which lists my values and some animating principals that I review on a regular basis. Figure out what is missing, what may have changed, if I want to re-order any of them. The win is to understand, not to get it “right”. I have shared mine below.

Values trump goals. The sooner you recognize this and start making goals in alignment with your highest values, the better everything will be.