Challenge

Day 17: Core Values (30 Day Financial Wellness Challenge)

Your core values help set goals that align best with what matters to you.

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Day 17: Core Values (30 Day Financial Wellness Challenge)Welcome to Day 17 of the 30-Day Financial Wellness Challenge.

Each day will comprise of financial exercises, some short and others a bit longer, to help you become financially fit. The goal is to tackle different aspects of personal finances one day at a time.

After the 30 days, you’ll have a stronger understanding of your financial health and an action plan to improve your financial wellbeing. Review Day 16: Your Vision Statement

In Phase 3, we focus the challenge inward asking you to create a vision statement, clarify your values, choose a mission, and set goals that align with your motivations.

Wellness PlanningDefineAnswers
VisionSets your direction.What is your future life like?
ValuesCategorizes what’s important.What are your priorities?
MissionPlans to achieve your vision.What are your life goals?
GoalsGoals supporting your missionWhat are your financial goals?

On Day 17, you’ll learn how to identify and gain clarity of your core values.

What are core values?

Core values are your fundamental beliefs that act like principles that guide your behavior. They can come from childhood experiences, cultural and societal norms, and values passed on by parents. Core values can also come from sources like advertising, social media, friends, and life experiences.

Values are unique to a person. Value can be personal qualities, relationships, and material things that are very important to you. Typically, what you spend your time and money on is an indication of your values.

For example, a core value may be security. To feel secure, you choose to save into an emergency fund and contribute to your retirement. Doing so meets a core value, therefore, a much easier behavior to follow.

And if your core value was relationships, then you might find it easier to spend your paycheck hanging with friends compared to saving money into an emergency fund. Being aware of your values can help you connect what’s important to you with the right financial goals. In the case of relationships, having an emergency fund can mean the ability to remain connected with friends during periods of unemployment.

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to values. The key is knowing which values you operate from and using that awareness to achieve your life and financial goals.

How do core values influence financial goals?

In general, people don’t waste personal resources on things they perceive to have little to no value. What you value can easily be described by what you spend your time and money on. Your financial goals are an extension of the things you value. And even though you may not be aware of your core values, they inform your financial priorities and behaviors.

When you’re aware of your core values, you can set goals that align best with what matters to you and create a plan to achieve it. Being aware of your core values helps you determine if you’re goals are fulfilling your needs. They help set and prioritize financial goals so you can address the most important in your life first.

For example. you’re more committed to saving money for the future if your savings goal is aligned to what’s important to you.

Core Values

To help you understand core values, let me share a few core values. However, I don’t want to sway you into thinking one core value is better than the other. Again, it’s personal.

Give yourself time and reflect on what each value means to you. Don’t limit yourself to these values. Come up with better terms to reflect what’s important to you. Keep in mind values can also be grouped together. For example, I value travel, community relationships, and conversations. This can be grouped under Connection or Experience.

Take a look at the core values I’ve listed. What thoughts come to mind when thinking about those words?

Core ValuesThoughtsCore ValuesThoughts
ACHIEVEMENTINDEPENDENCE
BALANCEMOTIVATION
CONNECTIONPEACE
CONSENSUSPOWER
CREATIVITYSERVICE
EXCELLENCESPIRITUALITY
EXPERIENCESTABILITY
FAMILYTRADITION
GROWTHTRAVEL
HEALTHWEALTH

The importance of this exercise is to highlight words that can help you visualize and capture your beliefs. After identifying your values, you can easily create goals that align with what matters most to you and may find it easier to achieve. That’s because your goals will have a deeper connection to your vision of life.

Why are identifying core values important?

Values help set and prioritize financial missions so that you can address the most important goals first. When you understand your core values, you can then set goals that have a far bigger impact on your wellbeing.

Let’s start today’s assignment.

Day 17 Assignment

To get an idea of what your core values are, ask yourself what activities bring you the most joy, or what you couldn’t live without. Contemplate questions like what gives your life meaning or what do you want to achieve? If you can articulate those answers, you’ll likely see a pattern that you can boil down into a single word.

Step 1

In today’s challenge, you will identify your core values and gain clarity of how they inform your behaviors.

  1. List 10 core values that resonate with you. Refer to the list or create your own.
  2. Clarify the values with details.
  3. Write why it matters and what it gives to your life.
Your Core ValuesClarifying DetailsWhy it matters?
Ex: Experiencetravel, conversations, eating new food. trying new things, classes I feel alive through experiences.

Step 2

Let’s go a step further in the assignment. Having too many values can be challenging and not as useful as focusing your mind to a few.

Review your Core Values lists and eliminate 5 of the least important. Use the following questions to help you:

  • What values are essential to your life?
  • What values represent your primary way of being?
  • And what values resonate with how you want to live?

With the remaining 5 core values, prioritize from 1-5 (from most important) from Step 1.

Step 3

  1. Circle the 3 core values on that prioritized list. This is an important step because how we rank priorities may not be what we actually feel compelled by. It has to do with societal conditioning on what values are more important than another.
  2. Add any thoughts.
Your Core ValuesThoughts
1.
2.
3.

Identifying Core Values Tip

There is no right or wrong core value. In fact, you’ll discover you have many values that may seem at odds with one another. But when you look at bigger picture you can see their connections.

Understand your core values can change over time through experiences and other influences. For example, you find yourself no longer prioritizing career goals. Your core value of career may be eclipsed by your value of family. This can be seen with less emphasis on achieving promotions and more goals around family time.

Next Daily Challenge: Day 18: Mission and Strategies: How to focus your efforts

Jason Vitug

Jason is the founder of phroogal, creator of the award winning project Road to Financial Wellness, and author of the bestseller and New York Times reviewed book, You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life.

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