Setting goals is a great way to provide focus, bolster self-esteem, and increase your commitment. When I teach clients how to set goals, I use the acronym S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Take losing weight – lots of people say their goal is to lose weight. It’s a goal, but it’s not a S.M.A.R.T. goal. It doesn’t say anything about
- How much?
Saying that you want to lose weight is too general.
Saying, “I want to lose 1 pound over the next week by exercising 30 minutes per day and replacing my late night ice cream habit with fruit on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday is a S.M.A.R.T. goal. It tells me how much weight: we can measure 1 pound. It tells me how: we specifically said by exercising 30 minutes per day and eating fruit instead of ice cream on certain days. And it tells me how long: over the next week. As long as cutting down on a couple of hundred calories per day and exercise 30 minutes per day is do-able, then this goal is realistic and attainable.
But, maybe that’s not enough?
Maybe setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal isn’t enough. What if setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal was the second step in sharpening your focus, bolstering your self-esteem, and increasing your commitment? What if you made discovering your “WHY” your first step?
Why do you want to lose weight?
Heck, why do you want to do anything?
It doesn’t have to be weight loss. It can be your why to quit smoking, drink less, get a better job, save money, earn “X” amount of dollars per year, exercise more, run a marathon, finish college – you get the point. With any goal, creating strategy by setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is great, but your “Why” is what’s going to motivate you. Your “Why” is going to get you to that smoking cessation class, buy more fruit and less ice cream, plan a budget, take a webinar or class to improve your work strategies, get you out of bed 30 minutes earlier each day so you can fit in your exercise, that webinar, or read the latest news in your industry. And if you think about it – your “Why” is also going to motivate you to get to bed 30 minutes sooner, so you’re not sleep deprived, maybe even get you eating dinner at 7PM, instead of 8PM or 9PM, so you don’t feel like you’re stuffed when you go to bed. In other words – your “Why” infiltrates every decision you make throughout the day.
Your “Why” is yours, and yours alone.
Want to look better? Feel better? Avoid illness? Do you want to feel successful? In control? More love-able? Do you want to prove to yourself, your partner, spouse, your children, your friends, neighbors, and/or co-workers that you can do it? Maybe you just want to shut up that small, irritating voice of self-doubt in your head once and for all!
Whatever your “Why”, it gives your goals credibility, meaning, and passion.
It’s what energizes and motivates you. It helps you focus on what’s really important to you. Your “Why” is the basis for all creativity and strategy in your life. It’s the basis for balance, peace, and happiness in your life.
You don’t think you have a “WHY”?
Everyone has a “Why”. It may not seem obvious, but everything you do, no matter how simple, has several reasons behind it. If your “Why” isn’t jumping out at you, take a few moments, sit quietly, and think. Start with a blank piece of paper; start with journaling – take just a few moments each day, with your morning coffee, tea, or water, before your partner, spouse, or kids get up, or before you go to bed – take some time and write down thoughts that come to mind about:
- What’s important to you?
- What makes you happy?
- What makes you feel love, not fear?
- What do you love to do?
- What gets you riled, excited, energized?
- What makes you feel great about yourself?
- What motivates, or inspires you?
- What do you connect to emotionally?
This is about what you feel. No one needs to see this, but you – so be honest with yourself. After you’ve compiled this list, take some time to look at it. Think about what sticks out. And ask yourself “Why”? Ask yourself why you answered these questions the way you did. Take some time to really think about why you answered these questions the way you did. Discovering your “Why” will empower you. It is your focus on what you want to see in your life. And if you can see it, you can believe it.
Your “Why” propels you forward.
It forces you to grow, to challenge your fears, to set new goals.
Your “Why” is the power you need to reach your S.M.A.R.T. goals.
You can achieve anything you want.
The power is in your “Why”.
Discover your “Why” today!
We can work together. Sign up for my weekly email for more tips. Need help focussing your “Why”? Want to discover the power you have from to reach your goals – call me today and we can to schedule your first free health history session!