You see this everywhere in goal setting advice – know the reason WHY a goal is important to you. Know the purpose, cause or belief that inspired you to set your goal.
In some ways I think this can be the hardest part of goal setting. Why? Because it’s personal. Your why has to be personal. But here’s an exciting piece of information – your why doesn’t need anyone else’s stamp of approval! I know. That can be new territory for you. For all of us.
I agree that knowing your why is an important step, and it’s one I talked about a few posts ago. I also think it’s elusive. It can stop us from moving forward and taking action. It can change (and that’s ok!). You might think you’re crystal clear on your why and be able to readily verbalize it. You can know it intellectually. You can be fired up. Ready to start! And then you do start. And then reality hits. The moment where you get a sense of how challenging your goal really is going to be to accomplish. Your intellectual “why” goes out the door and now we’re getting down to raw emotion. And guess what voice kicks in? Not the emotional connection to why. Nope. You get your own personal version of “I can’t do this because …”
We all know that “setting” goals is how we get from A to B. It’s the path that can take us from where we are to achieving the success we desire. Goal setting is a well-documented process, and although we can read about how we’re supposed to do it, many of us get so caught up in the “am I doing this the right way?”, that it becomes another way to procrastinate and keep us from just getting started. If you’re stuck on zeroing in on your why, don’t let it stop you from starting! The answer will come. It might help to think about your core values – what’s important to you in your life. Knowing what those are can be the difference between setting goals that resonate as opposed to frustrate.
Remember – we’re not talking about how you’re going to achieve this goal. We’re talking about why you’re going to achieve your goal. It’s an emotional connection and especially important if you’ve tried to achieve this goal before and fallen short. Ask yourself why this goal is important to you. Don’t overthink it! Write down your answer and keep it where you’ll see it every day as a reminder. Pay attention to the language you hear when you answer. If you’re hearing “I should do this” or “I ought to do this”, know that your answer might be enough to motivate you to start, but likely won’t keep you going. Your WHY has to give you a positive feeling in your gut. You have to know what accomplishing your goal is going to add to your life! THAT is what will keep you going!
It’s easy to come up with a goal. Maybe you want to lose 25 pounds. Why? Or you want to go to the gym 3 days a week for the next 6 months to be in better shape. Why? If the the next words out of your mouth are … “so my partner will be super proud of me”, I’m going to stop you. That’s doing it for somebody else. What about for you???
You guys – here’s the part of this post that is really important and my words of wisdom. Do it for YOU. In the end that’s the only reason that is going to stick. Because it matters to you – for whatever reason. That reason has to be personal, and although being accountable to someone else can be helpful with goals, it has to be your choice. You don’t have to announce it to the world. This is 100% about you.
Know your why. It’s where extraordinary achievement comes from. Your achievement. Now get out there and do it!!
Your biggest fan,
Image: Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan