“Anything that changes your values changes your behavior.” – George Sheehan


Our theme this month at Smart Women’s Empowerment is all about GOALS, so I feel it is important to discuss the relationship between goals and values. While goals are simply WHAT you want, values are WHY they are important. Ho hum, you may say, but if your goals are not aligned with your values, you might as well throw them out the window. Let me explain why.

I strongly believe that our values are formed during our early childhood experiences. My father died when I was just six, and as a result, I moved around to lots of different schools. My mother married a monster, and I experienced nine years of pain. So, you can understand my aversion to pain and hurt.

Doing a values exercise helps you identify your core and supporting values. We feature this exercise in our free course, Unlock Your Financial Power. You can find it in in Key #1: The Dream.

When I first completed the values exercise, I was blown away because my core value has always been inner joy. Finding and living with joy and inner peace is what I strive for in life. My four supporting values are family, fun, wealth, and service or giving back. When I shared these values with my husband, he said, “Why isn’t health a supporting value?” I was shocked. He was right.

I thought about this and realized that when I think about exercise, I only relate it to pain. Even depriving myself of food by dieting seems painful. One of my supporting values is fun, and I did not relate dieting or exercise to fun … at all!

How was I going to make this change? It was simple. All I had to do was to find a way to incorporate healthy lifestyle into my existing values. I decided that if I could find ways to incorporate fun, family, and inner joy into exercise and diet, it would be a huge shift for me.

I am so thrilled to say that it’s working! I joined a really great health club with my husband where we spin together, and I take several yoga classes a week. I also bought a comfortable bike and began riding through the nature trails near my home.

We live on a lake and are surrounded by miles and miles of parks that are all connected. I simply took baby steps. And what I found was that it was fun, and best of all, it was something I could do it with my family. Plus it gave me that inner joy and peace that I was looking for.

My husband and I also began trying out a number of home food delivery services that include everything you need to create fabulous healthy meals. Our favorite is a vegan service called Purple Carrot. We are not vegan, but we are eating much more veggies which makes us feel great while doing something that is good for the planet.

Last month I shared that I was taking the LEAP and going on a two-month cross-country journey with my husband. I also talked about dealing with the fear of change. I am now in month two of our trek, and we have visited several of our stunning national parks including the Petrified Forest, the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, and as I write this, we are preparing to visit Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon. This has truly been a life-changing event. I’m so excited to be strong enough to bike along the California coast and to explore our national parks. I look forward to getting both of my knees replaced so that I can take my health to the next level in 2019. I have now changed my value of wealth to prosperity, because prosperity is so much more than money, it includes health, wealth, and happiness. We need all three to be prosperous.

This month, I invite you to explore your values. If your values are not aligned with your goals, you will continue to be frustrated. I encourage you to complete the values activity in our free course, Unlock Your Financial Power. You will find everything you need in Key #1 – The Dream. Just download the worksheets and listen to the audio as I guide you through the step-by-step process. I’d love to hear from you after you complete it. Email me at katana@katanaabbott.com

Katana Abbott, CFP®, is a Retirement Coach, founder of the Smart Women Companies, and the host Smart Women Talk Radio with over a million subscribers.  For over 30 years, Katana has shown women how to take charge of their life and finances and believes it’s never too early to plan for expected and unexpected events like retirement, encore careers, moving abroad, or preparing for long-term care.  She has written several books, created a financial literacy course, and is a popular speaker. Katana has been honored by NAWBO as one of Detroit’s Top 10 Business Women, receiving the Breakthrough Award. To download her new ebook, The Five Biggest Money Mistakes Women Make and How to Fix Them, visit www.katanaabbott.com