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Ignite Your Year: How Values-Based Goals In Midlife Will Get You Over The Finish Line With Ease

Episode 12 | (00:00):

Hi there, welcome back. This is the second episode in the Ignite Your Year series. And today we're going to be talking about values-based goals and how important it is to align your values with your goals so whenever you're going after that goal, and when you achieve that goal, you're actually going to have something that you're excited about. Something meaningful, something that matters to you.

Now, this episode is airing in the second week of December for those of you who are planning ahead and thinking about those goals and figuring out what next year is going to look like for you.

However, you can use it at any time of the year whenever you're getting ready to set some goals and you want some clarity on what's important to you, on what you really want to go after. You ready to dive in? Let's do this! 

(01:29):

Hey there, Easy Ager. Before I get started on today's show. I just wanted to remind you if you were interested in grabbing a coaching session with me, now is the time, especially since we're talking about values-based goals. All you have to do is email [email protected]. I'm leaving you a link in the show notes. We'll set up a time to get together and help you get a little unstuck, get you clear on what your next goals are and how you want to go after those dreams. Okay?

Okay. Quick question. What are your top three values?

Can you answer that quickly, or is your brain running around right now? You're scrambling around, saying, "Ah, yeah, let me think of some top values I'd like to have. Ooh, that sounds nice. Oh wait, no, maybe this one," and you're all over the place right now. If you asked me, I could tell you my top values right now, without hesitation...

(02:25):

And I'm going to tell you in a moment. But the interesting thing is once I figured out my top values, I realized I use these values on a daily basis.

So you may be thinking, "What's the big deal about knowing your values? Big whoop, right?"

What's the big deal? Everything. Because your values affect just about every decision you make in your life. And they're especially important when you're setting goals.

So here's a great definition of what values are:

Values are the principles that give our lives meaning and allow us to persevere through adversity.

This is a quote from psychologist Barb Markway and Celia Ampel in The Self-Confidence Workbook.

In today's show, you'll learn how values are established, how they can protect you, and then you'll learn how to discover your own values so you can amp up your goal setting to a new, a much more effective level if you haven't had much luck with goals in the past.

(03:19):

How are values established? Well, growing up, you were brought up with a specific set of values in your family. Whether you agreed with them or not is not the issue. You were brought up with a set of family values.

Then you went to college and your values may have shifted a little bit as you were getting more influenced by different friends, by a new environment, by fellow students, by the professors, or even by the topics that you were studying.

Then you got married and your spouse's values more than likely began to affect your values and vice versa. So do you see where I'm going with this? Our values are influenced by our culture and by the people we spend the most time with.

Here's a secret: Our parents knew that.

I could never understand that I was younger...

(04:06):

I could never understand why my mother said things like, "If your friends stuck their heads in the toilet, Michelle, would you do it too? Would you?" I never got it, I never understood why she was saying that.

And the reality is as parents yourselves, or even grandparents at this point, parents know. As we get older, we know how quickly our friends can influence the way we think.

That's also why so many personal development gurus say things like, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."

The first time I heard this, I said, "Okay, I'm spending time with this person and this person and, oh my goodness!"

I made some adjustments pretty quickly because I really didn't want to be an average of a couple of these people! "I'm sorry, I love you, but you just didn't make the cut."

(04:53):

So who you spend time with and the environment you're in affect your values because they influence you. Maybe you're on social media a lot. Maybe that's influencing you as well.

So the main point of all of this is: your values define you.

Your values also protect you. And here's an example of how that works in daily life.

My top values are number one, peace; number two, authenticity;  number three, love and connection; number four, health; and number five, humor and fun. Because you know, if it's not fun, I'm really not interested. That's kind of the way I run my life. ;)

Here's the deal: I know that living a peaceful life is important to me because my number one value is peace. And because of that, I evaluate everything that comes into my life with this in mind. This includes work opportunities, events, goal setting, and even people...

(05:47):

Especially people. I don't gravitate towards people with too much drama in their lives, or if they're too high-maintenance, or they're too negative because these types of people affect my ability to enjoy a peaceful life.

I want to be with people who manage their lives with significantly more serenity and grace. I want a peaceful life because peace is my number one value.

For me, it's all so simple and so clear, and that's the beauty of knowing what your top values are. Very simple, very easy to figure out.

This simplicity extends to goals as well. I mean, values-based goals are unambiguous. They are very clear, and they are very much aligned with who we are. When we create value-based goals, we make the process of achievement so much more rewarding. Let me explain how this works.

