We are almost at the end of the first month of the year. A great time to check in and ask yourself how is this year shaping up so far? At the beginning of the month I shared a concept that I am very passionate about, one that has transformed the quality of my life and the life of many of my clients, and that is living a life aligned with your values. When we are engaged in activities that are MOST important to us, it increases our energy, our passion for life and pulls us toward creating the results we most desire in our life. I am grateful every day for a business that allows me to live my highest values and this month I celebrate an over the top inspirational evening with the most influential woman in the world OPRAH WINFREY!
Sharing the evening with great friends, being in the same room as one of my role models (OK, it was a big room) and soaking in every word she said, was a night of living my highest values. I continue to ask myself how can I continue to increase my quality of life and fully step into my highest values on a daily basis and in today’s article I ask you the same question!
See below in our resource section we have extended the holiday price ( for 3 more days!) on our ebook on “A New Approach to Goal Setting” - a step by step self coaching guide on clarifying a living your life aligned with your values.
Feature Article: Foundation of Living a Life You Love! Part 2
Earlier this month, I introduced the concept of setting goals that reflect your true values – goals that inspire you to take action (instead of those you have to force yourself to achieve). Many of us have been conditioned to “goal set” to live a life we love. Goal setting is powerful but only sustainable and fulfilling if they are aligned with what we most value.
To help you get clear on your own personal values, I asked you to complete the following sentence:
“If I had plenty of free time and all the money I could ever want, then I would be free to _(action)_ and that would let me experience more _(value)_.
When you answer this question, you end up with a list of attributes that you value. (To review, examples include authority, adventure, connection, creativity, etc.)
Now you’re ready to set goals that support your values.
First, make a list of initial goals for this year. Consider the different areas of your life: relationships, career, finances, health, spirituality, recreation, etc. Take a few minutes and brainstorm all the goals you have in each area.
Now, take a close look at your goals and eliminate those that stem from something you feel you “should” or “have to” do. If it doesn’t light you up inside, cross it off your list. (Really – it’s okay!)
Next, compare your remaining goals with your list of values; can you find any goals that are aligned with a values?
I recently went through this process with one of my clients, Kim, an ambitious self-employed consultant. She was overwhelmed with goals and quickly losing interest in them. With a lot of encouragement, she eliminated all the “should” goals – effectively cutting her list in half. With a little more work, she identified her top 3:
- Lose 15 pounds
- Update her website
- Increase her bottom line by 30%
At first, Kim wasn’t very excited about these goals. Then we reviewed her values – health, expertise, and making a difference. She came to realize that her goals would help her experience exactly what was most important in her life. Losing weight would improve her health; updating the website would showcase her expertise; and increasing her bottom line would mean more clients, more work, and more impact in the world.
Once she made these connections, Kim was eager to take action. She was committed. Every day, she did some kind of exercise – walking, yoga, at least some stretching. And she wasn’t thinking about those 15 pounds… she was thinking about improving her health. Not only did her motivation go up, but her level of confidence and clarity increased. She knew she was living her life exactly the way she wanted to. Within months she made great progress toward all of her goals, but her focus was on living in alignment with her values. Her goals were looking after themselves.
When you narrow your focus – to live according to your values – you don’t have to set as many goals. Give yourself permission to let go of the “shoulds” and say yes to what you’re passionate about. These things will naturally lead you to a more engaging, fulfilling and easier life.
Create goals that are about the experience, not the result. What goals could help you experience more of what you value the most? For example, if you know you value contribution, how can you step out of your box to contribute more? Perhaps you could accept more leadership at work, or volunteer for a local charity. Create an outlet for your values, whatever they are. The benefits will ripple across all areas of your life.
We get so caught up in the responsibilities of day to day life that most of us lose touch with the things we love to engage in. Life does not need to be a struggle. Stop pushing yourself so hard, and take time to reconnect with your inspiration. Make a commitment to reorient your life around the things that energize you and nurture your soul. I promise, your quality of life will improve and you will naturally be pulled towards the results you want in your life.
- Eliminate any goals that reflect a “should.” Only keep those you truly want to achieve.
- Associate each goal with one of your core values.
- Decide what kind of action you need to take to honor those values and move closer to your goals.
- Get excited and get moving! You’ll make quick progress… I’m sure of it.
Resource of The Month: A New Approach to Goal Setting Ebook
This is a self-coaching e-book that helps you identify what’s most important to you, and teaches you how to design your life according to your values. It just might be the fastest, easiest way to boost your life to a whole new level, and it will certainly give you a fresh new perspective on your New Year’s Resolutions!
PS. I would love to hear from you! Have you taken time to explore and design your life around your values? I would love to hear how this process made a difference for you. Share with us on Facebook.
Your personal business building mentor,