We’ve been talking a lot about our goals lately. Some of us have even written them down. If you are still in the process of setting goals for yourself (and writing them down) and even if you have some solid ones down on paper, take a moment to look at your “why.”
The “why” is where it’s at. The ‘why’ is what motivates us and propels us forward. It defines what is important to us. The ‘why’ is our reason behind our goals–it gives us purpose! The ‘why’ is our purpose!
The Japanese word for purpose is ikigai, or “that which I wake up for”. What matters to you? When your purpose is not clear, it is much easier to get distracted and side-tracked. Sure, we all get off track here and there, but without a solid “why”, you may find it more difficult to get back on track. Think about a goal that you set where you were easily distracted and side-tracked, perhaps one that you never achieved. Did you have a strong purpose behind your goal? Was your goal what got you up in the morning? Now think about one that you achieved. What was the difference?
Once you have determined your ‘why’, your goals will be aligned with what motivates you to achieve them. Having that alignment is critical to the the overall outcome of your goal.
For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds in order to fit into a pair of old jeans because life was better then and you lose your 10 pounds (and are rockin’ the old jeans) but your life has not improved, what does that mean? It means the ‘what’ (weight loss) and the ‘why’ (life will be better) were misaligned. When we think achieving our goals–whatever they may be– new job, new car, having children, losing weight–will magically make us happy, peaceful, etc., we need to dig deeper. What is it we really want?
So often I hear people comment about the Fit Mom classes– not only do the classes offer an excellent workout, but people feel strongly connected to this group of women. Is it connection you are after? Is it improved health? Maybe heart disease runs in your family and you are determined to prevent it? Maybe you want to be able to play with your children? Maybe you just want to be able to feel like carrying a laundry basket up the steps is not an Olympic event? Whatever it is, make sure your purpose is in alignment with your goal.
So, what fuels you? What are the reasons’ behind your goals? Here are some questions to keep in mind while you are creating goals for yourself and reflecting on your reasons behind creating them:
2. What does this mean to me? Why is it important to me that I achieve this?
3, How will this make me feel? – See more at: http://puttylike.com/a-writing-prompt-to-help-you-achieve-your-goals/#sthash.c5r48mnN.dpuf
Why do I want to accomplish this? Is it something I want or someone else wants? Am I being true to myself or is this what people expect of me? Is it really about fitting into the old jeans or more about feeling more confident and connected?
What does this mean to me? A longer life? Less pay but less stress? A healthier family?
Is this what I want or what I think I want? Not to go all Oprah on you, but sometimes what we think we want and what we really want or need are not the same things at all. For example, my goal to “post one article/week on my professional FB page” has several different implications. The recipes, links, and articles I post may be helpful to people. Helping people learn to help themselves is extremely rewarding to me. On the other hand, writing articles is also extremely time consuming. This could take valuable time away from my clients and family or it may cause me to stay up too late and compromise other goals I have (going to bed earlier, waking up early to work-out). Ultimately, I find it more rewarding to work with people than on my computer. Was my goal in alignment with my purpose? Personally, I would rather be out and about helping people. I know many people would rather reach people via social media. So, that is one goal I had to re-examine and reset.
Is my “why” keeping me accountable? Can you keep yourself on track with your goal by checking in with your ‘why’? If not, you may need to reevaluate.
Am I giving myself visual cues and reminders to help with my goal? Affirmations, a quote on your mirror, your daily mantra–these reminders bring your ‘why’ into the real world!
Can I break down my overall goal into smaller, achievable pieces? This will help keep you motivated and on the road to success.
We all have a time where we struggle with our goals. Having a solid ‘why’ behind your goals helps you continue to be motivated during these times of struggle. When you are confident in your purpose, you are more likely to achieve your goals!
What is your ikigai? We’d love to know so that we can support you along the way!