I’m sure you, like me, are bombarded with emails, conversations and thoughts about goal setting, particularly each new year. If I had a nickel for each email I’ve received since Jan 1st that talked about goal setting, I’d be a rich man! Yet, have I set my goals down on paper yet? No, I haven’t. Until this week, I have been diligently trying to avoid the whole topic, no doubt because I have had limited success with achieving any goals I’d actually written down in years past.
Then recently, some information came my way that just made so much sense. It’s not new information, that’s for sure, but I guess my mind was just finally open to it and it sunk in. I FINALLY understand why having a “why” visibly attached to your goals is so important. And even more importantly, why your “why” must be in front of you at all times.
Here’s what I learned: the reason so many people fail to achieve the goals they set for themselves is they focus too much on the process of achieving those goals, rather than their “why” for the goal itself.
For example, the #1 goal set each Jan. 1st is to lose weight. So many people seriously set this as a goal for themselves as each new year begins, yet so many never realize their goal. Why? Because they focus on the process of achieving that goal, rather than why they have the goal in the first place.
The process of losing weight is not all that glamorous, to be sure. You have to change your routines, get moving, be consistent, and be patient as you work through the process. If you decide you are going to walk briskly for 30 minutes each weekday, what happens the first day it rains?
If you are focusing on the process, your thoughts will likely sound something like, “No, I’d really rather not get soaking wet today, thank you very much.”
But if you are focused on your goal of having more energy and being able to keep up with your kids or grandkids, then you’ll likely be thinking, “Ok, where can I take my walk that I won’t risk pneumonia in the process?”
I have resolved to only write down goals for which I have a strong “why”. I encourage you to do the same. Forget what everyone else’s goals are. Forget what everyone else says you should be able to accomplish. What do YOU want to accomplish, and why?
When you figure that out, then make life easier on yourself and keep those “whys” in clear view. Focus on how you’ll feel when you achieve the goal – live it NOW.
Monitor how you talk about the goal.
Concentrate on the positives of your “why”, not the negatives of the process.
Tell someone else about your goal, so you have someone to go to later and say, “Please…remind me why I’m doing this again?” It can make all the difference in the world…in your world.
Let me know how the goal setting works for you in a comment! thanks