Blog Article

Goal Achievement Theory: Do Your Goals Support Your Values?


Goal achievement theory teaches how to set goals and increase the likelihood we will achieve our goals too.

If you’re struggling to be as successful as you’d like to be, according to goal achievement theory, there’s a great chance that a discrepancy exists between your goals and your values.

If our goals are antithetical to our values, success is all but impossible. We don’t like to behave in ways that are counter to our values. If a mismatch exists, something has to give.

If you’re forever coming up short when it comes to achieving your dreams, your values might be at odds with your goals.

Use these techniques to set goals that support your values:

  1. List your current values. Have you ever taken the time to examine your values? A person’s values guide their thinking, decisions, and actions.
    • Take 30 minutes and list your values. Put them in order of their priority to you.
    • Ask yourself if your behavior or current goals are aligned with your values. If there’s a mismatch, what set of values would actually represent your behavior?
    • Most of us have an idealized impression of our intentions, values, and qualities.
  2. What are you trying to accomplish? What are your goals in life? What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to be wealthy? Write a screenplay? Save the whales? Build a real estate empire? The first step to any great success is to identify your objectives.
  3. How do your current values impact your goals? If your values and goals don’t match, the odds of success are dismal without something changing.
    • For example, if you believe negative things about wealthy people, you’ll never accumulate a significant amount of wealth.
    • Do you value having a lot of leisure time? A goal that requires a lot of work day and night may not happen.
    • Look at your goals and look at your values. Do your goals support those values? Do your values support your goals?
  4. What would be the perfect set of values to support your goals? Imagine you could build a person from scratch that would be perfect for accomplishing your goals. What values and qualities would they possess? How would you be different if you had these values?
    • Think about the people you know that have accomplished what you want to accomplish. How would you describe them?
  5. How close can you come to matching those values? How well can you rearrange your values to match that ideal set of values? The closer you’re able to come, the greater the odds of your success.
  6. Reinforce the values that matter. Imagine that your goal is to save $20,000 for a down payment on a home. Let’s suppose that you’ve determined that you need to be someone that values saving money over spending. How can you build this value in yourself and make it a part of you?
    • Prove to yourself that you’re that type of person: For example, pick up pennies you find on the ground and save them. Cut coupons. Find new ways of dealing with stress other than shopping. Save part of your income as soon as your paycheck hits your bank account.
    • When you keep proving to yourself over and over again that you possess a value, those actions will build and reinforce that value.

Are your goals and values a good match?

It’s important that they are. When a mismatch exists, it’s important to either alter your values or your goals. There’s only so much resistance a person can overcome. Success is much easier when your values and your intentions are highly compatible.

4WRD is a great place to make sure your values are reflected in your goals and vice versa.

In 4WRD, reflection is built into the goal-setting and goal-achieving process! Using 4WRD can help you align your goals and your values, and then achieve all of those goals!

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