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Get More of the RIGHT Things Done!

Use Your Core Values as a Motivation to Succeed!


Most of us tend to drift from day to day, accomplishing what absolutely needs to be done to maintain our current level of existence. The bills get paid, the grocery shopping and laundry get done, the kids get to school on time-you get the idea.  But, how great would it be if instead of merely drifting through our days, we kicked it up a notch and became pro-active in really LIVING life.  Think about how exciting and energizing it would be to wake up each day with a greater purpose-knowing that you were consciously going to take charge of your actions throughout the day.  What a difference that would make!


Although a true desire for change is indeed the first step, more than a wish for something different is required.  What is needed is a well thought out plan of action.  But how does one go about determining the best possible plan?  The first step is to define one’s own Core Values. A Core Value is a key area of focus.  You can create a Core Value for any area of your life where you would like to make progress.  Our Core Values are unique to us; we all value and appreciate different things.


The first step in determining your own Core Values is to examine what is important to you. A good place to begin is with an appraisal of how you would like to allocate your time and energy.  We each have the same amount of hours to draw upon per day. Our energy levels are a bit more fluid, and will fluctuate depending upon the state of our health and other individual circumstances.  Taking these factors into consideration, the required action is to make sure that you are using your personal resources-your time and energy- to their greatest advantage; that you are getting more of the RIGHT things done.


How do you determine your own specific Core Values?  One way to do this is to examine your life from the perspective of a Core Values Wheel. For example, your wheel may include Family, Health, Career, Education, Social Connections, Leisure, Finances, Personal Responsibilities, Personal Development, Spiritual Development and/or Charitable Outreach.  While your personal wheel may not include quite as many values, I am guessing that it does include enough components to make you feel as though your time and energy are stretched very thin.


The next step is prioritization. Once you have determined your personal Core Values, you can rank them according to level of importance. Upon completion of this process you will achieve greater clarity about how to best divide your resources-your time and energy-in order to accomplish what you deem most critical.


Let’s consider the following example:


Joe is a husband, father, son, homeowner, accountant, youth soccer coach, and active church member.  Given the roles that Joe fulfills in his life, we will draw the conclusion that his Core Values are: Social Connections, Personal Responsibilities, Career, Leisure, Health, Spiritual Development, and Charitable Outreach.


Most of us would agree that each of these areas is worthwhile and significant. However, Joe understands that with a finite amount of resources he must weigh and rank each Core Value in order to determine where his time and energy are best spent.


Upon reflection, Joe ranks his Core Values in the following order-from most to least important.


1)     Social Connections-Joe values his familial relationships above all else

2)     Career-Joe understands the importance being dedicated to his career

3)     Health-Joe knows that he must maintain optimal physical/emotional/mental health to thrive as a human being

4)     Spiritual Development-Joe feels that it is crucial to maintain an active standing in his church.

5)     Personal Responsibilities-Joe knows that he must spend time on the upkeep of his house, as well make time for necessary errands.

6)     Charitable Outreach-Joe wants to continue giving back to the community.

7)     Leisure-Joe understands the importance of building time for fun and relaxation into his routine.


We can see that although each of these areas holds great importance for Joe, he was able to systematically rank them from most critical to least critical. Based upon this carefully gathered data, Joe now has the information that he requires to develop a customized plan of action. He will be able to ensure that each of his Core Values is attended to, and he will be able to allocate his time and energy according to his priorities.


Identifying Core Values is the first crucial step in the goal setting process. Without meaningful reasons for desiring particular accomplishments, motivation is compromised. Without motivation, success is likely to be out of reach. It is well worth the time required to define and prioritize your own Core Values as the initial step of the goal setting process.