How would you define your values? Do you know what they even are? Everyone has their own set of values. When you figure out what you value, you find out what's most important to you. It helps set your priorities. Finding your values is important and is something everyone should do.
Our values inform our thoughts, words, and actions.
What is a value?
A value is defined as a person's principles or standards of behavior. Essentially it is one's judgment of what is important in life.
There are 3 kinds of values: individual, relationship, and societal.
Individual values reflect how you show up in your life and your specific needs. They are the principles you live by and what you consider important for your self-interest.
Relationship values reflect how you relate to other people in your life, like your friends, family, or colleagues.
Societal values reflect how you relate to society.
Without your values, you can get sort of lost. You may struggle to make decisions. You may not know what is best for your goals and have a hard time setting goals. You can start to feel down in the dumps. It's not fun. Having values can make completing goals enjoyable, because you'll know you are staying true to yourself.
Why Is Having Values Important?
There are many reasons why finding your values is so important.
Values play an important role in how you respond to situations. No matter what the situation may be. They are a guide for you to use when it comes to your reactions and behavior. They can help make sure you behave in a way that matches who you want to be.
Knowing your values helps with decision-making. Once you know what’s truly important to you, AKA your values, you can use this information to make decisions that align with the things you want most in your life. Sometimes we let emotions get in our way. However, you can use your values to become more clearheaded in any given situation allowing yourself to react in a less emotional-based decision.
Values help guide you when you're setting goals for yourself. Setting goals can be hard sometimes. But, our values help us identify what is more important to us.
Your values allow you to be true to yourself. You can react to situations in a more clear-minded way. Therefore, sticking to who you want to be and your core self.
How To Find Your Values
So, the first thing we want to do is figure out what your values are. To do this, you will need a list of values. Dr. Russ Harris is the author of multiple books about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Dr. Harris has provided a list of values in his book, The Confidence Gap. Here's a printout of these values! And I have provided below a free pdf that you can download.
To find your values, I suggest doing this activity.
Print out the pdf.
Cut each value out (each rectangle). Making them small cards to handle. Like a deck of cards.
Separate the "Very Important To Me", "Important To Me", and "Not Important To Me" cards and lay them on a table as separate decks.
Begin sorting each value card into the three decks based on your judgment.
Set aside the "Important To Me" and the "Not Important To Me" piles.
In the "Very Important To Me" pile, narrow it down to your top 5-8 values.
This last part of the activity is the hardest. When I did the activity, I had to really think about what's more important to me. I had quite a bit of values in this pile. It's okay if you do too.
It's also okay if you don't have enough values in that pile. Now, you can go back to the "Important To Me" pile and narrow those down to however many more values you need to complete 5-8 values for yourself.
Once you have narrowed the values down to 5-8 values, you have your list of values. These are what's most important to you. Write these down.
Your values can change over time. These values are most important to you at this given time in your life. We don't know what the future holds for us. Therefore, our values can change. You may go back to this activity whenever you think it might be a good time to review your values.
Setting goals for yourself is important because it helps align your focus and promote a sense of self-mastery. It helps you measure your progress and therefore helps keep you motivated to continue and grow.
You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight. - Jim Rohn
I love that quote from Jim Rohn. Simply because it's the truth. At any given moment, you can change your direction. You don't have to start on Monday. Start now.
What Is A Goal?
A goal is defined as an aim or desired result. It is the object of a person's ambition or effort.
4 Reasons Why Setting Goals Is Important
Goals give you focus. Without goals, life can seem pointless. You can start to feel down. Having goals gives you something to focus on and look forward to. You can have all the potential in the world, but without your focus, you can feel like it is a waste of energy and effort of your skills. Setting goals for yourself gives you something to aim at.
Goals keep you motivated. Any time you have felt motivation or inspiration, you have felt the idea of having goals. Goals allow you to have that drive you need to achieve. It gives you something to look forward to.
Goals allow you to measure progress. Having set goals for yourself gives you a sort of benchmark to compare with. Focus on your progress. How far you come not how far you still have to go. You've made it this far in the process. Be proud of that.
Goals help with procrastination. Setting goals makes you responsible for finishing the task at hand. It makes you accountable if you don't do it. Therefore, helping you stop procrastinating the task. It helps you stop being lazy. This is when short and long-term goals come into play. Create short-term goals to allow yourself to feel accountable if you don't complete them. But don't be so hard on yourself if you don't.
Goals can change. They can be changed as your values and priorities change. You might have new priorities. So, it's okay to adjust your goals as needed.
How To Create Goals
Using your values that you now know after the activity, create goals for yourself. You can create short-term and long-term goals. The short-term goals will eventually get you to your long-term goals. Make sure to be reasonable. Don't set a goal with a due date that's too soon to be reached. Due dates are good to have, but they aren't always necessary.
You'll first need to create long-term goals. Think of the big picture of what you want to do with your life. Write these down. Figure out and identify your long-term goals.
When identifying your long-term goals, you can think about certain aspects of your life. Those being: your career, financials, education, family, mindset, physical, and public service.
Think about what career you're going into or are already in. What level do you want to reach in that career? What do you need to do to achieve it?
Think about your financials. Where are you now? Are you merely surviving or living well? Where do you want your financials to be? How much do you want to earn and by when?
Think about your educational goals. Are you in school now? Do you want to go back to school? What do you need to get there?
Think about your family goals. Do you want to be a parent? How can this happen for you? How can you be the best parent you want to be? What do you need?
Think about your mindset. Are you where you want to be mentally? Is your mindset holding you back from something you want? Does anything you do bother you? Anything you wish to change about your attitude?
Think about your physical well-being. Are you healthy? Are you where you want to be health-wise? Are there any athletic goals you want to achieve? What can you do to help this?
Think about the overall world and your place in it. Do you want to make the world a better place? If so, how can you take part in doing so? This is your public service.
Once you have your long-term goals, you can create short-term goals. Short-term goals are the stepping stones to your long-term goals. Take your long-term goals and break them down into smaller goals that you need to reach those long-term goals.
Create a five-year plan for yourself with smaller goals that will help you reach your long-term goals. Then, create a one-year plan, a quarterly plan, and a monthly plan. Each with smaller and smaller goals to achieve.
You can also create a daily to-do list of things you feel you should work on today that will benefit your bigger and bigger goals.
I have a planner that breaks down my quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily plan and goals. This might be something that can benefit you as well. You can find free planners online or create one yourself.
I will be creating a planner soon but in the meantime check out The Dash Planner for some freebies you can use to get started!