A few weeks ago, when I sat down and contemplated my 2017 goals, I had already done a fair amount of the legwork needed for the process.
A year earlier, I put together a pretty good list of goals that I would work towards in 2016.
When I did this, I didn’t really give much thought beforehand to what my values were. It never occurred to me that it was all that important.
In reality, values are quite important as you lay out your plans for the future. Whether it is your annual goals, longer term planning, or even what you plan to do this morning, values are what makes us tick. They drive our actions, our beliefs, and our thoughts.
Values: Good, Bad, or Both?
Values tend to get lumped together and passed off as some sort of “good behavior” type of thing. This isn’t necessarily true. Things such as greed or slothfulness can easily be among your values as much as more virtuous things.
When it comes down to it, whatever things are the driving force of your life, those are most likely your values, good or bad.
That is why, as 2016 crept to a close, I felt it was quite important to sit down and do some serious introspection before I crafted my 2017 goals. I wanted to have clarity within myself as to what was really steering me through my life.
I didn’t want to set goals at random or in some sort of vacuum. I wanted what is known as alignment. I wanted my goals to be pushing forward in complete alignment with my values. As I worked towards my 2017 goals I wanted to be sure that I was moving forward in a way that was true to myself. It was important not to have goals that were contrary to any of these values.
Moving Towards Alignment
Let me share some of these values to give you an idea of what I am talking about. For example, I found it quite easy to decide that health was one of (if not my most)important value.
After all, I can’t do any of the other great things I want to accomplish without having health.
So, I need to make sure that all I strive to do is true to my value of health.
This is why I decided it was so important to dial in my nutrition this year and start using IDLife customized supplements.
All of the running in the world wasn’t going to save me if I fall into the trap of shoving garbage in my mouth on a consistent basis.
To do so is grossly out of line with living my life true to this value.
Personal growth was another one of my values.
I decided this was very important to me in that life is too short to have yourself stuck in neutral.
I can’t sit around “waiting to die” as I like to say. I have developed the need to constantly improve.
To be true to this value, I feel I constantly have to find ways to learn new skills, be open to new beliefs, and try new activities. What it comes down to, for me, is that I have been blessed with a life.
To waste time is to waste the opportunity I have been given.
As JB Glossinger over at Morningcoach.com always says, improve 1% a day.
I want to be moving forward, never backwards. So, I set goals that are ensuring that I am constantly adding to my experience.
Of course, I found family to be another of my values. My wife and son are truly integral parts of my life and journey and one of the major reasons behind everything I do.
All of my goals, therefore, must respect them, include them, and help strengthen my bond with them.
You can now begin to see my thought process. A good portion of my goals begin as a way to honor my value of personal growth. I believe in challenging myself.
However, once I give in to seeking alignment, I may find that some goals designed to help me grow somehow dishonor one or more of my other values.
As a result, a fair amount of potential goals fall off the drawing board into the trash can.
Alignment Can Mean No-Go on Goals
If you haven’t done so yet, take some time to reflect on what your values truly are. You can’t truly attack those 2017 goals or resolutions unless you know.
If you are pursuing goals that are out of tune with what drives you as a person, you are only setting yourself up for failure and frustration.
Have you looked at your values? What surprises have you uncovered?