What is goal-based living?
We all have goals we want to achieve. Goals can give our lives purpose. Sometimes we achieve the goal yet don’t feel satisfied. Some of our goals include losing weight, being a better partner, or quitting a bad habit. Achieving these goals can be difficult. It can be daunting to pursue a goal when we feel stuck. Sometimes we don’t even notice our own progress. We can get impatient when the goal isn’t being achieved fast enough. Generally, when these things happen we usually give up on the goal, beat ourselves up for not being good enough, or blame others.
Changing how we view goals
Ideally, we need to take a step back and think beyond our goal. We need to identify what our values are and the WHY behind them. If we continue chasing a specific goal, we’ll never be satisfied as the next goal just intensifies and looms over us. Or perhaps we achieve the goal and identify that the outcome wasn’t really as climatic as we thought. Instead of measuring the success of goals accomplished, consider living according to your values. Living in alignment with your values is likely something you already do every day.
Value Based Living
Values allow us to think about HOW we want to live our life. They are the compass that continue to pave the way for our distinct goals. Values are principles, standards, qualities, and activities that are important to us and bring meaning to our lives. When determining your values, think about what is important to you.
Goals are ways that the values are executed. Empathy is a value; volunteering with a local homeless shelter is a goal. Healthy living is a value; making changes in our diet is a goal. You can engage in behavior every day that will allow you to achieve your goal and continue to live in alignment with your values. Additionally, you can still continue to live your value even after you’ve achieved the goal.
When we select goals that come from our values, we tend to hold more meaning into those goals. We ask ourselves — what is behind this goal? Understanding the WHY behind the goal allows for behaviors and choices to be made at any given moment that are in tune with what you determine is important to you.
How do you figure out your values?
Consider some of these options: how do you want people to speak about you, what you stand for, how they describe you, etc. Values focus on our HOW we move through our lives versus what we want to accomplish. Understanding and connecting to our values while we accomplish our goals, allows us to live a more satisfying life.
So after all of that, are you going to start focusing on your values??
(hint: actually write out your answers and think about the values you have as an individual, as a family or unit!)
For more information on living a value based life in congruence with our goals, check out The Happiness Trap by Dr. Russ Harris.