(06:38):

Health is another one of my top five values. I was discussing with someone how COVID and the pandemic had just completely up ended our routines and our habits.

And I said something to the effect of, "You know, the only two things I've been consistent about during the pandemic are breathing and working out."

Well, obviously I like breathing because I like living, but you know what? I like working out too. I really enjoy working out. I work out five times a week and I don't really blink. I aim for five times, but sometimes I get in six or seven.

If you're wondering why that's so easy for me, the answer is very simple. It's because health is one of my top values in life. And if you value something, you set your time and your energy around it. Let me repeat that one more time for those of you who weren't paying attention. Okay, listen: 

(07:22):

If you value something, you set your time and energy around it. That means you're going to be making time to take care of this value. You're going to be making time to work out or to have a peaceful life or to be your real self or whatever that value is.

You're going to make the time to make friends if love and connection is one of your top values. You're going to make that effort. You're going to put that out there, right?

Knowing your values helps provide direction for your life because you want to make sure you're taking the right steps for you down the right path for you. You don't want to be walking someone else's path just because they're walking it.

If you didn't make sure you had these values to help you stay focused, you could be wandering around or going down a path that doesn't benefit you, something you're not even interested in.

(08:10):

Even worse, you could be saying you value something, but you're doing absolutely nothing to put any time or energy toward it. And that's the kind of talk that will quietly erode your faith in yourself.

So it's important that your goals and your values align because if they don't, if your goals do not align with your values, a couple of things can happen.

Either you'll lose interest and you'll give up pretty easily because it's not that important, and you'll move in a different direction.

The other option is you'll achieve the goal, but the victory won't be nearly as sweet as you'd like for it to be. I can speak from experience on this one. I know for a fact that if your goals are not value-based, they feel hollow. 

When I was younger, I used to set goals based on what other people were saying or doing. I'd be watching others, and I wasn't paying attention to me...

(09:00):

I was paying attention to what was going on around me. And I didn't take the time to figure out if that goal was right for me. Then I'd go after it and I'd work really hard. I'd achieve the goal, and the moment I achieved it, I went, "Whoa, wow, I really didn't even want this, did I?"

Let me tell you, there is nothing more painful or more disappointing than working that hard at something and finding out when you get there that it was meaningless. It didn't really even matter to you. :(

So that's a little bit of an overview of how your values can protect you, how they can help you make decisions on a regular basis, and how important it is to align your values with your goals so you're not running down the wrong path or saying that your values are important to you when, you know, maybe that's not the right value for you. Maybe it's something else.

(09:48):

Now it's your turn. I'm going to leave you a link to a values list. You can use this list or not. There's no right or wrong way to do this, but I'm going to explain to you what I did.

What I did first, what I said, "You know, I want to figure out what my top values are." I Googled "values list" and printed off a PDF. That was pretty much it.

Then I started using the process of elimination. I'd look at each value on the list and checked off the most important ones. And then I go for a second round and to get more clarity.

I would ask myself questions like, "When am I most content? What refreshes me? When am I living my most real and authentic life? Who brings joy to my life and why?...

(10:29):

Now this is an interesting one. It's kind of an important one as well. Because when you see what you value in your closest friends and family members, you're going to start seeing a pattern of what you value in life.

I mean, maybe reliability is important to you. Maybe you like people who are on time or people who text or call when they're running late or maybe reliability is something that you truly value.

When you look at the people in your life, who you get along with best and the qualities that they have, more than likely these are qualities that you are going to want in your own life as well.

When I did this exercise a number of years ago, it took me at least seven rounds to get narrow things down. So don't expect to sit down and just get it all done.

(11:12):

I think I did it  over a week. I'd put down the list, I'd come back, I'd go through another round or two and put it down for a couple of days. I'd go back and forth because I really wanted to think and contemplate and ask, "Hmm, does this value really matter to me?"

There's no right or wrong number of how many values you can have. I mean, I knew someone who had 17 top values and I was like, "Whoa, that is so intense. I can't remember 17!!" So I just narrowed mine down to 10.

But over the years I've noticed that I really only use the top three to five values on a regular basis.

It's important to understand your values because knowing your values is going to help you understand what matters most to you so you can set goals that are meaningful, and you can live a more intentional fulfilling life.

That's it for today. Grab a coaching session with me by emailing [email protected]. And until next time, peace, love and blessings to you and yours. Take care. Bye-bye!

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