Most people fail to keep their New Year's Resolutions by the 2nd week of January. Instead of setting random goals, discover your Core Values and align your New Years Resolutions with what matters most to you!

The Greatest New Year’s Resolutions Hack of All Time | Find Your Core Vales

I think you’ll agree with me when I say that New Year’s Resolutions are really hard to stick to.

Or are they?

Well, it turns out, that you can drastically change your life for the better by adding one simple goal setting technique to your resolutions.

What is that technique?

Aligning your New Year’s Resolutions with your Personal Core Values.

It’s simple to do, and it creates ownership and motivation to achieve your goals.

The reason is this:

You’re setting a goal that you CARE about.

It’s a goal that you don’t HAVE to stick to.
It’s a goal that you WANT to stick to.

But how do you know what your Personal Core Values are?

I’ve got you covered! I have a free PDF to support you in finding your Personal Core Values.

Get our Core Values Discovery Worksheet here

It took me years of failing to stick to ambitious New Year’s Resolutions before I figured  that out…

I need to make resolutions that I can stick to.

In today’s post I’m going to show you exactly how to define your Personal Core Values, and then how to use them to set goals that you will be inspired to stick to.

What’s at the Heart of all of us? Personal Core Values.


Core Values are beliefs that, without them, life isn’t worth living.

They are deeply imbedded into our personality and very important to everything we do.

Here are some Examples of Core Values:
Work Ethic

The Secret to Discovering Your Personal Core Values

There is three ways:

  1. Tell a story that made a huge impact on your life
  2. Answer the questions, “What makes you proud?”
  3. Work on your autobiography

Now let’s look at each more in depth…

1. Tell a story that made a huge impact on your life.

Often these are the stories where you remember a crazy amount of details even though the event took place when you were a child. You may remember what shirt you had on, or the message on a marquee in the distance.

The story will have a conflict of some kind, a resolution that was achieved, and some sort of consequence or result of the actions taken.

Then finally there is a moral to the story. Something that you learned or realized about life and as a result you instilled a Core Value into yourself for life.

Here’s an example of one of my Personal Core Value Stories:

One of my Personal Core Values is something that I call “Grinder”. It’s a term used to describe someone that hustles, or is willing to do what it takes to win. To grind.

Where did this Core Value come from?

I can tell you this, I did’t have all my life!

I was driving Northbound on I-15 in Sandy, UT and I was on the phone with my dad. It was fall 2004. I told him that I was going to take a semester off from the University of Utah. I had gotten a promotion at work, and wanted to put my effort there, and not be distracted by school. He was not thrilled, but he supported me. Then he said to me,

“I’ll only pay for your school if you go back within one year. After that, you have to pay yourself.” It was eye opening. Life just got real.

Now I was left with two paths:

  1. Go back to school within a year
  2. Make this shoe salesman gig work

So, I became “A Grinder”. I worked six days a week, every week, from age 19 to 27. My personal record is 56 days in a row. At peak times of Christmas I’d put in over 80 hours in one week.

I am a work-aholic. But doing anything less than 50+ hour work weeks is unacceptable. Can’t even imagine it! Because of this work ethic, I was extremely successful. I was promoted to be a District Manager of 22 stores across 3 states at age 25.

Being a Grinder is something that I can’t live without. It’s caused so much good in my life I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

2. Answer the question; “What makes you proud?”

After you answer the question, you then drill down on how you got to that point, and how you achieved the status or thing that makes you proud.

Using my example above:

What makes me proud? Career success…or…District Manager at age 25.

How did I get to that point?

I out worked EVERYONE. I did what needed to be done to be successful, putting in as many hours as it took to win.

What’s the Core Value?

Work Ethic – Which I then gave a fancy name to – Grinder.

3. Work on Your Autobiography

Ok wait, what?

Think like you’re going to write an autobiography.


Think as if someone else is going to right a biography on you.

What events and stories are going to go into this book? What event conjures up intense feelings even when you think about them now?

It’s going to be one of the stories where you’ll remember all the details….like what was written on the board behind your teacher as you have a defining moment in 5th grade. Or what your mom said to you about honesty when you got caught stealing a candy bar.

Now, as you start to think about these stories, and those feelings that you had in the moment begin to return, GRAB A PEN.

Write the story down. Pen and paper only (yes, pencil is acceptable).

No electronics allowed. 

Writing down your memories is a powerful exercise, but typing them into your iPhone just isn’t the same.

As you examine the details and tell the story, more feelings come back. The pen and paper are like a memory serum.

If you keep going, writing down stories that are connected, you will begin to piece together the events in your life and start to see exactly why you are WHERE you are, and get a grip on why you are WHO you are.

After you finish writing down one story, examine it for the parts that caused intense feelings.

Answer these questions:

-What made the situation so satisfying, or unsatisfying?
-What themes showed up multiple times?
-What themes are linked to the strongest feelings?
-Standing there, what was the decision that you made that shaped your life going forward?
-What realization did you make about “how the world is” and what you need to do to either cope with it, or win at it?

