Select Page

I recently came across the idea of living a goals based life vs a value based life. This seems like it has the potential to be a gamechanger and so I wanted to elaborate and articulate my ideas further.

To summarise, a goals based life is one in which you strive towards certain measurable targets, often set with an intended time limit. Depending on your situation these could be:

I want to lose two stone by my best friends wedding next year.

I want to make my first million pounds by the time i’m 25.

I want to secure 10 new clients a month.

These are measurable and they have a deadline. Goals are useful because you have something to work towards. We all need them, it gives you direction, but is there a viable alternative?

A value based life is where you try and live in line with a set of values. You can use these values as a compass for life and they guide the decisions and reactions you make in life. Values could be:

I want to be kind to others.

I want to live a healthy life.

I want to work hard.

These are values you can use every single day and keep in the back of your mind in everything you do. 

So why does this matter? And why did this resonate with me so much? We all have many goals and things we want to achieve and we often base my whole life and concept of happiness around them.  But because you’re so focussed on hitting them you can become impatient and not see your progress. You base your life around them thinking “i’ll be happy when I lose those two stone, make that money, secure those clients” but you won’t be happier. Instead you’ll be looking to the next goal. With a value based life you see progress more easily as everyday you live in line with your values you get that hit of success and if you’re smart with choosing what your values are, they will get you closer to your goals.

For me let’s take the example of wanting to lose weight. For a long time now I have wanted to lose a stone or two and have tried the gym, i’ve tried diets, i’ve tried lots of different techniques but using value based methods I have become more motivated and genuinely believe I will make progress this time. When i’m hitting the gym and focussing solely on seeing numerical results on the scales, it takes an extraordinary amount of self discipline to keep it up when I could only be losing 1 or 2 pounds a week. Likewise keeping up a diet, making myself eat salads and ‘boring’ meals like chicken and veggies is just so unsustainable to me. After a while I slip up and end up polishing a tub of Ben and Jerry’s and eventually giving up entirely.

Switching this to being value based would switch the goal from losing two stone, to living a healthy life. This value can then dictate my decisions and help me make better choices. At that point choosing to have a balanced homemade meal is better than a McDonalds or junk food and it sits in line with my values and I would get the hit of success in making that positive choice. Over time living in line with those values would align with the original goal and I would lose the weight.  

So how is this actionable in daily life? For one, it takes a great deal of self awareness to realise what your values are. I sat down on a beach with a notebook and brainstormed to come up with a list. This time of year is the perfect time to do this as we usually set new years resolutions, but this year why don’t we set our values for the next year. 

I hope that makes some sense, if you’d like to discuss it further please don’t hesistate to send me an email or a dm on instagram.