It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
We’re ramping up on holiday cheer, wrapping up a busy and über productive year and looking forward to the new year that awaits us.
As you wind down on the year, you may find yourself starting to think about everything you want to accomplish in the coming year. Perhaps it’s finishing up your degree. Losing that stubborn 10 pounds. Starting your online business. Volunteering regularly at the local food bank.
What I have found to be true is that many of us set goals based on the word “SHOULD.” I should lose 10 pounds. I should finish my degree. We look to our families, friends, colleagues, culture and the world around us to help us decide what it is that we should be accomplishing, having, being or doing.
This time around, I want to invite you to try a new approach:
- Set a timer for 10 minutes.
- On a sheet of paper, brain dump (in no particular order) all of the things that you would like to accomplish in the upcoming year. In all areas of your life. Everything is on the table. In other words, nothing is too big or too small.
- Once you’ve finished your 10 minute brain dump, look at all of the items that you’ve written down. Bucket them into categories such as Life Purpose, Health & Fitness, Finance, Career, Family, Friends, Community, Spirituality, Education, Home, etc.
This helps you get everything that’s circling around in your brain out on paper. Want to declutter the garage? Write that down. Want to organize the files on your computer. Write it down. Want to write a book? Write that down. The sky’s the proverbial limit with this exercise.
Now that you’ve gotten your list and you’ve organized it into sections, set your timer for 15 minutes. During these 15 minutes, I want you to review everything that you’ve written down. Read the goal out loud. Take a moment to really breathe it in.
Then you’re going to ask yourself the #1 question you need to be thinking about anytime you set a new goal:
WHY AM I DOING THIS?
You are welcome to work through this out loud or write down the answer. Once you’ve gotten your answer, once again ask yourself, “Why does this matter?” Answer the question. You’re literally going to ask WHY approximately 10 times. You want to get down to the most basic answer. Believe me, the results are illuminating.
Here’s why: if you’re doing something because someone told you to or because you think it’s what you should do, it’s going to become very apparent as you move through your 10 WHYs. If you’re setting a goal because you feel like it’s going to make you more money and making more money will make you happier, you then have a profound understanding of what’s driving you.
When you tap into the WHY behind your goal, you tap into your power. You see, working toward a goal or a dream is a journey filled with HIGHs and LOWs. There are going to be days where you knock it out of the park and there are going to be days where it feels like an act of Congress to step up to the plate.
When you know WHY you’re doing something, WHY it’s important, WHY you set out on this journey in the first place, you can remind yourself of WHY it matters in the moments where you feel like you’re failing or like it’s not working out. Let your WHY light a fire under you. Let it pick you up off the floor, dust you off, so that you can start all over again.
The New Year is an invitation to get really clear and intentional with your time and effort. I’ve always loved how Mary Oliver ends her poem, “The Summer Day.” She says, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” I’d love to ask you the same question.
When you think about the fact that only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions, it appears that a lot of people set out to do things that they feel they “should” be doing. Perhaps they aren’t tapped into the WHY of their goals and, on the hard days, it becomes easier to just give up.
But not you.
You’re going to take the time to sit down with your goals and uncover their driving force. You’re going to tap into this power on the days where you feel far away from your goals. You’re going to keep going because you’re here to contribute something big to this world in only the way that you can.
WANT MORE? On December 3, 2019, I’ll be hosting a Goal Setting Workshop at WacoWork. Email our WacoWork Community Director, Veronicka (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details.