Let’s be honest. When something’s important, you create a path to make it happen. You’ve done it before, many times, throughout your life. You decide you want it, you find the time, dedicate the money, and put in the effort. It’s rarely easy, but obstacles are no match against your determination.
So why is it that, sometimes, you abandon your New Year’s resolutions by mid-January? Where’s the disconnect, the missing secret weapon between the goals you discard and the ones you achieve?
I’ll tell you, and then I’ll surround you with support because a different kind of year requires a different kind of strategy. We’re going to rethink goal setting and surge ahead, accelerated by a new source of ambition.
This week, I’ll disclose three common mistakes people make when it comes to their values and goals and what to do instead. Plus, I make good on my promise and announce something BIG — unlike anything else I’ve offered before — to make you unstoppable in 2021.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Connecting values and goals
- The distinction between having vs. living
- Dangers of posturing someone else’s values
- Growth, connection, and playfulness
- Values under the microscope
Listen to the Full Episode
Featured on the Show:
Can you feel the energy of hope? Don’t waste it. Take charge of 2021, and say YES to value alignment, accountability, community, and resilience. If you’re really committed to doing this year differently, then here’s your chance.
- Ignite your passion and be unstoppable in 2021 with Expats on Fire
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Sundae’s Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hello. It is 8:00 am in New York, 3:00 am in Johannesburg, and 8:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I am a solution-orientated coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations. I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
Hey. Guess what? We made it. It’s 2021.
And welcome to season 5 of Expat Happy Hour! We have so much to celebrate but I know we’re all stepping out cautiously into the new year. Kind of like how you feel when you come out of a mountain cabin and you know they were bears in the forest. So you want to go for a walk in the forest, but you’re kind of scared of getting attacked by a bear. Yeah, that’s how I’m sure most of you are starting the beginning of the year.
We want to look forward to it, right? But we know based on what we just experienced that, this year might be a little bit different. And if you’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour, at the end of season 4 you know that we need to be doing things differently. And at this time of year in January, everybody’s usually talking about goal-setting, right? But what has 2020 taught us? It’s that saying, “Man plans. God laughs,” right?
I know we feel a little bit burned from everything that happened in 2020 and you might feel like it’s futile to set goals when we’re still living with so much uncertainty. Can we travel? Can we not? What’s the economic impact going to be this year? Hey, where am I in the lineup for the vaccine schedule? Are there going to be new policies that are going to impact me? What about my job? Is there going to be another wave? How about my health? We’re surrounded with optimism but also uncertainty. And as I said in episode 206, it is time to do things differently and it starts with naming your values.
So if you haven’t done the work in episode 206 to discover your top three or five values, go back to the episode and do it because it’s going to really serve you in the coming year and we’re going to use some of that in this episode today. James W. Frick says, “Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.”
Right? Where we spend our time and our money does say a lot about our priorities, but sorry, Mr. Frick, we’re human and sometimes we don’t do what we really want to. Our actions don’t align with our ideal behaviors or we say we value something, but we really struggle to live it.
I know I’m not the only one, right? It seems obvious that values are important, but we don’t work with them. It’s like we have them but we don’t live them. It’s like saying I have a spouse instead of actually working on the relationship. And that is something that we need to change.
Especially this year because often you know, think about your goal achievement in normal years. When you didn’t have these unbelievable levels of uncertainty. This is a different year, so we need to operate from a different position. And like I said, I’m right alongside with you. There’s been so many times I’ve said, “I valued something” but when I really look back I wasn’t doing it. And my philosophy is I just get so sick of hearing myself talk about something and not doing it until I finally do it.
So, where are you at that point in your life? What are you just sick of talking about and saying you value but not putting, as we say in American English, “Your money where your mouth is?”
So this is why we’re going to put our values under a microscope so that we can actually see them. And then we can live on purpose. And then we can live without regret. Then we can live in alignment. And then we can live in our integrity. And we can be on fire about what is most important to us instead of just having those things be like an unlit kindle in the background of our lives, right?
