The Surprising Reason You Will Never Achieve Your Goals
We have all heard this question before: “What gets you out of bed in the morning?”
Managers interviewing new candidates might ask this to understand what motivates someone. Maybe your coach has pushed you to answer this.
Most Americans probably get up not because they want to but because they know they “have” to.
They have to go to work, they have to pay their bills, they have to survive. I hope that you are reading this because you want something different in your life than you have right now. And that you want to live a greater life with the time you have left.
If you are attempting to make a life change of any kind but are having trouble getting away from what you have always done, you need to go through the following progression:
1) Identify your BIG WHY
2) Understand WHY that is important to you
3) Determine how to use that in your daily decision-making
Here is an example of what I mean. You decide to lose some weight to be a little healthier than you are now. You commit to not eating sweets anymore and cut out all sugar from your diet. A few weeks go by and maybe you’re not seeing results, or maybe you are tired or stressed one day, so you fall off the wagon and end up eating a pint of ice cream (don’t judge; we have all been there!). If your goal is just to get a “little healthier,” you probably won’t persevere when things get tough.
Now imagine that you decide you want to lose weight because in a few months you’re going to be part of your best friend’s wedding and want to look good in your dress/tux. This will create a much bigger “why” than just losing a few pounds because you “should.” This WHY will help you push past your momentary thoughts of eating ice cream by remembering the bigger purpose you are trying to accomplish. It will help you get out of your warm, cozy bed in the morning to go to the gym or go for a walk after a long day at work. No matter what!
And the ‘pro’ level of goal accomplishment comes from having an even bigger reason. Because what happens to a lot of people after that high school reunion or vacation is over? The healthy lifestyle no longer has a purpose. There is no more reason to ‘suffer’ at the gym or at meal time. If you want changes to be lifelong, you have to have a big reason for your healthy focus, or the blog you want to create, or the book you want to write.
Without a BIG WHY, any goal you set will go unfulfilled.
People think that if you write your goals down every day, or get a coach (yes, saying this as a coach), or get a cute journal of freedom to keep track of your daily plans — that you will make your dreams come true.
And people are always surprised to find out that none of that matters.
Unless you have a BIG WHY!
Yes, this point sounds harsh, but it is true. It’s why New Year’s Resolutions don’t succeed for the majority of people. They set them because they know they “should” lose weight or they “should” save money for the kid’s college fund or they “should” spend more time with their family. But “should” comes from feelings of guilt.
We want our actions to be driven by something much deeper and longer lasting.
To achieve greatness, you must have a BIG WHY, and it must be your own personal WHY and not for someone else. At some point, things will get tough, and you will want to revert back to your comfort zone, but the only way to push through barriers and get past the point where you feel like stopping is to be motivated at the deepest level.
Fundamentally, your WHY has to be bigger than your road blocks (real or made up). The bigger your WHY, the more likely you are to achieve your goal.
Do you know your WHY?
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If you do know your purpose/WHY — leave a comment, would love to find out what people are driven by!