Maybe you’re wondering, “Why do you need to align your goals with your values? Don’t people succeed even when they don’t?”
Okay, fair question. But answer this question. Have you ever set a goal and failed to achieve it?
Of course, you have! It’s something that happens to everyone occasionally.
We all know that some of this has to do with timing and, yes, a little bit with luck. But if you’re constantly struggling to be as successful as you’d like to be, there’s probably more to it than just timing and bad luck.
There’s a good chance that you need to align your goals with your values. Because if they’re not aligned, you’re fighting with yourself.
Let’s see why.
Why You Need to Align Your Goals with Your Values
In my book, Mindful Mastery, I recount a personal experience where I set my sights on achieving financial success as my primary goal.
But I had to face the facts – financial success isn’t what I live for. It wasn’t until I dug deep and discovered my true values of helping others and personal growth that the stars began to align.
Once I realized this, my bank account started to blossom too.
Here’s the truth. If your goals don’t mesh with your values, you’re destined to fail. You can’t keep climbing a ladder that’s leaning against the wrong wall. Something’s got to give.
If you’re hitting a wall on your journey to greatness, it might be time to reassess your values and realign your mission. Because if you’re struggling to achieve your objectives, it’s likely that you need to align your goals with your values.
Tips You Can Use to Align Your Goals with Your Values
Alrighty, buckle up and get ready to master your mind with these nifty tips. While there’s a whole process in Mindful Mastery to help you align your goals with your values, let’s start with some easy habits you can adopt right away.
1. Make a list of your current values.
If you’re like most people, you haven’t spent much time examining your values. In fact, most people have never given their values a second thought.
Just as a map helps you navigate unfamiliar territory, clarifying your values gives you a compass to guide your life’s journey.
First, take 30 minutes to identify your guiding principles. Write them on a piece of paper of paper and then put them in order of their priority to you.
Now, choose your top five.
After you’ve identified these, ask yourself, “Is my behavior aligned with my values?”
If you find a mismatch, then ask, “What set of values does my behavior actually represent?”
2.What outcome are you trying to create?
Outcomes are what you want from your efforts. These come about from your goals.
Ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish?” Then write down what comes to mind.
Here’s some ideas to get you started:
- Do you want to be wealthy?
- Do you want to run a marathon?
- Do you want to write a book or a screenplay?
- Do you want to save the environment?
- Do you want to build a real estate empire?
If you don’t have a destination in mind, you’ll end up wherever the road takes you. The problem is this will never know where you will end up.
To achieve big things, you’ve got to start by knowing what you want. You’ve need to align your goals with your values.
3.How do your current values impact your goals?
For your goals to drive you, they must be in alignment with who you are at your core.
For example, when I tried to “make money” I found that I would do things that, as I look back on them, were at best incredibly insincere. At worst, they were downright insensitive to others’ needs and feelings.
This often made for some very awkward situations.
If you don’t align your goals with your values, your odds of success are dismal. This is unless you change something.
Let’s say you believe that gaining wealth pulls you away from being with your family. You’ve determined that family is one of your highest priorities. Because your goals don’t align with your values, you’ll never accumulate a significant amount of wealth.
If you like comfort, running that marathon will never happen. Even people who regularly run long distances would not say running a marathon gives them a comfortable feeling.
Examine your goals and compare them to your values. Then, ask yourself, “Do my goals support those values?” Do my values support my goals?”
If they don’t, well then there’s step four.
4.What values support your goals?
If there were a perfect set of values to match your goals, what would they be?
Here’s another way to approach this. If you were to build a person that is perfect for accomplishing the goals you’ve set for yourself, what values and qualities would they possess?
Think about people who have accomplished what you want to achieve. What you’ll find is they align their goals with their values.
For instance, successful entrepreneurs often value innovation, risk-taking, and perseverance. They set ambitious goals, embrace change and uncertainty. These people can persist through hard times and setbacks.
By observing and learning from these people, you can gain an understanding of how aligning your goals with your values can lead to success in your own life.
This will help you do the hard things you need to do to succeed.
Once you’ve figured this out, ask, “How would my life be different if I adopted these values?
Once you’ve got an idea, you can move to the fifth step.
5.What do you need to do to adopt these values?
Now that you have a good idea of your perfect set of values, what can you do to adopt them?
Consider the actions and behaviors that would be consistent with each of your ideal values.
Is there a way you rearrange your present values to match that ideal set of values?
Develop the habit of regularly reflecting on your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. When you notice your actions deviate from your ideal values, make the needed adjustments.
As you align your goals with your values, you improve your odds of real success.
6.Reinforce values that count.
Let’s say you want to start your own business. You calculate that to start, you’ll need to save $20,000.
This means you need to value saving money over spending it. How can you build this value in yourself and make it a part of your life?
You need to build proof.
Maybe you will pick up pennies you find on the ground and save them. You could save money on groceries by cutting coupons and buying store brands. Tell payroll you want to have a part of your paycheck automatically put in a savings or money market account.
As you start saving in small ways, your subconscious mind begins to pick up the message that you value saving.
Your actions will reinforce that value.
You Can Align Your Goals with Your Values
Aligning your goals with your values is a crucial step towards achieving real success in your life. By using these six tips, you can identify any mismatches between what you want and what you need to do to line up your actions with your core values.
Coordinating your actions and decisions with your core values will reduce your internal conflicts. This makes it easier to achieve the outcomes you desire.