Barbara Whiddon is a personal trainer, yoga teacher, and life coach. In her article below, Barbara shares some ideas for setting meaningful training goals.

Aligning your training goals with your values can greatly improve your chances of success

We’ve all made goals. Some of which we’ve been able to achieve. Others we find too difficult or we just lose motivation. One way to improve our chances of success is to align our goals with our values. To do this, we first need to know what our values are. In other words, what do we value in life? Once we know what our values are we can use these to come up with goals that are meaningful to us. This will greatly improve our chances of success.

What are values?

Our core values are those things that are most important to us and which make us feel happy and content. If you’ve ever found yourself going through the motions but are left feeling dissatisfied, the chances are the goal you’ve chosen is not well aligned with your values, whether it’s fitness, career, leisure, or relationships. This may not always be the case but it’s something worth considering.

Evaluating your core values

Start by listing the ‘things’ that are important to you. These may include spending time with family, having lots of friends or social interactions, trust and honesty, a sense of community, social justice or an interest in global issues, career success, money, financial independence, luxury, comfort, immediate, natural, or built environment, lifestyle, recreation, health, fitness, looking good, education, learning new skills, a sense of spirituality, personal development, music, arts, creativity, humour, sporting success, recognition, time spent alone, leisure, relaxation. These are just examples so explore your own. You may have very different values to the ones listed here. Be specific. It’s important that the list is meaningful for you.

When you’ve decided on your list, arrange your values in order of priority. Pick your top ten. Don’t rush. Take as much time as you need. Now, can you narrow down the list even further? What are your top three or four values? Note which values you would compromise on and which ones you would find difficult to compromise on. These are your core values. Your core values should always be considered in any important goal making decisions.

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