Value Goals

Before I get into today’s blog I want to address Troy’s comments from last Thursday’s post on priorities. I apologize that the list was hard to read. I set it up as a table, but Blogger coding argued with me and it won. More importantly, service to others is a high priority to Troy (me too!) and service wasn’t even on the list. The list wasn’t my creation; however, I do believe that service easily fits into the category of family or relationships. Helping others is all about people, and that’s what relationships are—people. So let’s put service under relationships. I hope this will help others who might be struggling with defining their priorities.

That said, let’s move on to ranking your priorities and then talk a bit about goals. Ranking these priorities helps you further determine what value is most important and may help to guide you in making a decision should you face a circumstance that puts your values in conflict. If you were facing a situation that required you to give up one of your values, what value would you give up first? Which value would you give up next? And so on down the line.

When I did this exercise some six years ago, I ranked values as “family, spiritual, relationships, freedom, wisdom.” At the time, discontent nagged me daily. Discovering these values helped me reevaluate my life and the things that demanded my time. If God and family and others really were most important, why was I allowing tasks to steal my time with God, family and others? The activity forced me to take a deep look at my life and how I was spending my time.

I’ve set many goals through the years and have failed miserably at most of them—mostly because I all I did was tell myself I’m going to do such and such. I didn’t write my goals down, and I didn’t create a map to achieve them. I often tried to reach for too much too quickly and like a forest in a whirlwind all my goals toppled over. Not only that, but because I had not defined the values in my life, I was unknowingly setting goals that were in direct conflict with my values.

As you set goals for your life make sure they support your values. Establish your goals according to S.M.A.R.T. guidelines (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based), review them regularly and adjust them when needed. For more information on S.M.A.R.T. visit

Certainly doing these types of activities takes time. Isn’t living a life filled with purpose and meaning worth the time it takes to make it happen?

Debra L. Butterfield © 2010


  1. Hi, I posted about priorities on my blog a week or so ago, at


  2. You are a fine writer. Life will deal you trials, tribulation, and you will falter, but please, never stop writing.

  3. Dear Anonymous,
    Thank you for your kind words. I hope my writing is able to encourage you in your struggles and assure you that you can be victorious.