Ditch the SMART Goals & Use Values-Based Goals for Greater Success

by | Feb 17, 2024 | Feminine Leadership, Women's Health and Fitness

Have you ever heard of SMART goals or Value-based goals? If you are a goal setter, you are going to want to stick around.

Many of us struggle with making and sticking to our goals. In fact, researchers suggest that only 9% of Americans who make new years resolutions complete them. It’s my belief that this is because many of us are not emotionally connected and have an adequate plan to achieve our desires.

We’ve all heard about SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Ahievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound), but you can’t just throw a well-intentioned goal into this equation and expect it to stick. 

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret that only my clients know: you will not be successful in achieving your goals if they aren’t connected to a strong “why”, or “motivation”.

One of the first things I do with clients in a coaching container with me is ask about their goals. Many start telling me that they want to get promoted, or lose weight, or find love, etc. The first thing I ask them is “why is that important to you?” Some people are a bit shocked by that question because the answer seems obviously, right? After all, we all grew up learning that reaching the top of the corporate ladder, making good money, being thin and having a loving relationship is what it’s all about, right? Sure – but according to who?

These preconceived ideas of common “important” goals come from societal structure. It doesn’t mean you can’t want those things, but if you aren’t connected to knowing WHY you want those things then even the most thought-out SMART goals aren’t going to stick – and they definitely aren’t going to feel fulfilling. 

Therefore, welcome to the conversation around “Values”. 


What are Values?


Whenever I start working with a client, I ask them if they have ever done any values-based exercises before. Some have, a lot haven’t, and most haven’t done it how I teach it.

You can think of values as your inner compass. They are connected to your morals, ethics, and inner desires steering you in the directions of your life. Certain values can be lifelong while others can be seasonal. Just because something was important to you 10 years ago doesn’t mean it has to hold the same weight today.

Creating goals based on your values allows each goal to be unique to you and connected to a deeply emotional part of your being. This is important, because as humans we base every single decision off emotions. Therefore, having our goals deeply connected to our emotional body creates an increased opportunity for success.


Discovering Your Values, Step 1: Creating Buckets

When you start to uncover your values, a common first response is “family”, “health”, “career”, etc. And while this is an excellent place to start, these are what I call “Buckets”, not values. They are areas of your life that are important to you, but the values you want to identify go IN them.

For example: family is an important area to you. To uncover your values around family you might simply ask “why is family important to me?”, “what does it mean to me to have family around often?”, “how does family make me feel”. And the most important one: “How do I want to show up in my family?”

One of your buckets should be “Core Values”. These values are likely not to change (but can) and are linked more to the wholeness of your being. These may be harder to identify, but if you are finding that one value keeps popping up in almost ever bucket, it is likely a core value.


Discovering Your Values, Step 2: Establishing Values Within Each Bucket

While exploring what’s important to you in each bucket, you may find yourself stating phrases as values such as, “I want to help out”, “I want to feel loved” – again, a great place to start, but I find it easier to focus on single words that convey the root of the desire. For example, some of my values in family are: nurture, quality time, playful, connection, vulnerability, and intimacy.

It can sometimes be helpful to look at a list of different possible values to help you brainstorm and connect to what may be most meaningful for you in each of your buckets. Click here for the list I give my clients.


Creating Values-Based Goals

Embodying Your Values

Embodying your values is how we start the idea of goal setting in a values-based way. The definition of embodiment is, “someone or something that represents a quality or idea exactly; a tangible or visible form of an idea, quality or feeling”. So in essence, to embody your value means to live it out in a tangible way. Let’s use “connection” as an example.

In order to embody this value, we need to understand what connection looks and feels like to you in order to know how to make it tangible. Is it spending time with family and friends? Is it sharing your thoughts, or feeling seen and heard? Does it incorporate physical touch in any way, like hugs. Or maybe affirmations or compliments – giving and receiving? Think of how you might identify the value if you were observing it in other people. What would you see for you to name “that person is really connecting to others well”?

Once you have identified what the value actually looks and feels like, now you get to establish some action steps in order for you to start practicing putting this value into reality (aka, embodiment; tangibility). An example might be: calling up a friend to meet for lunch, tell my husband I missed him at work that day, or physically touching my own body.

