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What is your why?

These three are often the WHY behind a lot of my goals.

Most of us set goals for ourselves; they can be fitness-related, career-related, travel-related, family-related, or something completely different. However, we can be guilty of setting goals that we don't achieve. I find there are a few reasons we don't achieve our goals:

  • This most straightforward reason is not writing them down and not documenting/tracking them.

  • Next, we can lack accountability and support in working towards them.

  • Lastly, and most importantly, we may not have the internal motivation and drive to accomplish them.

Sometimes, our goals can be based on what we think we should do or what we think we want to do. Other times our goals can be arbitrary and lack contextual meaning to what is important to us.

When goal-setting, it is essential to have meaning and purpose behind our goals; this will help us find value in the goal and the motivation to achieve the goal. When we have a powerful and significant WHY behind our goals, accomplishing the goal becomes more manageable. If we don't know why we set a goal, the plan to get there is often unclear. How do we discover the WHY behind our goals? We have to ask ourselves and get deep!

This exercise is called the WHY EXERCISE, and the objective is to find out a deep why, five layers deep, to uncover a meaningful reason for working toward a particular goal.

What is your why exercise:

  • Step #1: Identify your goal.

  • Next: Ask yourself: Why do I want to do this?

    • This can be a straightforward answer.

  • Then: Ask yourself again, Why do I want to do this? This time, it is based on the answer above.

    • We start to find meaning behind why we want to work towards the goal here.

  • Then: Ask yourself again, Why do I want to do this? Again, this time it is based on the answer above.

    • Here, you should notice some emotions and feelings behind why you want to work toward a particular goal.

  • Then: Ask yourself again, Why do I want to do this? Again, this time, it is based on the answer above.

    • Typically, here is where things start to get more profound and more personal and, in turn, more motivating.

  • Lastly: Ask yourself again, Why do I want to do this? For the last time, it is based on the answer above.

    • HERE is where the deepest why is uncovered; this answer should motivate and fire you to accomplish your goal.

Let's look at an example of what this looks like in practice. Here is a goal of mine from a few years ago: run a marathon. It is a lofty goal, nothing to laugh at or take lightly, but it certainly lacks deep why behind it.

  • Goal: I want to run a marathon.

  • Why do I want to do this?

    • I need to add more activity into my life; I want to follow a training plan consistently and work towards something.

  • Why do I want to do this?

    • I have never committed to running as a form of training, and I want to give it a shot.

  • Why do I want to do this?

    • I work with many runners; I want to be able to work with them from a place of experience and understanding.

  • Why do I want to do this?

    • I value my clients and their needs; I want to understand where they are coming from and what they experience as runners on their training journey.

  • Why do I want to do this?

    • To show up for people, I want to understand the process of what their journey looks like. I want to help my runners succeed in the best way they can by being the best provider I can be.

As you can see, the deep why becomes more of a mission statement than a lofty goal. The deep WHY should get you fired up and motivated to accomplish the goal. The deep why will keep you going. When motivation is low, when things get hard, and you don't feel like pushing forward anymore. Please take a moment to run your goal through the why exercise and see how it changes your perspective in working towards the goal itself.

What is your why? If you need help getting there, reach out!


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