Saturday, January 5, 2013

The One Question You Must Ask Before Setting Goals

English: Picture I made for my goals article
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In my last blog post, I wrote about how people often put the cart before the horse when it comes to setting goals.  There is one other thing that is important to do before you set a goal.  You need to ask yourself, "Why?"  Why do you want to achieve this particular goal?  What is the motivating factor?  Are you doing it for yourself or someone else?  Are you doing it to make money, develop a relationship or to look and feel better?  In other words just how strong and committed are you to accomplishing the goal?  Are you setting the goal because you feel you should or because you really want it?  How badly?  Maybe you want to ask, "Why do you need to know?"  Because your "why" will determine whether or not you accomplish the goal.  It is much more important than the how.

Once they've set a goal most people have some idea of how to accomplish it.  If they don't, they have an idea of how to find out.  You can find lots of books on how to eat a healthy diet or lose weight.  You can join an organization that will help you do it.  You can attend training seminars on how to be the top saleswoman in your company or how to teach children to read.  But if you don't really want to achieve it, if you don't have a strong enough "why", you'll give up when the going gets tough.  It's not willpower that you need, it's why power.

Here's an example;  Let's say I offered you twenty dollars to walk across a balance beam laying on the floor.  You'd probably give it a try.  It'd be an easy $20.  Now lets say I put the beam across two tall buildings to make a bridge.  Would you do it?  Too dangerous you say.  Probably not.  What if your child was in the opposite building which was on fire?  Would you walk across to save her?  Scary thought but I bet you'd say yes.  See what a difference the "why power" makes?

Now let's rethink those goals.  It's the power of why that is going to motivate you through the daily grind of accomplishing your goals.  Lets face it.  Whatever your goal is there are some aspects to it that are boring or difficult or intimidating.  But you can do it and you can persist if you keep your "why" out in the forefront.  This is why someone who wants to lose weight keeps a picture of a thin person on their refrigerator.  This is why someone who is getting out of debt keeps a list of their creditors on the wall and marks them off as they are paid off.  This is why someone who wants to run a marathon hangs out with other runners and develops a winning mentality.  Now that you've written down your goals, spend some time thinking about why you want to achieve them.  Develop a visual reminder to keep you focused.  This could be a quote on your screen saver, a picture on the refrigerator or a vision board on your wall.  Whatever it is, make sure you are clear on your "why power" and get ready for the journey ahead.

Have you established your goals for 2013?  Do you know your "why power"?  Do you have a way to keep this top of mind throughout your day?  I'd love to hear from you!

Want to discover how to set goals and follow your passion?  Join us for the Called Woman Conference on March 23rd!  Early bird registration is open.  Don't miss out!

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  1. Why power .... I like it! AT the last training I attended, they said to always ask Why and How .... and I've had a blog post about that cooking for awhile.

    I love stopping by and pondering your reflections .... and I can't believe you write TWO .... off to your Caring blog next.

    Happy new year, Lynne!

    The Corner On Character

  2. Why Power, not Will Power . . . Love this concept, Lynne! This post is a true motivator. Just loved it and will share to Facebook and Twitter.
    Love and blessings!

  3. I really want to remember this post, Lynne, because the "why" really is the true motivator and knowing why makes all the difference. It's a wonderful perspective to keep when deciding what to do first or even what to do. Great post.

  4. Awesome post! Thanks for the inspiration!!
    Vision Board