Waking up and getting dressed can be strangely unnerving. In those rushed moments that make up your morning, when you’re agonising over what to wear for the day, it pays to ask a question. The question is WHY? Why am I getting up today, what is the purpose of my day?
If you’re getting up to go for a run then you’ll wear something different to what you would wear if you were going to an important meeting. The purpose of your day is different so the way you get dressed differs too. The goals we choose in life operate by much the same principle, the goals depend on the purpose so it pays to ask WHY?
Many of us start a year and set goals that look like the right ones. They feel good or they sound like the type of thing the experts in our life would approve of. The problem is that we usually fail dismally at achieving these goals. How many New Years resolutions have you left broken and tattered behind you by March?
Goal setting, while potentially valuable, can frequently be an exercise in self-sacrifice to the Gods of Society. Setting goals not aligned with your own personal values but those of Society, that blurred amorphous set of voices in our head that keep telling us what we should do, sets us up for disappointment. Either we don’t live up to Society’s standards by missing the goal or, even worse, we achieve the goal and don’t feel any sense of fulfilment – we feel just as empty as we did when we started.
Just like choosing our clothes, it helps to ask the question WHY when choosing our goals in life. Your WHY is your purpose in life, your driving ambition, your personal truth and your source of inspiration. We all have a set of things that light our fire, things that excites us and things that we are willing to work long and hard for. They may be your family, your profession, your service, your spirituality or many other things.
If you want to lose weight then get really clear on WHY weight loss is important to you. If you want to get fit then dig into WHY fitness is significant to you. If you’re looking to learn a new language in 2016 then it pays to be clear on WHY it matters.
Taking the time to align your yearly goals with your WHY can make the massive difference between having to downgrade your annual ambitions (again) because things aren’t going to plan and being able to upgrade them in June because we’re doing so well. Aligning this years objectives to your own personal set of values give you the edge. It puts you in the minority of people who live as producers and takes you out of the majority that exist as consumers.
With enough sheer will power and using enormous amounts of energy you have probably achieved an objective, whether it’s a sales target or a goal weight. Once you get there though, you might not feel any sense of lasting joy because now you have to do it all over again.
The clearer the link between your personal WHY and the goal or objective, the more likely you are to succeed and feel fulfilled once you’ve got there.