Every 365 days, as we transition to a new year, many individuals ask me the same question. So, what is that question? It’s “How do I improve my productivity?” As we reflect on our past performance, we know that we need to improve our performance to move to the next level.

Leaders especially want to know what goals they should set to increase their productivity and improve performance. They ask me about the latest program advertised, article, or research they’ve read on the topic.

Please understand me; I love helping individuals increase their productivity and improve their performance. But as a coach, my role is to help individuals unlock their potential to achieve their goals.

So, before discussing productivity and performance, I constantly challenge individuals to step back and reflect on their purpose and values. Why? Because if our values are aligned with our purpose, we can sustain the effort required to improve our performance.

The bottom line is there is no quick way to improve your productivity and performance! It takes work and time. But the good news is when you have clarity around your purpose and values when things get challenging, and you are ready to quit, you won’t.

I love this quote from Adam Fridman, who said, “Purpose Inspires. Values Guide. Habits Define.”

So, if purpose inspires us, values guide us, and habits define us, I often ask, “What inspires you?”

Do you know your purpose? This is one of my favorite questions to ask clients. Why? Because understanding our purpose is the foundation of everything we do!

Recently, my husband, I took a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was simply breathtaking to stand on the mountains and look at the valleys below. As I observed the mountains touching the clouds, I was inspired to reflect on my purpose.

As a woman of faith, my purpose is to reflect Christ in everything I do. How? As a:

  • Wife, by modeling biblical behaviors.
  • Mother, by teaching our children biblical principles.
  • Leader by adding value to others and equipping them to achieve their goals.

Once you understand your purpose, the next step is to align your values to your purpose. If our purpose and values are not aligned, our actions will not reflect our purpose. We build trust when we live our values, and our decisions reflect our purpose.

So, what are values?

Carley Sime said, “Simply put, values are our puppet masters. They are core beliefs that underpin and guide our decision-making and behaviors.”

Therefore, knowing our values will serve as an internal guidepost for our actions. When we make decisions that are not aligned with our values, we feel discomfort.

“Effectiveness without values is a tool without a purpose.”

-Edward de Bono

So, before you spend hours writing out goals, or buying the latest productivity tool, spend time defining your purpose and aligning your values to your purpose.

Once you have clarity on your purpose and values, you are ready to improve your performance.

Are your values and purpose aligned?


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About the author

Hi, I'm Kim, Your Leadership Guide. I equip aspiring leaders to lead with confidence, emerging leaders to expand their influence, and accomplished leaders to achieve significance!