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How many times have you started out on Monday morning, setting your intentions on achieving a goal, only to end up a week later with that goal in the rearview mirror, unachieved -again? On Sunday evening you revisit your goal, in consideration of beginning the cycle again tomorrow morning. But why? The result is likely to be the same, right?

Goals and Values Connection

Whether in the professional or personal realm, goals that are in line with core values are intrinsically motivating. Sometimes core values are forgotten, or people are unaware of their own core value system. Improved self-awareness also will increase the possibility of setting and accomplishing goals, which in turn will improve your personal effectiveness.

Because many people are unaware of their own values, they also have difficulty defining appropriate goals and find themselves trying to impose motivation tricks and tools on themselves, essentially using will power to continue aspiring toward their chosen goal. Will power eventually gives out, opening up a cycle of goal setting, straining with will power to succeed, and then failing. Aligning goal setting with core values allows will power to take an ancillary role and do less heavy lifting in the process.

What Are Your Values?

What personal values are strongly connected to your goal? Concentrate on your values and connecting them to your goals. Think of all the ways your core values reinforce your goals, and likewise, your goals reinforce your core values -who you really are.

Ten Minutes of Will Power

After you clarify the strong connection between your values and goals, all you need is ten minutes of will power. Really, it’s true. The first ten minutes will get you started, then rely on your values to carry you through. You want to become more effective on the job, so instead of grabbing coffee each morning, you take the first ten minutes to revamp your schedule or get serious about prioritizing what needs to get done for the day. So far so good. However, by the time 10:30 hits, that preparation work you did at 8:30 may feel like it’s in the rearview mirror, and you are now frantically replying to emails, and your schedule has been derailed.

The Power of the Pause

Now is the time to pause. Stop everything and revisit your core values. They represent who you are. This means that your goals, tethered securely to your values are part and parcel to your personal identity. If you think of it that way, it’s much easier to tell others that you can’t stop by their desk to pick up something or meet them for an unscheduled planning session. Your core values drive your goals, every single day.

Enjoy Trying

In order to become good at something you need to practice, which essentially requires planned failure. It means that you are unlikely to hit the mark every time. So if you make it farther into your day today versus yesterday with your goals in check, practice feeling good about that, versus bad that you didn’t make it the entire day. Essentially, the more you feel good about trying, the more likely you are to achieve your goal.

The pioneering research of Dr. Edwin Locke, published in his article, Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives, concluded that working toward a goal provides a strong source of motivation to reaching the goal. It also improves future performance.

  • Clarify your core values.
  • Re-calibrate your goals in tandem with your values.
  • Give ten minutes of will power to get started.
  • Use the power of the pause to get back on track.
  • Enjoy trying.

Voila! The next time you look in the rearview mirror, it will be with pride, because you will have accomplished more than ever before. You will be on your way to improving your personal effectiveness and professional presence!

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