How to: Set Goals Based on Your Values

What are values based goals?

A goal is an idea or something you want to work towards in the future. Our values serve as our compass and our goals are check points to make sure we are heading in the direction we want to be.

A values-based goal is a goal we set that is aligned with the things that matter most to us AKA our values.

A non values-based goal is a goal that you feel obligated to set or don’t actually feel like aligns with what matters most to you. (Ex. Make more money if that doesn’t support your physical well-being OR losing weight because someone has bullied you into it)

When a goal is aligned with our values, we are more likely to accomplish or stick to it. Unlike a resolution, values-based goals are not based in a quick fix or guilt and shame, meaning there is less pressure if we don’t “meet the goal.” Keep in mind that smaller task related goals may not feel values based and that’s okay…they are just smaller pieces of the puzzle. Not every goal will be a values-based goal.

Questions to ask when setting goals:

  • What am I hoping to accomplish? 
  • What value does it align with?
  • How compatible is it with my values?
  • Is it a short-term, long-term, or daily goal?
  • What is the importance level of this goal?

Here's an example:

What am I hoping to accomplish? Becoming more proficient in Spanish.

What value does it align with? Connection with others, relationships

How compatible is it with my values? High

Is it a short-term, long-term, or daily goal? Long-term with daily work

What is the importance level of this goal? High 

It’s okay if you notice when checking in with your goal that it doesn’t align with your values or doesn't seem that important to you. When we can weed out goals that don’t align or connect with us, we are much more likely to stick with the goals we set and feel good about ourselves through the process.

If my intention in learning Spanish was to look more intelligent or impress others, that would not be a values-based goal. If I didn't really care about learning Spanish, I would likely not stick to the plan I created, and thus, it is likely not a goal worth pursuing. By picking values-based goals to focus on, we are also able to experience less "failure" by not being able to accomplish goals we aren't actually passionate about or interested in.

Want more?

If you need more guidance on setting values-based goals, I want to help!

I have a workbook all about how to set values-based goals. Not sure what your values are? I got you covered there too with my values clarification worksheets.

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