When was the last time you set yourself out to achieve a particular goal, only to fall off, give up, lose interest, or become distracted by other things?
When that happened, did you have a WHY? Did you remember why you set out to achieve that goal in the first place?
Today’s world is filled with endless distractions that can derail you from the goals you set yourself out to achieve. For example, you purchase a new 12 week workout plan that you’re really excited to complete. Then, 9 weeks in, you decide you’re sick of it and much more excited to join a new yoga studio opening up. OR, you sign yourself up to run a certain race, only to find halfway through training that the comfort of your bed is much more “important” than putting in the hours to cross the finish line.
Most of us live our lives by focusing on what we have to do. When we set a big goal, there are often a ton of small goals we need to achieve to make it happen. These endless goals or tasks continue to mount up, and we wonder why we never feel like we’re getting ahead. It feels like we’re sprinting on a treadmill just trying to keep up, and every task completed is quickly replaced by new ones.
When the going gets tough, it’s usually because of a lack of WHY.
When you understand the deep reasoning of why you set yourself out to achieve a particular goal, it’s a lot easier to push through times where you’re challenged both physically and mentally.
Hear me out.
At the end of last year, I set a goal to run a full marathon this year. I had just run my first half and the high of finishing that race, accomplishing something I didn’t know I could do was incredible. I had no freaking clue how I would run over 26 miles, but I was going to do it somehow.
About halfway through training (this past month), it became extremely difficult. My interest in running declined with each run, my bed became much more desirable, and in return, I missed quite a number of workouts I even had planned out in my calendar.
I had been trying to figure out what went wrong. Did I really just not like running? Was I really meant to do this? Everyone in training seemed to absolutely love to run, got their workouts in no problem, and here I am, struggling with every workout, trying to find any excuse not to get in the workout set for that day. I was even glad that I injured my knee because it seemed like a valid excuse to actually not run for a week. Yikes.
I really did some digging with myself. What was the reason I fell off track so horribly? Then, I realized it wasn’t that I wasn’t made for this, it was the fact that I had lost my why along the way. Friends and family would ask me why I wanted to run a marathon, and I was actually at a loss for words. I would just say something stupid like “Just the next big challenge!”
I knew this was the missing piece of the puzzle, so I sat down and did an exercise I learned from a coach a while back. It’s called the “7 Layered WHY.” In this exercise, you get extremely deep and truthful with yourself, ultimately uncovering the deep seeded why of your biggest goals. Check it out.
- Why am I running a marathon? To challenge myself.
- Why am I challenging myself? To prove that I can do something I didn’t think I could do.
- Why do I need to prove that I can do something I didn’t think I could do? To become mentally stronger.
- Why do I want to become mentally stronger? To show myself I can do anything I set my mind to do.
- Why do I need to show myself I can do anything I set my mind to do? To remove my fears and doubts when I set big goals.
- Why do I need to remove my fears and doubts when I set big goals? To increase my confidence in anything I do.
- Why do I need to increase my confidence in anything I do? So I act with no fear or doubt and with complete trust in myself and my abilities.
Well that got deep pretty quickly.
Uncovering your ultimate why will give you an extra spark of energy and excitement when sh*t hits the fan. It uncovers what really matters to you, what will get you out of bed in the morning, and what you’ll receive when you you achieve that big goal of yours.
Now, when my alarm goes off in the morning, I visualize crossing the finish line, feeling the sense of accomplishment, and knowing that I can live my life with no fear or doubt in myself if I just get up complete the workout set for that day. If you envision getting one step closer to your big why by tackling each small goal, you’ve found purpose, and it’s hard to get derailed when you have that.
Take a moment today to find your big why for each of the big goals you’ve set yourself out to do. Write them down, put them on your bathroom mirror so you see them every day, and visualize achieving your goal, achieving your why.