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5 steps to create values-driven goals for the new year

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

New year, new you…right? If you’re like most people, you’ve already started thinking about what changes you want to make this year. Maybe you want to expand your social circle, get a promotion or start your own business. Whatever it is, there’s one thing that all lasting change has in common – it starts with setting a clear intention and goal. But not just any goal…a values-driven goal. In this quick read, we explain how to set goals that reflect your deepest desires and values so that achieving them becomes an effortless part of your daily routine instead of another item on your ever-growing To Do list. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to create goals that work for YOU – ones that are inspiring, motivating and will help lead you to an even bigger and better life than before. So let’s get started!

Values based goal setting - blog by melbourne psychologists the inner collective

Define what values are important to you

Values are an incredibly powerful tool that can act like a guiding compass when used with purpose and intention. By taking the time to deeply consider which values are most important to you, it becomes easier to live in alignment with your values each day. For example, values like honesty and integrity can help you stay true to yourself and your commitments, while values like courage or perseverance can give you the strength to stand firm amidst challenges. Ultimately, values provide something powerful — they can be a source of motivation, inspiration and even set us on a path to create lasting change in our lives.

Identifying your values worksheet
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Set goals that reflect your values

For many, goal setting can be a difficult task. Where do you start? How can you assure that the goals you set are attainable and reflective of your core values? An effective tip is to ask yourself "What lights your fire?" Doing so can reveal which goals are deeply rooted in your passions and aspirations. When our goals are aligned with our values and serve a greater purpose, it gives us more motivation to take action and complete them. So when selecting your milestones for the year, consider what will bring true happiness and not be swayed by societal pressures or expectations. Take the time to craft achievable ambitions that nurture success for both career and personal life, enabling a better balance and quality of life overall.

Create a plan to achieve your goals

Every goal-getter worth their ambition knows that creating a plan is the key to success. Breaking down lofty objectives into achievable steps helps keep hard work organized and on track. While there's no one-size-fits-all strategy, setting aside uninterrupted time to draft an action plan is an essential first step. Setting realistic timelines and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Framed) goals can also help ensure success. Last but not least, having a support system of like-minded individuals to root you on and help you stay accountable can provide that extra oomph when motivation wanes. Armed with these components and your unstoppable determination, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals in no time!

Take action towards your goals

It's easy to think about what you want in life, but it's another thing entirely to do something that will take you closer to your goals. Instead of sitting back and waiting for a lightning bolt of inspiration, try actively putting yourself out there: volunteer if it interests you, research opportunities, or even just talk to people in the same field as what you want to do. You may be surprised at how powerful everyday steps can be towards getting closer to where you want to go. Act now and you'll be amazed at the incredible opportunities that arise - because nothing good ever happens when we keep on putting things off!

Celebrate your accomplishments

Celebrating your accomplishments shouldn't feel like a chore - if anything, it should be fun! A great way to do this is to take a few moments each day in the evening to reflect on all the great things that happened during the day. Whether that be some small wins, or larger ones, each accomplishment should be acknowledged and celebrated with joy. This de-stressing practice can make an incredible difference in how you feel about your every day and also foster better mental wellbeing. So don’t get so busy achieving goals that you forget to revel in your successes too!

If you’re not clear on what you want or why you want it, the steps to get there will be a lot harder. Defining your values is the first step in setting and achieving any goal that’s important to you. Once you know what matters most, set goals that reflect those values — goals that inspire and excite you. Create a plan of action with small, manageable steps that you can take towards your goal, then commit to taking regular action. Finally, celebrate each accomplishment along the way so you can stay motivated and inspired to achieve even more success. What values are important to you? How have they helped shape your goals?

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