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Step 1: Learn About It

Step 2: Put it into Practice

In order to set values-based goals, first you have to define your values. Your values determine what’s important and meaningful to you. One way to think about values is as an internal compass that guides your direction in life. Values are what motivate and fulfill you.
You can use an online tool such as the one at to help you clarify your values.
Or you can follow these steps: - Think about times when you felt really happy, proud, and fulfilled. What were you doing? - Think about your natural gifts and qualities. When do people turn to you for help? - Reflect on who your role models are. What qualities about these people do you admire? Do a search online for “list of values,” and then print out the list. Review the list of values and determine your top ten values based on your experiences of happiness, pride, and fulfillment and on your reflection about your role models.
Once you have your list of top values, ask yourself: - How do they make you feel? - Are they consistent with who you are?
Review this list periodically, since, as you move through life, your values may change. Depending on where you are in life, just starting a family or just starting a new career, your definition of success may change and so will your values. It’s important to keep in touch with your values throughout your life.
Setting values-based goals helps you find opportunities to live your values. Once you’ve defined your values, you can set goals, or a plan, to live those values. It’s helpful to think about goals as immediate, short-term, and long-term. Here are some questions to consider:
- What are your immediate goals? What will you do to live those values in the next 24 hours?
- What are your short-term goals? What will you do to live those values in the next 2 weeks?
- What are your long-term goals? What will you do to live those values in the next 3 months?
- What obstacles might interfere with your goals? What strategies will you use to overcome those obstacles?

Step 3: W(RAP) it up

W(RAP) It Up: Create a plan to move forward.

You’ve learned how to identify your values and develop goals based on those values, which is important for resilience. Use the space below for your RAP, and think about: what should you stop doing, continue doing, and start doing?  Click on the link below, print it out and think about: what should you stop doing, continue doing, and start doing?

Step 4: Explore Further

To learn more, explore our recommended resources.


  • Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change by Shawn Achor
  • Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life by Gretchen Rubin
  • Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals by Michael Hyatt