So as I said, I’ve made these mistakes too. I know one of the things that I’ve shared with you in 2020 was that I often talked about having a social justice heart. So I value social justice, but I had to take a hard look and like, “What am I really doing about it?” Yes, a few things here, a few things there, but it wasn’t good enough for me. And I had to finally restructure how I was spending my time. And where was I spending my money so I could actually live more what I value. And a long journey. A lifelong journey, obviously, but at least I finally got sick of hearing myself talk and wanted to start walking the talk on that one.
So as I said, I’m not outside of these mistakes. We’ve all made them. I’m going to share with you three mistakes that I often see people make when it comes to values and goals and give you an alternative on what we can do instead.
And again, being human is hard.
And I have total respect for that and none of us are perfect. But we have to start somewhere. And this January energy of hope of what we can create is a great place to start.
So here are three mistakes that I see people make around their goals and values. And forgive me for stating the obvious, but I’m going to share them with you because you might see that in yourself.
So mistake number one is: You have goals but no values. And I’m not saying you don’t have values, I’m saying you’re not articulating your values. Of course you have values. Like Mr. Frick said, “Where you spend your time and your money shows what you value,” but you’re not living that consciously.
So how many of you have goals but couldn’t name exactly what value that is living? Right? So for example, I have people give goals like, you want to be patient with your kids. Or you want to make 80,000 in your business. Or you want to lose your COVID-19, right? They’re just goals but what values are behind them?
So if you have a list of goals, but you can’t automatically articulate what values they’re connected to, the problem is you might actually achieve those goals. But at the end of the year you are unsatisfied because, “Yeah, boom! Ticked off the goals,” but actually my core values were largely ignored. Like, maybe money isn’t even a big deal to you and maybe community service is a value. So you spent all year making this money but didn’t do anything for community service, right? So that is why that’s a mistake. Having goals is great. But not tied to values you might actually achieve the goals, but not be satisfied at the end of the year because it is not living in alignment with what is most important to you.
Mistake number two: You can’t name your values. And again in the podcast I mentioned before, I give you three strategies on how to come up with your values. If you cannot articulate your values right now, “One, two, three,” then you’ve got work to do because if you can’t name them, then how can you be sure that you’re living them. And values are kind of like, you might hear it in corporate speak and they’re like, “We’re doing a values exercise. We need to be value-driven,” and then a whole bunch of people come together in a meeting. They come up with these, you know, Post-it notes with values. They put them in at the meeting minutes and then nothing happens with them.
Values are nothing unless you actually live them. If you use them to make decisions and drive your priorities, right? So mistake number two, you can’t name your values, if that’s you go back to the episode I mentioned and get clear on your values.
Okay, mistake number three I see is: You can name your goals and you can name your values, but they’re not connected.
Right, so you might have a list of values and we’re going to use the same ones or the same goals as before, paying attention to your kids, you want to make 80K in your business, and you want to lose COVID-19, right? Those are goals. And then on another piece of paper you write down your values. And your values arem Community, Equity, Family, and Health, right? But if we put those two things side-by-side, what do we find out?
Being patient with your kids is alignment probably with family. Making 80k in your biz? I don’t see that in your values. Community, Equity, Family, Health. Okay. Where does that go with your values? Lose the COVID-19. Okay, that’s Health. Community and Equity has been completely ignored.
So we’re proud of ourselves because we can name our values and we’re proud of ourselves because we can name our goals, but they’re not connected. And what that means is we have a goal on our list that actually isn’t part of our core values, and then we have two values that are ignored, right?
So those are three mistakes I’ve made and my clients have made. And I’m working, over the last few years, I’m working much harder at creating that parallel of how actually you start with your values first. Not with your goals.
And then you derive your goals from your values.
And this is so easy to skip because if you are in that pressure of this, you know “set your goals for 2021” thing. Or you take on goals that everybody tells you you should want, right? Like one of my clients. She wanted to make six figures in her business and that was her goal. Then one day she was finally like, “Actually, I don’t even know why I said I wanted to make six figures. My values are my family, my health, and growth in my business.” But where did the six figures come from? She chopped her goal in half and it made better room for other goals that were in alignment with her values.