Now You Have a List; Broad Values

Now you have a list of things from your story, and those are your Broad Values.

What’s that?

These are all things that are important to you, but they aren’t the CORE Values.

Remember, a Core Value is something that, without, life isn’t worth living.

For most of your Broad Values, life can be lived without them. Not a great life, or not living a life that you love, but you can make do.

Now you take your Broad Values list, and connect the dots. See what themes are represented across multiple Broad Values. What feelings are linked to multiple Broad Values?

We’re getting to the core.

How to Alter the Direction of your Life; Personal Core Values

Time for the truly powerful part:

Defining your Personal Core Values gives meaning for all the things you do, and all the things you care about. Let’s go!

Take the linked Broad Values, and group them.

What theme links them?

What is the driving force in the groupings?

Repeat the process with other events in your life, or with other areas that make you proud.

Now Distill the list down to 3 to 5 Core Values….

Now, you have you Core Personal Values!

Time for Some Personal Flare: Mantras

Now for me, I have a love for branding!

I name everything from my theories on hiring (personal fav is my “Pocket Square Theory”) to my take on parking spots at Wal-mart vs Target (my Shopping Cart Integrity Theory). As a child, my sister and I had names for every blanket in the house!

So instead of “Work Ethic”, I rebranded my Core Value to “Grinder”.

This is both something that has always been a part of my life, and something that helps my connection to the Values that I have.

The most powerful part of naming you Core Values something unique is that you can easily turn it into a Mantra.

When I’m tired, been trudging long hours, and have more to go, I have a Grinder Mantra that I repeat in my head that keeps me going at 100% even as exhaustion sets in. At times of true peril, I’ll start to say it out loud to myself. It’s a reminder to me that “We don’t Quit”.

The Ultimate New Year’s Resolutions Hack

Now for the reason that you came here.

New Year’s Resolutions that you can stick to.

Goals that you WANT to accomplish.

If you skipped to the end, don’t worry, I got you!
Click this link to get our Core Values Discovery Worksheet and we’ll get you all caught up!

Take the Resolutions that you were going to make, and examine how they fit in with your Personal Core Values.


Where they are out of alignment, go back to the drawing board.

Bottom line:

You are not going to stick to working on a goal that you don’t care about AT YOUR CORE.

If “fitness” or “health” is not something that you have as a Personal Core Value, then a New Year’s resolution of “losing 20 pounds” is a wish, not a goal.

Give yourself three New Year’s Resolutions that line up with your Personal Core Values, and be intentional about it!

Your 3 New Year’s Resolutions should follow this template:

  1. Easy to accomplish – No expired food in the house (borrowed that one from my dad)
  2. Moderate to accomplish – No sugar except on Sunday’s
  3. Challenging to accomplish – Workout 6 days per week, ALWAYS on Sunday.

With this plan, you set yourself up for small success to reinforce some BIG changes.

PS: New Personal Core Values?

Now, if “fitness” or “health” is something that you are starting to really care about, and think it may work it’s way into your Core Values, then what?

You can accomplish it because you’re also tapping into inspiration, being as it’s new to you.

…and you probably just bought new running shoes, new workout clothes, and an apple watch to track your soon-to-be progress 😉

There’s one more hack to add to the mix for adding a new Core Value.

It’s one that ain’t pretty or glamorous…

Here’s the deal:

You HAVE to have discipline. Period.

Skip a day, and you’ll fall off the path. It’s not a Core Value YET.

Stay on the path, and you’ll add it to your Core Values List soon.

We’d love to hear some of your New Years Resolutions and how they align with your core values!

Also, any coaching that you feel you need, don’t hesitate to get a hold of us!

Thanks as always for reading,


The One Part of New Year’s Resolutions that You’re Missing

The ONE thing that your missing when setting New Year's Resolutions and a free download to support you in finding your Personal Core Values so you can set Resolutions and Goals that align with your Core ValuesIt’s not going to come as news to you when I say that most New Year’s Resolutions are made with the best intentions to improve life, but rarely followed through on.

In fact, a study done by Scranton University found that, just 8% of people successfully achieve their New Year’s Resolutions.

So what’s the reason for so much failure with these goals of personal improvement? Simple, the resolution is made using feelings and actions.
You FEEL like you want to change, so you attempt to alter your ACTIONS.

It took me year,s to figure out how to set real behavior change goals that stick. I read books, watched videos, and attended classes and speeches about personal development. Each had a small impact, but once I discovered the reason that most change efforts fail, including nearly all of mine, and where to refocus these efforts so they actually have a lasting impact, things started to fall into place, and I began to reach my goals.

This tactic had a huge impact on my life as I started taking action on moving towards my goals, and I turned New Year’s Resolutions into habits that I follow through on daily.

I’m going to teach you how to use this one simple goal setting technique so you too can craft your life the way you want it go!

First though, let’s get something straight….