Connecting Your Goals to Your Values

Some of your values may already be well-embodied. In fact, this is what we want to understand when connected your goals to your already well-established values. 

For example, let’s say you come to coaching and “weight loss” is your goal. After asking a few questions regarding “why is this important to you” we settle on the fact that when you are at this weight you feel disconnected from your body. THIS is a values-based goal. It is connected to your value of connection and one of the ways connection is embodied for you is through feeling connected to your body. When you understand and feel a deep resonance with this reason for weight loss, you will approach it much differently and likely be much more successful and strategic with your approach and results. 


One More Thing…

Values-based goals can be done in the opposite way as well, similar to how I described embodying your values in the paragraph above. To do this you might start with one of your buckets: “I want my family life to improve”. Great, let’s understand why that is important to you and what exactly you want to improve. You then might say, “I want to feel more connected to my kids and my spouse on a regular basis – I feel distant from them”. Amazing! We’ve identified a value with your desired outcome (connection)! Next, we can think of tangible action steps that you can take to create more connection in all of your relationships at home. This is where you can break down the goal into SMART steps for a clear strategy. 


In Conclusion



1. Values are deeply connected to your emotions, your soul, and your inner world/desires. When taking action and making decisions we use our emotions which is why connecting your goals to your values will 10x your success in achieving them.

2. When identifying your values start with “buckets”: areas of your life that hold importance. From here, understanding what is important to you in each bucket and how you want to show up will point you towards important values.

3. Embodying your values is about having them resonate in your body and then living them out in your life. Embodiment is our ultimate goal. When you embody what you believe, your goals will naturally fall into place.

4. In order to connect your goals to a value you must ask yourself why the goal you’ve originally identified is important to you at all. What would achieving this goal bring you on an emotional level? Again – connecting your goal to your deep emotions will offer a new, profound approach.

5. SMART goals have a place because we need clarity and structure for what we are going after. However, this structure shows up after making that emotional connection. If you don’t have a strong “why”, your SMART goals mean shit.


Need More?

If you are looking for additional help with this, Discovery Sessions with me are completely FREE. It’s a 15-30 minute deep dive into an issue for you, or an opportunity to ask questions abut coaching and whether or not it might work for you. 

If you know you want some more in-depth one-on-one coaching around establishing a well thought out values-based goal system, my Mini-Coaching program is perfect for you. $333.00 investment for 2, 60-minute coaching calls and one month of unlimited texting for coaching on-the-go when not in session (learn more about coaching with me here).

Additionally you can check out my Resources page to see if anything there can support you and your goals going forward. 


I’m Ally

Welcome to my blog! A place where I share intimate, behind the scenes details of my life, my own feminine leadership & mental health journey, as well as helpful tips and resources to educate you along your own.

Download This Blog!

Keep these tips close so you can work through them at your own pace and see immediate change in the balance of your home life, work, and health.

More On The Blog:


Free and Low Cost Guides and Tools

Your Guide To Making Better Decisions Based On Your Human Design

Learn about your energetic blueprint and how you were uniquely designed to connect to your intuition for optimal decision-making

CBT Model Workbook

Use this workbook to expand your self-awareness by observing your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that occur when you are dealing with stressful situations  

My Top 10 Self-Care Tips for Working Moms

Struggling to balance all the things and take care of yourself as a working Mom? Apply my top 10 self-care tips for working Moms & see immediate change in the balance of your work, home life, and health

Want More?

Go to the Resources page to view a collection of freebies, podcasts, blogs, book recommendations, and more

“Having Ally as my coach feels like an honor. The amount of growth I have felt interpersonally in just 6 weeks is more than I have in years of therapy!”

Ready To Live Your Best Life?


Heal your mind through healing your body

Step into the feminine leader within

Work with your unique Human Design

Stay Connected

Read My Blog

Personal stories, educational information and professional advice can all be found here!


Dive deeper into my personal & professional style and learn about other practitioners I follow and recommend


See my life in real time by following my stories and experience the opportunity for free readings when I’m feeling the pull