What is it? What is the difference?  Goals are what you want to complete, achieve, have, or get in the future. Some examples include:

Goals vs Value Drive Life

What is it? What is the difference?

Goals are what you want to complete, achieve, have, or get in the future. Some examples include:

  • Obtaining an ideal job
  • Graduating high school or college
  • Getting married
  • Saving money
  • Purchasing a car
  • Being productive


Individuals who lead a goal-driven life are also very task driven.  They set a goal and usually attain them, then they create the next goal and then the next goal.


Values are qualities that guide behavior on an ongoing basis. Some examples of values include:

  • Being accepting of themselves or others
  • Being assertive and requesting what they want
  • Being committed despite problems or life difficulties
  • Living a rich and meaningful life
  • Being trusting

Individuals who lead a value-driven life are invested in the experience of their values and how they can live according to their values- no matter what day it is, or which issues arise.  


What is the challenge?

An individual who lives a goal-driven life is focused on the actions and steps that need to be completed in order to achieve their goals. This individual is task driven and obtains fulfillment from achieving goals.  Some individuals experience difficulties when they face a challenge that cannot be solved in a goal-directed manner. Others might struggle to achieve goals because they are having difficulty taking steps to achieve them. Some people may be burnt out from completing goal after goal after goal. Some might reach their top goal and then question if this is the life they really want to continue living. 

An individual who lives a value-driven life finds meaning and purpose from living according to their values. This individual obtains fulfillment from multiple different actions or activities in important areas of their life, as long as it is in line with a value. These individuals might have goals, but it’s the journey and experience along the way that is embraced. Some individuals experience difficulties when they realize that they are not fulfilled in a major area of their life. Others might notice the importance of fulfillment, but struggle identifying it and incorporating it into their life. 


How can therapy help?

Whether you need assistance with values, goals, or both, therapy can help because it’s customized for you. Therapy can help individuals who are experience challenges that prevent the achievement of goals.  Therapy can also help individuals who would like to get in touch, or reconnect, with their values.  


Don’t wait to get the help you need.  If you would like to take the next step towards finding a therapist, contact Ethera to get matched with a provider. 

About the Author:  Robyn Tamanaha is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, writer, and podcaster. She has a private practice in Orange County, CA and is the host of the podcast Books Between Sessions.