“One is often so busy doing life that it is easy to avoid evaluating whether you are putting your energy in the direction you value most.”
Do you find it easy to get caught in “doing life?” Life happens, and, as we tackle the day-to-day, we can easily lose track of what we’re building. But, the key to building fulfillment is to have a clear life vision. So, how do you establish and stick to goals worth pursuing? Which goals will enrich you? And how do you stay focused on those goals?
It all goes back to values.
Simply put, your values are what you find most important in life, and they bring you the most fulfillment. They’re different for each of us, so we’re fulfilled differently. If you have strong family values, for example, you might feel most fulfilled when taking care of the people you love. If you value philanthropy, you might feel most fulfilled when taking on projects that better our world.
“Think of your core values as a seed. Action grows up and out from them. When you act in line with your values, you flourish.”
Get Clear on your Values
To develop values-based goals, first get clear on your values. Here’s one way to do it:
1. Find some quiet time when you can reflect.
2. Think about what’s most important to you. Reflect on:
- What you do now (or what you would do if you had the time) that brings you joy. Our most fulfilling activities are rooted in our values.
- What brought you happiness in past years, especially your childhood. Did you gravitate towards sports and activity? Did you support or lead activities that benefited others? Did you create art, organize plays, or dance? These early passions are often rooted in our core values.
- Your 20 Goal List–See our blog on 20 Life Goals, and if you’ve made a list, review it and notice the themes. Certain values will likely recur.
If you’re having a hard time populating your list, this online quiz can help you identify your top 5 personal values.
There are three ways you can invest in your values: by using your time, energy, and money. Sound familiar? We discussed this concept in The Most Powerful Money Move You Can Make!
Once you’ve clearly identified your values, create goals clearly aligned with those values. For example, a goal aligned with family values could be having a weekly family dinner. An aligned financial goal could be to fund a travel budget to create lifelong memories. Goals aligned with philanthropy could be organizing a food drive, serving on the board of a nonprofit organization, or making regular contributions to a meaningful cause.
Set Values-Based Goals
What’s the difference between values and goals? Values are noun-based and define what’s important to us in life. Goals are verb-based and decide what we do in that life.
Knowing your core values, now set meaningful goals. In our blog Begin the 20 Life Goal Habit, we shared a process of creating 20 life goals, no matter how big or small, and connecting with them on a regular basis. A very popular method is to establish SMART goals, which are specific, actionable, and time based. This is a powerful process for goals you’re ready to tackle today; however, the spirit of the 20 Life Goal Habit is that nothing is off-limits. Don’t restrict yourself to a timeline. You don’t have to know how you’ll reach a particular goal just yet, because you have more importantly identified your why.
Moving with purpose is necessary to living a fulfilling and successful (by your terms!) life. By continuously returning to long-term goals that are on this list, you can keep your life vision front-of-mind. You’ll find that actions, big and small, build life visions, like every penny–every copper seed–can build to a fortune.
At Copper Seed, we encourage a holistic approach when deciding how to spend your time, energy, and money. That begins with defining your core values. Next, use them to set fulfilling goals. Last but not least, celebrate all of your accomplishments, big and small. You are worth it!