SMART Values

Your values are what is most important to you in life – personally and professionally. Values are what you calibrate towards and are the focal point in determining your priorities, goals, attitudes, and behavior. In other words, your values are a compass for your actions in life. It is important that what you do, matches the values that you set for yourself.

I go as far as to say that your values in many respects determines your identity. It answers the question who you are, which is why it is so important to define and clarify what they are. I have seen many people unhappy in life, and much of it comes from the “ideal” and the “real.” 

If your actions and behavior match your values, you are more content and fulfilled in life. Whenever they are not, either your values a wrong, your behavior wrong, which leads to being unfulfilled and unhappiness. This is why you should constant be making an effort to properly define and identify your values.

For example, I was helping a high-level executive who felt that he was in a hamster wheel, getting no where in life and unhappy with his progress. I had him go through an exercise of writing down his top values, the most important things in his life.

His first was spending time with family. I then asked him to map out his week by hour and assign what he did during those hours. He was working 60 hours a week, playing golf 3, playing poker with his friends another 3 hours, and spending less than 2 hours a week with his family. No wonder he was unhappy! His number one value was at the bottom of his behavior and actions!

Once realizing this he immediately cut back on his hours on work and play, and started to spend more time with his family. Instantly not only he, but his family was happier. When you understand your values, it can help you make tough decisions on how to live your life, and close the gap between the “ideal” and the “real”.

As you mature, become more experienced, and become more self-aware of yourself, these values may change. That is ok if for the right reasons. Here are some tips that can help you identify them. 

  • What are things that energize you and you are passionate about?
  • When are you the happiest?
  • When do you have pride in your actions?
  • What is your S.H.A.P.E.? How does it play a role in your life?
    • Spiritual Gifts
    • Heart
    • Abilities
    • Personality
    • Experience


Examples of Personal Values 

Being with People Being Married Having a Special Partner
Being Loved and Valued Having Close Friends and Companions Helping and Taking Care of Others
Loving People Having a Close Family Having Fun
Being Liked and Popular Getting Other’s Approval Being Appreciated and Acknowledged
Being Significant Being Treated Fairly and Justly Being Admired and Respected
Being Courageous Being Independent and Free Being in Control
Being Emotionally Stable Being Financially Independent Making a Difference in the World
Having Pride and Dignity Being Well-Organized Being SMART, Competent, and Wise
Learning and Knowing a lot Being a High Achiever Being Productive
Having Meaningful and Enjoyable Work Having an Important Position Making Money and High Income
Fighting Injustice Living Ethically Being a Good Parent (or Child)
Faith and Relationship with God Being a Spiritual Person Being Healthy and Fit
Having Peace and Quiet Making a Home Preserving Your Heritage
Being Financially Independent Appreciating What You Have Being Physically Safe
Not Getting Taken Advantage Of Making Things Easy and Simple Being Comfortable
Avoiding Boredom Avoiding Loneliness Looking Good
Having Prized Possessions Being Creative Being Deep
Growing as a Person Living a Full and Abundant Life Having a Purpose and Mission


Examples of Professional and Workplace Values

Making a Difference with your Job Being in a Job that you Love  Having a Good Boss
Being a Good Boss Being a Good Peer and Team Player Helping Others Succeed
Focusing on Details Delivering High Quality Being Reliable
Being Liked, Popular, and Respected Getting Other’s Approval Being Appreciated and Acknowledged
Having a High Position Meeting Deadlines Being Admired and Respected
Making Good Money Being Independent to Do What You Want  Being in Control
Building a Strong Brand Delivering Great Service Being Honest and Transparent
Showing Respect for Others Respecting Company Policies Generating Profit
Continually Growing Creating Value Beating the Competition