Want to know what truly matters to you? Have you ever set a goal and never achieved it?
One of those situations where you are convinced the goal is a great idea, yet when you go to do it, you have zero motivation.
This can happen over again, and create a loop where we feel motivated, then de-motivated, and can sometimes involve self-shame and guilt when we continually fail.
Why are we naturally drawn to some activities, yet others bore us and we procrastinate for as long as possible before we have to do them?
It all comes down to our values.
‘What are values??’ you may be asking.
‘Your core value are the deeply held beliefs that authentically describe your soul’ – John C.Maxwell
To take that beautiful quote and help it make a little more sense to you, values are things that we hold close to our heart, things that we are naturally drawn to and will speak about, and invest time and energy into with no need from external influences.
Values are what is valuable to us and because of that, we are drawn to filling our lives with these things.
This article is going to explore why it is extremely important to know your values when it comes to trying to change your life or achieve any goal.
Read through to the end of the article for some questions that will help you establish your own values!
Why do Values Matter?
So let’s skip back to our scenario earlier. Setting a goal and then not having the motivation to follow through, we’ve all been here. How do you know what really matters to you?
Setting a goal needs to relate to our values directly, or indirectly.
Let’s say for example you love/value physical activity – it won’t be hard for you to achieve fitness goals.
For those of us who don’t love exercising (and let’s admit, this is a lot of us!) we need to find a way to make fitness indirectly related to our values.
For example – if you value family, you could rationalise that being fit, healthy, energetic and stress-free would allow you to be a better mother/father etc which would give you a reason to be motivated to achieve the fitness goal.
So by knowing your own values, achieving goals and moving forward in life becomes far easier as you can either set goals that directly align with your values – or – you can learn to understand how a goal relates to your values.
Problems with Not Knowing Your Values
Throughout our lives, we are constantly exposed to different sources of information that can influence the way we see life.
This information can confuse us and drag us away from knowing who we are, and what we love. This makes it very hard to know what truly matters to you.
Our values can be influenced by society’s expectations such as ‘what is currently fashionable/cool/trending’. We can unknowingly take on our parent’s values, not realising that we don’t HAVE to value the same things as them. We can take on our partner’s values, losing parts of our self to try to make our partner happy.
I could list many influences here, but the bottom line is that if you take the time to identify your own values, then you can determine if you’ve been accidentally taking on external values. By taking on external values you could be investing energy in pursuing things in your life that you have been TOLD are important, but don’t actually resonate with you.
This can lead to discontent and a general lack of satisfaction and motivation for life.
Identifying your Personal Values
The questions below are seemingly simple, yet by the end of them, you should have a list of the things that are most important to you. The list will help you establish what truly matters to you.
For each question, give three answers, and for each answer, identify what value that answer represents.
I’ll give you an example in a moment.
1.Where do you spend most of your money/resources? (Think outside of bills and general life expenses)
2. What do you love to talk about? What topics make you excited to talk about them and take you from being introverted to extroverted?
3. What kind of items fill your personal space at home (eg your bedroom or house) or your professional space at work?
4. What people inspire you the most, and why is that?
5. What areas of your life are you most organised and disciplined in?
|Topics you love speaking about?||Value Represented|
|Deep chats||Relationships or Connection with others|