It’s like we just gobble up what other people say we should want or what other people say we should achieve. And then were actually living by their values, not ours.
So this year, especially this year, start with your values first, not your goals.
Because your values are this sort of magic formula to drive your decisions, your priorities, and how you do something without regrets. Right? I have shared this in other podcasts, when you’re in a crisis situation, you don’t think of strategy. You think of your values and then you find strategies that meet those values.
And what I’m proposing about starting with your values, not your goals this year, might be a different approach for some. It’s actually very much anti-hustle, anti-push, and anti-burnout.
It is pro-alignment, pro-purpose, pro-integrity, and pro-flexibility. And that is what I think we need in 2021. Enough hustle, enough push, enough burnout.
Let’s say “Yes” to purpose, to Integrity, to flexibility into our values. What we decide, how we want to live this year.
So this is something that I’ve been working on end of 2020. And now as a start of 2021, thanks to the work that I’ve done in my own process led by Trudi LeBron, I got clear on my three values. And my values are: Growth, Connection, and Playful. That when I’m faced with a decision, I want that decision to be embedded in growth, connection, and a spirit of playfulness.
And when I look at my priorities, I want my priorities to be around growth, and connection, and playful because that is what I know will help me flourish. That’s what I know will help others flourish and it’s in alignment with my values.
And Growth is at the center and that is the “what.” That’s what I want, Growth. And the “how” are the values of Connection. And Playful, how can I Grow through Connection and through this Playful spirit?
So that’s the work that I did. And I ended up looking at my values and getting clearer. And when I took out Growth, I broke it down into five different areas. And that was my growth as a coach, growth as an intercultural strategist, growth as a community builder, a business owner and as an individual. This is very different than I’ve done in the past, very different.
In the past, I focused on my business and revenue goals. Or community creation that I wanted. And for a few years, I kind of put my growth as a coach and intercultural strategist as a second rung. Because of course, I’m a trained coach, I’m a trained intercultural strategist, but actually that’s my art. I love that. And I’ve been prioritizing everyone else’s growth over mine. I’ve been prioritizing business growth over the sort of the science of the business, over the art of the business. And when I centered my values, these two areas emerged. So from those values, I created my goals.
So if I value growth as a coach, well, that means looking at the new regulations from the International Coaching Federation around team coaching. What are the ethics behind that? What are some of the practices?
If I center my growth as an intercultural strategist and I’m going to keep my commitment to developing know-how and tools around the intercultural pendulum that I co-developed with Dr. Kris Acheson in 2019. If I center growth as a community builder, I’m going to invest in my commitment to equity-centered coaching and community building, right? So how I do that, the goals are driven or derived from my values.
So this is exciting and I can’t tell you how different these goals feel. There’s a level of push and pressure that is gone. And I feel like purpose and passion is centered, right? So when I think about growth as a business owner, first is around equity-centered business, second as around systems, so that that business runs smoothly, and third is around revenue.
Okay. I am going into my eighth year of business, so I have systems to generate revenue that is less of an urgent priority than someone, say in their first or second year of business. But I center business ownership, my role as a business owner around my values of creating an equity-centered business. Around creating systems that are smooth. Why do I want smooth systems? So that my team isn’t exhausted, so that I’m not exhausted.
And that goes to my fifth growth place and that’s the individual, which is around my health. I want more down time, more space in my calendar and those systems will support that.
So I really invite you to try this for 2021. Write your values, look at what they are and then based on those values, you ask yourself, “What has to happen for me to live those values this year?”
And you can center on three or four core areas of your life. I focused on the value of growth and how I can grow in my various roles as an individual, and how I show up professionally. And then identified this spirit in which I’ll do that. And that completely transformed my strategic planning in 2021.
