Unleash your goals: Ask 'why' before 'how'
Friday, December 06, 2013
Posted by: Barbara Francella
The next time you establish a goal, stop and
ask "Why?” before you ask "How?”
When you get crystal
clear about the reasons behind a goal, you will be much more motivated to reach
it. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble by not pursuing someone
else’s goals. And knowing "why” will keep you going when times get tough.
Think about a goal
that’s important to you. It might be a personal goal, like exercising more, or
a professional goal, like getting a promotion.
Make a list of all the
benefits that come from accomplishing this goal. Don’t edit yourself. Just
write. If it appeals to you, you can mind map it. For example, if you want to
exercise more, the "whys” might include:
- Feel better.
- Look better.
- Be healthier.
- Live longer.
- Think clearer.
- Be happier.
- Lose weight.
- Enjoy more energy.
Then, go a step further
and ask, "So what?” For example, losing weight might mean you’ll fit into your
favorite clothes you tucked deep inside your closet. Feeling better and
enjoying more energy will enhance your relationships with your family, friends,
coworkers and clients. You’ll be healthier and that means less time at the
doctor’s office -- maybe even a longer life.
Or, let’s say you want
to advance your career and apply for a promotion. The benefits of a promotion might
- Earn more money.
- Lead more people.
- Learn new skills.
- Challenge yourself with new
- The pride of accomplishment.
Go one step further and ask,
"So what?” That extra money may secure your child’s college fund, enable you to
go on that European vacation you’ve put off for years. or give your spouse the
option to retire earlier than planned. Learning new skills and challenging
yourself with new responsibilities may spark more passion for your work. As for
the pride of accomplishment, that’s priceless.
Continue to ask "So
what?” until you’ve exhausted all your benefits. Then, do some affirmative
journaling — write about the life you choose to live — the one you enjoy after
achieving your goals. You might start: "Today was a very good day. After my
regular morning workout at the gym, I changed into my chic, black suit with
shiny red pumps. (Men, you’ll have to insert your own feel-good outfit!). I had
so much energy and clarity that I accomplished everything I needed to get done
by 1 o’clock this afternoon. That left me plenty of time for…” You get the
Our subconscious mind is
a powerful goal-getting tool. It reacts to the stimulus it receives -- negative
and positive. Positive actions like journaling feed our subconscious with what
we want to come true.
In a Ted Talk, Simon Sinek,
the author of Start with Why, shares how
the why-before-how process helps turn dreams into reality. Once the "whys” are
clear, the "hows” take care of themselves.
a corporate leadership speaker and the author of Working
She works to inspire professionals to be more positive and productive through keynote speeches
and employee development talks, workshops and webinars.
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