Get Congruent

Are your goals in line with your values?

Do you ever set out to achieve something only to realise half-way through that it’s not bringing you what you thought it would? But you persevere anyway because it’s a goal you set and you want to see it through to completion? In a way you’re “too busy mopping the floor to turn off the faucet.” – Author Unknown.

All too often we embark on activities that we think will bring us happiness and success but we’ve neglected to take the time to figure out what happiness and success really mean to us.

It may be that what was important to you years ago is no longer relevant, or that you’ve been blindly basing your pursuit of goals on someone else’s definition of success – a parent, your boss, society in general.

So how do you resolve clashes between what you think you want (your goals) and what’s truly most important to you (your values)?

“Many persons have the wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” – Helen Keller


First you need to define your values. Values are the things that you get out of bed for; the things that motivate you. They are often somewhat abstract terms but that hold specific meaning for you. Typical values might be things like balance, creativity, belonging, power, recognition, honesty, etc.

Make a list of your top ten values. The things you must have in order to experience life satisfaction. Then put them in order of importance. This becomes your check-list upon which you can base future decisions. For example if ‘connection’ is important to you, you may decide to decline a job offer that involves a lot of solo work.


Goals help you channel your energy into action. By first understanding what your values are, you can direct your energy towards goals that help you get more of what’s important to you in life.

Clear, compelling goals that support and reflect your core values help you streamline your time and effort. I love this extract from Life’s Little Instruction Book, “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

When your goals are connected to your core values you’re also more likely to stick at them and so reach the happiness and success you’re aiming for. Motivation increases when you know why you’re following a certain path and when that ‘why’ is something that truly inspires and excites you.

For a handy approach to setting goals, check out my previous blog post on Use a Goal-setting Template. You’ll notice that number one in this list of steps is to align your goals with your values.

For more support identifying your core values and setting compelling goals, feel free to drop me a line to explore how coaching can help.

“Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.” – Les Brown

About the Author

Sarah founded Happiness Express Coaching in 2009. With over 3000 coaching hours and an ICF Master Certified Coach (MCC) credential, she specialises in personal branding, leadership, and wellbeing. Sarah also mentors coaches to achieve their ICF credentials.

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