Setting Goals—What Are Your Core Values?

by Doc Orman, M.D.

trust, honesty, respect When it comes to setting goals for each new year, there are two main things you’ll want to keep in mind:

1)    What is your purpose in life?

2)    What are your core values?

In my first post this week, I talked about the importance of knowing your basic life purpose.  If you missed that post, here’s a link to review it:

What’s Your Purpose?

Today, I want to focus on values.  When you are clear about your core values, this will also make the process of setting your goals much easier.  In addition, the best kind of personal goals to set for yourself are the ones that are most closely aligned with your purpose and values.

What Do You Value?

At some level, we all know what we value and what we don’t value.  We know what we like and we know what we don’t like.  We know what turns us on and excites us…as well as that which does not.

But how often do we actually sit down and take full measure of our values?  How often do we take an inventory, or create a list, of the key core values that guide us in our lives?

I suggest you do this at least once a year.  The beginning of each new year, especially if you are going to be setting goals, is a great time to take such an inventory.

In fact, I just did this myself and it was very revealing.  I researched a number of basic human values online and also within several books that I own.  I then compiled all of these values into a composite spreadsheet listing 300 items.

I then marched down this list, placing an “x” next to each item that resonated with me strongly.  Then, I resorted the list to bring all my selected values to the top, where I could score each one on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 being the highest priority and 5 the lowest).

I then resorted the list again, separated out all the values scored at the 1 or 2 level, and then looked at this profile as a “picture” of what I tend to value most in my life.

It was a pretty cool exercise, and I’ll share my results with you in my next post in this series.

But you might want to try this out yourself and let me (and others) know what you gain from the process.  To assist you, I’ve posted my list of 300 common human values in an Excel file that you can download for free and use/modify as you desire.  There’s no sign-up required.  Just click on the link below, download the file, and begin checking off the values that are important to you.

Hope you find this values exercise to be both fun and rewarding. 

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