Centering purpose and passion. Values leading. Not arbitrary goals. Not something that other people push on you, right? And I’ve talked about this in other podcasts. We need to focus on not, “I want to walk 10,000 steps.” That is a sort of a finite way of looking at it. Instead we go from a growth mindset saying, “I am becoming the type of person who prioritizes her health,” right?
So we’ve already done some work on this around living out your values and going away from goals that are actually more oppressive and push. And going towards goals that are more liberating, and pulling you towards something that you’re working toward.
I can’t wait to get going in 2021! I am on fire and I want to support you in doing that too. I want to support you in living out this year with no regrets, more alignment, more purpose. I’m going to be really honest about what that takes. As I said, I’ve done the value work, I’ve taken those values and now I got strategic about it. If those are my values, how can I live those values this year? That’s where the goals came from, right? But I can’t stop there. I can’t just have on a piece of paper values and then goals.
You know that just having ideas on paper doesn’t mean you’re going to be living them or doing them, right? The next step, I think, comes in three parts.
The first part is: Accountability. This is where most people struggle and what we do know is that if you have an accountability partner, the likelihood of you achieving your goal goes up. I think it’s like 40 to 50%. If you have an accountability partner that you meet on a specific date and time, it skyrockets to I don’t know up into the 80s or 90s. It is incredible what accountability does for you when you put them coupled with your goals, right? I have accountability built into my year from you know, DEI experts, from business coaches, and mentorships along the way because I want to rope myself in to living my values, right? I don’t want a squiggle away from this. I’ve done that before I’m not going to do that. So I want to rope myself into being able to live my values and having people help me stay accountable.
The second part beyond accountability is: Community. It takes Community to be able to really live out your values because our community are the people that remind us who we are and who we are becoming. It’s another layer of accountability, but it’s also a layer of inspiration and support. And when we are in community, we show up better for ourselves and for others. So for myself in 2021, I’ve got very specific communities that I draw support from and give support to that have to do with my professional scope but also my personal crew.
So Accountability, Community and the third one is: Resilience for you to really live your values. Listen, that’s not always easy doing the right thing. Doing the thing that’s in line with your values, isn’t always the easy thing. Sometimes it’s hard because it is in conflict with other preferences of other people, right? And you have to make that tough call.
So the third aspect I think people forget is that resilience has to be centered. And for me resilience, I’m talking about your personal health and wellbeing so that you make yourself a priority. That you have the strength to stand by your values, make the tough calls and keep accountability. And resilience is not only a personal practice, it’s also built in community, which actually reinforces why you want to embed yourself in community when you’ve got goals that matter.
All right, so that’s what I’m doing in 2021 to work through and live more purpose and allow space for my passion. And to achieve my goals but goals that are in alignment with my core values.
And I can’t wait. I’m really excited and what that means is no matter what this year brings in light of all the uncertainty, I will make choices that are in a line with my values. And I will be able to flex and move as surprises come up because I know where my core anchors are, what my values are. And that will lead me to the right decisions. Keep me accountable to my top priorities and have the community there to support me when times get tough. And to cheer me on to celebrate when things are working.
And this is honestly something that gives me new hope for 2021. I know this is like a bulletproof plan, come hell or high water, excuse me. Whatever 2021 brings, this formula of value alignment, accountability, community, and resilience is the support to live a year where you have no regrets because you’re constantly going back to what matters most.
All right, so I promised you in the last episode that I would tell you the new thing that’s happening. Right? And this is my invitation to you to be part of a one-of-a-kind community, where we will help you do exactly what I just laid out here today. Get clear on your values, get clarity on what that means to live on purpose, identify what you can do to live with no regrets this year. Create goals that are tied to your values and then take consistent action. So you can get into the state of mind and physical practice. And be on fire this year to be unstoppable.
So this is my invitation to you to be one of the first to join this very special community. Check it out in the show notes. I would love to start 2021 with you right, so that you can end on fire.
You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Schneider-Bean. Thank you for listening.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Rumi, Persian poet, Islamic scholar, and Sufi Mystic: “Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”