Why the Why?
Hope everyone is having a great week! As I pedaled through my 61 mile bike ride yesterday to celebrate my 61st birthday (tomorrow), I had lots of time to think and ponder things, and as promised, I want to talk about the MOST IMPORTANT thing associated with any goal you might have; WHY! Why is the “why” the most important part of defining a successful goal? If you don’t have a valid and meaningful reason to pursue your goal, then what is it that will drive you along the way?
In a “SMART” goal, the “M” represents “measureable,” which further breaks down to “meaningful and motivating.” Now, in my book, the “M” should be on top, but then it wouldn’t be as fun; you would have a “MSART” goal instead of a “SMART” goal, and people would just get confused. “Meaningful and motivating” are the “why” of your goal!
Once you have determined the title of your goal (lose weight, get fit, go back to school, get a better job, etc), you now have to determine a “why!” Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to get fit? Why do you want to go back to school? Why do you want to get a better job? A poorly defined “why” is the reason most goals never really get off the ground. Let’s take New Year Resolutions. Each year, people make resolutions, and most of them are around fitness and weight loss. People go out and buy new equipment, get gym memberships, ask for new workout clothes for Christmas, etc. However, by the first week of February, 80% of these “resolutions or goals” have failed! The reason they failed is that there was no meaningful “why” associated with the goal. “I always make a resolution,” is not going to give you a better chance of success. However, if you clearly define your “why”, I do believe your odds of success go up dramatically! “I want to lose weight because I am borderline obese, and if I don’t do this, I may never see my grandkids grow up!;” “I want to get fit because I get winded just walking to the kitchen, and I want to be able to run around with my kids!:” “I want to go back to school so I can get a better job, and getting a better job will give me more money, and having more money will allow me to do more things with my family!” These are just some examples of what I consider meaningful “whys!” For me, I continue to ride my bike because it makes me feel good, and it contributes to me staying fit, which will hopefully allow me to be around to hold my great grand kids! This is my “why!” This “why” goes very deep for me, something that I look forward to, something that I am willing to make sacrifices for, and something that makes me happy on many levels!
Any goal you make, you have to be willing to make big changes and be willing to make sacrifices. Here is a challenge to all of you. First, I want you to select a realistic goal, something you have been wanting to do for some time. Last year, for me, it was ride my bicycle across country. Next, I want you to go into your bathroom and with lipstick, window markers, etc., I want you to write your goal at the top of the mirror. Now, I want you to think hard about your “why.” What is going to drive you to be one of the 20% who succeed? What is going to make you willing to change and sacrifice? For me, it is simple, I want to be around to see my family continue to grow! What will be your “why.” Take some time, really give it some thought. Now, once you have your “why,” go back into the bathroom and write your “why” under your goal. I am having you do this because we all look into the mirror at some point each and every day, and I want you to have this daily reminder of your goal, and your “why!” Maybe your “why” is like mine, so you can tape photos of your family around the outside of the mirror. Maybe your “why” is to take a trip somewhere; tape some photos of the location on your mirror. If you want to lose weight, maybe some photos of you when you were lighter or more fit can help motivate and get you to your “why!” Next, I want you to go on facebook, or some other social media platform, and “share” your intentions with all your friends. Let them know! What could be better than having a huge support network to check in on you and help keep you motivated?!
I hope you will consider this process with any big goals you have, or even smaller ones. As I said, your “why” is the most important part of having a successful goal, and if you truly want to have successful goals, you need to have a process that works, and a “why that will motivate you! Until next week, wishing everyone amazing results!