5 Reasons You Should Identify Your Values BEFORE Setting Resolutions

Happy New Year! I hope you are feeling the exciting energy of the fresh start 2022 offers you, and are filled with optimism for the coming year.

This sense of renewal and new beginnings can inspire hope in January, and like me, you might find yourself noticing the slightly longer hours of daylight, or searching the gardens and parks for early signs of spring.

As humans, we are naturally drawn to beginnings and endings and we use them to create meaning in many aspects of our lives. Be it the hope in the dawning of a new day, the closure needed in the ending of a relationship, the ‘I’ll start on Monday’ vibe at the beginning of a new week to make health-related changes; you probably use this cycle of ending and re-birth to your benefit without even realising.

This is especially evident in the first few weeks of the new year when we usually set ambitious goals for ourselves. Often spurred on by our hopes of ending whatever cycle we have been stuck in and starting again on the right track, we dream of creating a better path to ‘a new you’.

But how often have you set personal goals or resolutions in January, only to give up before February?

The reason your resolutions don’t last, is that they are often based on your head, not your heart. You think you should set this health, lifestyle or career goal, without stopping to work out if it’s the right goal for you.

For example, say you want to lose weight. What is the motivation behind this goal? Is it health-related because you value fitness? Would it allow you to live with more ease because you value independence? Or play with your children because you value your family time? Or is it because the ads you see on social media make you feel bad about yourself?

Bringing your heart into the goal setting process allows you to identify what is important to you (your values) which feeds into what it is that you really want to achieve in your life; your vision.

Your goals are like stepping stones to help you on your journey to achieve your vision, and to be successful it is essential that they align with your values and vision.

Your personal values are the strengths, characteristics and underlying principles of life that matter to you. They might be things like ‘freedom’, ‘family’, ‘fun’, ‘kindness’, ‘self-care’, ‘simplicity’, ‘focus’, anything that is important to you that you, well, value!

If you don’t know what your values are, click here to get my free guide to identifying them (includes a list of 240 values!).

To convince you to include this step in setting your resolutions, here are 5 reasons you should identify your personal values before setting goals:

1. Clear Life Vision & Goals

When you think about how you want to live your life, you are focusing on your values. Knowing them can help you get clarity about your vision; what you want your life to look like and how you want it to feel. When you know where you want to be, it is easier to select goals that help you get closer to this future life. Think of your values like a compass that keeps you heading in the right direction towards your larger life vision.

2. Easier Decision Making

When you know your vision and values it becomes much easier to make decisions.

Does this choice help me stay true to my values? Yes - go ahead; no - stop and think. It isn’t always possible to meet all of your values exactly, but making time to reflect on whether your choices are aligned may lead you to a better decision or a satisfactory compromise.

Say you want to change careers; focusing on your values of freedom, flexibility, creativity and fun can help you to narrow the field or even work out whether a job is right for y