Do you have trouble sticking to a goal? Or are you someone, like me, who sets a goal and then wakes up everyday and just hopes it all goes as planned? This month we are discussing all things goal setting! In this first of three installments we will focus on knowing our why and starting with the end in mind.
Knowing our why before we set a goal helps us get clarity on what we are about to embark upon. Also, starting with why builds motivation and puts in place the boundaries that are necessary to accomplish the goals we set. In the book Start With Why, Simon Sinek writes, “It all starts with clarity. To inspire starts with why.”
Because, believe me, if your goal is worth working towards, (and it is because you are worth it) you will get tired on your journey. You will get frustrated. At times you will feel lost. There will be donuts in the breakroom when you are cutting back on sweets. There will be people who do not care that you are on day 12 of the Whole30. You will, at times, be unmotivated. But if your WHY is strong and clear then your why becomes a touchstone to your weary, frustrated and donut craving self. If you take a wrong turn, knowing your why will hopefully inspire you to get back on course.
The Where and How
Once we are clear on why we are starting this journey of setting a goal we can move on to the WHERE and HOW portion of goal setting. Remember, starting is the easy part, with or without a why we can all start something. And although I can be motivated to start by sayings like, “Just start where you are”, the crucial question of “where am I going?”, can not be overlooked.
Last year my husband and I celebrated our thirtieth wedding anniversary. A moment of silence, please… We took two weeks to travel and see parts of the United States we had never seen before. If we would have simply gotten in the car and started driving we would have only gotten so far before it would be time to turn around and come home. So we got out a map and began asking questions, “where do we do want to end up? We knew our why, we wanted to celebrate thirty years of marriage by traveling as much of the Pacific Coast Highway as possible. Our where, was finishing our trip on an island in northern Washington state.
Having clarity on your why and knowing where you are going allows you to begin working backwards on how to get there. Starting with the end in mind allows you to see all the steps that need to take place to get you to where you are going.
Road mapping the steps needed to accomplish the goal makes clear what action needs to take place when. Staying with our example of going on our anniversary trip, once we mapped out where we were going we knew how long it would take us to get to each destination and how long we could stay there. Our budget became clear and tickets were purchased and reservations were made.
The graphic above comes from Rachel Hollis’ book, Girl, Stop Apologizing, page 161. I think this illustration beautifully explains what road mapping and mile markers look like.
Knowing our why, starting with the end in mind and working backwards allows us to show up prepared, ready to participate in our life, instead of ringing our hands hoping and praying everything works out.
Sit down with paper, sticky notes and colored pens and get clear on why you are embarking on this journey to a goal. Then decide where you want to be when you reach that goal, remember, what do you want that goal to look like? Finally, what steps do you need to take to get you from here to there?
Let me know how you are doing on your goal setting journey and I will do the same.
Be You – Be Beautiful – Be Imperfect