Values before Resolutions

by Aimee Serafini on December 24, 2012

As I prepare for the Women’s Empowerment Telesummit starting January 3, I have been discussing and researching a lot about goals and resolutions. There is actually a lot of science on them, which I will discuss in later posts, but today I want to talk about what you need to know before you set a new goal. The most important thing to know about the goal is: is it in alignment with your values?

Of course to know that, you need to know what your values are. I think taking the time to be really clear about what you value and in what order is one of the most important exercises you can do. It’s not hard but does take some thought. Your first list is going to be of values / emotions/ character traits / things that are important to you. Write down as many as you can think of, no editing. Even silly things like I value coffee. Then to drill down further, ask yourself And what about that is important to me? You can ask that question several times and really get to the root of your values. And you want to ask yourself those questions about everything you wrote down on your first list.

So you might say you value a good career. Well what’s important about that? You may answer it makes me feel productive and useful and creative and it pays me well and it enables me to live the life I want. And then ask yourself What’s important about being productive? About being useful? Creative? And see how far you can go with each answer. Eventually you will get to some core answers that cannot be subdivided further. And that is going to be your second list.

Then you want to prioritize the second list. Compare each one to the other and ask yourself if I could only have A or B, which would I choose? A. Okay, if I could only have A or C, which would I choose? C. Okay then C is most important followed by A followed by B. You keep comparing each set of answers until you have a prioritized list.

Now when you set a goal, you ask yourself which of my core values is this supporting? It needs to be supporting AT LEAST one and the more the better. BUT what if it is supporting one but in conflict with another? Suppose you put your family as most important and being wealthy as fifth. But to make more money takes you away from your family. That is going to leave you frustrated and struggling to try and accomplish something that is important to you, but in direct conflict with something more important. It wont’ be pretty.

So set aside a half our to do your values inventory and be really clear about what is most important to you.

In the next posts I’ll be walking you through a process to prioritize what your resolutions should be about. What will add most value to your life.

Previous post:

Next post: