Previously we have looked at our New Year's Resolutions, revisited the changes we want in life and have set ourselves some goals. We may not have started them on 1st January, but we are planning on them being actioned in the coming year, and more importantly we are looking to make them permanent, meaningful changes.
Now we have some goals to work with, we can start the journey of long lasting change. We know the destination, we just need to action the changes in order to get there. This week we are going to think about what those changes mean to us on a personal level. This is where we start looking at our values, and how our goals match up to those values.
Here is a question for you: what do you value most, above all else in the world, what could you not live without, what do you aspire to?
Work life balance
Write your own list of what you value most, then give each of your values a rating, with number 1 being the most important, and numbering the whole list, depending on how many you have written. Sleep on this overnight and revisit it the next day and make changes. Do it for a couple of days if needed, really give it some honest thought.
Going back to our quit smoking goal example of being an ex-smoker, sitting on a beach in Hawaii, if you remember, our original reasons for quitting were for health and to save money, but what will we actually value most about giving up?
On exploring this more, it may be that the top three values in our list are 1. Children, 2. Good Health and 3. Money. So how does giving up smoking benefit our children? Actually, the real value of giving up may be that we are setting a good example to our children, we want to be healthy enough to play with our children and have money to do things and go places with them. So while those values of money and good health are in there, the overriding benefit is to the most important value.
So we may now want to re-write our goal as:
'This time next year I will be a healthy, ex-smoker, proudly playing with my children on the beach in Hawaii, feeling the warm sun on my face, smelling the scent of sea air on the breeze and sand between my toes.'
This anchors our goal to our values, giving it more meaning and making it more achievable.
So now it's your turn. Look at each of your goals against your top three values that you have listed, what benefit will each of your goals bring to your values? Which of your values will make your goal worth reaching? Think carefully on each one and then re-write your goal to reflect this benefit. Take your time, revisit them, you may find that some of your goals may start to take more priority than others and you may also find that some of your goals are quite superficial. It's okay to drop these off your list.
Next week, we will look at learning from previous attempts at reaching goals.