Align your goals with your values


“The only natural law I’ve witnessed in three decades of observing successful people’s efforts to become more successful is this: People will do something – including changing their behavior – only if it can be demonstrated that doing so is in their own best interests as defined by their own values.”
Marshall Goldsmith: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

The reason people so often get on the health improvement roller coaster – lose the weight then gain it back, quit smoking then start again, go to the gym then let your membership lapse – is because they’re doing it for superficial reasons: to impress other people, to get a nagging spouse off their back, to get the employee health insurance discount, etc. But as Marshall Goldsmith points out, people will only sustain these behavior changes if they are in line with their personal values.

Health Solutions is a company based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that provides health coaching for employees of corporate clients. Because they understand the“natural laws” described by Goldsmith, they are working with Values Coach to incorporate key elements of our course on The Twelve Core Action Values into their coaching programs. Core Action Value #1 in the course is Authenticity. If you were to ask overweight smokers if smoking and being obese reflected their authentic best selves, the answer will almost always be a resounding NO. As they strive to become more authentic, quitting smoking and losing weight will happen almost spontaneously, as a by-product of living their core values.

The very best time to think about and commit to your core values is when your world has turned upside down; it is in those desperate times that you are most likely to make the behavioral changes that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Go to any fitness center during normal working hours and many if not most of the people you see there will be those who are out of work, working off their frustrations. Some of them will maintain the fitness habits they create long after they have found another job.