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Tie your goals to your values

At this point, you have three to five well-thought-out values defined. Now it’s time to find out how those mesh with your goals. 

When you think about your values, what goals align with these values? Make sure your goals are SMART.

Definition: the SMART framework is a great tool to help set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound goals. “Get better at SEO” is a vague goal. “Take an SEO course and rank a low-competition keyword for my blog by the end of this year” is a SMART goal. 

Write down both your values and SMART Goals in the table provided.

Here’s what mine looks like:



Flexibility of time

Work 30-35 hours a week.

Work that's creatively engaging

Projects that are fun and engage the creative part of my brain, so I finish the task feeling energized and not depleted.

Diversity of work and non-work time

Make time for travel, ideally 8 weeks off per year.

Once you’ve got those, add your values and goals into your business plan document:

Example: To achieve flexibility of work, I’m plan to cap my hours at 30-35 and I won’t work after 3pm.

How to figure out your goals

Let’s talk through the process of figuring out these goals.

Say you picked “leadership” as one of your values. What sort of measurable outcomes are typically attached to examples of leadership?

  • Manage a person or a team.

  • Hire a contractor and successfully guide them to completing a project. 

  • Mentor a peer. 

It can also be helpful to define goals by looking at the negative space. What would you have to turn down to prioritize that goal? What are you currently doing that stops you from prioritizing leadership? 

  • Taking junior roles, so you can’t lead.

  • Not having enough free time/financial stability, so you can’t mentor.

  • Feeling too insecure to hand over a project to a contractor or freelancer.

With this information, you might decide to pursue your value of leadership. So you want to set a goal to hire a junior freelancer who you can mentor and hand over projects to.

In short, your priorities and the type of work drive your goals. This ensures alignment between what you are doing and your why.

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