It’s getting to be that time of year, where we reflect on our progress towards our past goals and often set additional goals. Sure, being strategic and specific about our goals is helpful. However, having a deeper meaning and emotion behind our goals is crucial if we’re in it for the long haul. That’s where our “why” comes into play.
According to Simon Sinek, the author of Start with Why, your “why” is the driving force behind what you do and how you do it. Nailing down your “why” takes time, reflection, and oftentimes perspective shifts. Read on for a few ways that can help you identify on a deeper level why you are setting and taking action towards your goals.
Identify your core values
It is important to have a goal that is aligned with who you are and your unique values. Core values are guiding principles that can prompt inspiration and action toward our goals. Connecting the dots between our goals and core values can provide clarity into why we actually set our goals in the first place. After all, growth towards any goal is usually not linear. This exercise can help us look at the bigger picture when we’re deep in the trenches. Examples of core values could be growth, abundance, wellness, or happiness.
Look to others for inspiration
Our network can provide invaluable inspiration by allowing us to think differently about our “why” and expand what we think is possible. Try having deeper conversations with your closest friends and family or meeting new people aligned with your goals. Have open conversations with others that might think differently, read memoirs, or listen to podcasts. These activities can provide us with inspiration and mindset shifts surrounding our goals. If you have big life goals, getting out there and connecting and learning from others is an important life habit. There is something that we can learn from everyone we meet.
Reflect on a regular basis
Your “why” may become stronger or shift while you are taking action towards your goals. Action creates clarity and provides deep realizations, so it is important to reflect during these “aha” moments. This could be consistent journaling or discussing your progress with a close friend, family member, or trusted practitioner or coach. Sometimes we get too caught up in the “doing” that we forget to take a step back and reflect.
Tying it all together
Your “why” might adjust or deepen over time, and that is expected and normal. Whether you have health, career or other goals, your reason for setting and accomplishing your goal is what is going to get you from point A to point B, especially when it’s not particularly easy. Staying firm and true to your values, seeking external help and inspiration, and reflecting regularly are crucial pieces of the puzzle for reaching and sustaining your goals.