New Years Resolutions Goal Setting Core Values

New Year’s is Not Real

There is no such thing as New Year’s Day. We (human beings) made it up. Just like there is no such thing as Monday, or no such thing as January. It’s all made up. All these concepts only exist as concepts because of the words. Language creates our world, and a very long time ago human beings used language to pick a day to start counting. From that point they did math on the length of time that it takes the Earth to travel around the Sun, and divided it up into 12 parts, and called it a calendar. It was decided that December 31st would be the end of this year, and January 1st would be the beginning of the next year. There you have it, language creating something from nothing!

Just because it’s made up doesn’t mean it’s not EXPLOITABLE

So New Year’s is made up. So what. It feels VERY real to just about every person on Earth. That feeling of being able to “start fresh” comes with the calendar turning to 1-1. I get it too. Our brains are tricked into thinking that something new is upon us, and we can’t help but feel a certain amount of motivation to improve. Here’s the truth – Motivation ain’t cheap! When you encounter some, exploit it to help you out!

Whether you are an individual that sets ambitions New Year’s Resolutions yearly, or if you’re a person that refuses to set them because they don’t work anyways, this next part is worth reading!

Here’s Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Fail

Here is why our New Year’s Resolutions fail, or more accurately, how we fail to properly set New Year’s Resolutions.
If you make a pyramid, divide it into two parts, and label the bottom layer “Actions”, and the top layer “Results”, you’d be looking at a diagram for how we treat our goals. Or to use different words that are more scientific, you’d label the the two parts, “cause” and “effect”


Now when you go to set New Year’s Resolutions, we are setting them in the section of “actions” . We think, change the behavior, and you’re going to change the results right? I mean it’s simple cause and effect.
Stop eating bad, be healthy.
Start working out, be thinner.
Start read more, get wiser.
This list could be endless. And all these resolutions are going to fail. Here’s why…

There’s one more piece of the pyramid that’s missing. And it’s the most important part. It’s the base!


Core Values are the Base, Actions align with them, and cause new Results.

Core Values form the base of the Pyramid because, if it’s not important to us, then it will never get into our habits, and that certainly applies to New Year’s Resolutions! We can’t change something with lasting effect, it that thing isn’t aligned in our values.

Here’s a perfect analogy of Core Values stopping a behavior change before it even starts.

The other day, A store manager that I was working with was going outside to smoke a cigarette. A Co-Worker started nagging them that they should quit. The smoker shrugged and said “Yeah, I know…”. Before the non-smoker could respond, I interrupted and asked the smoker a simple question; “Do you want to quit smoking?” Her answer was perfect. She said, “No, I love smoking.” So I turned to the co-worker and said, “Save your time, you’re not going anywhere with this conversation if she doesn’t WANT to quit. When she does, then she will.”

If HEALTH isn’t in your personal values, then you can’t change any behavior that aligns with heath. Smoking, eating a clean diet, exercising regularly, all those things will be failed attempts as goals or New Year’s Resolutions since you don’t have values that align with the changed behavior.

The One Place to Start for Behavior Change

So when you make your New Year’s Resolutions, start here; with your Core Values!
This is one of my favorite exercises, and one that you can do in 10-15 minutes.

Here’s our FREE Core Values Discovery Download.

This exercise is to explore your Core Values. The ones that exist, not what you think you can make them, and not what they will be with your resolutions. What are they NOW?
You can’t say “health” if you eat fast food and soda for two meals a day
You can’t say “fitness” if you workout for one week a year; Jan 2nd to Jan 8th
You can’t say “personal growth” if the last book you read was in high school english class

What’s actually in there? What do you care about so deeply in life that the thought of living without them is unthinkable?
Integrity? Family? Competitive Nature? Creativity? Self Discipline? Fun? Travel?

Click here to see what the Origin Leadership Group Core Values are.

Be S.M.A.R.T.

Now that you have a grasp on what your personal Core Values are, you can begin to align your goals and aspirations to them. Set some meaningful New Year’s resolutions now! When you set the goals, set them as SMART goals.

Specific – Be exact about what you want to achieve
Measurable – A system to track progress
Attainable – Don’t shoot for the stars if you aren’t an astronaut
Relevant – Has to align with your Core Values
Time Bound – “I don’t need more time, I just need a deadline”

I’m Just not a Meathead

Here’s a funny personal example of how setting goals that are out of alignment with Core Values are just going to lead to failure.
I’m a small dude. 5’9.5″ (and I WANT my half inch!) at 145 pounds. I workout 6-7 days a week, lifting weights for three of those days, but I’m never going to get big muscles. It’s just not something that I value. If I could get big muscles doing what I’m doing now, I’d take them, GLADLY. But to work harder and longer in the home gym moving iron to develop them? To change the way I eat and take different supplements to get big? Nah, I’m good like this!
Obviously Fitness is one of my Personal Core Values though. To eat as clean as I do, and workout every day takes little effort. The thought of not doing those things just makes life less enjoyable.

So what are your Personal Core Values?
More importantly, what are your New Year’s Resolutions?
Let us know in the comments!!