Why do you want to achieve that goal?

Happy New Year. This is that time when many people create a to-do list for the first two weeks of the year. I have written earlier about why New year’s resolutions are generally a bad idea for most people. Instead of creating a resolution, I advocate writing a personal development plan for the year. It takes longer but is more actionable than resolutions and you will achieve better results.

The question "why?" written four times
Today’s question

Today, I want to talk about your goals. Have you ever thought about why you want to achieve them? If your goal is to make 10,000 sales calls this quarter, why? Knowing the underlying reason why you want to achieve a goal can motivate you to get started and see it through to the end. The best goals are born out of reasons that come from within. For example:

  1. I want to make 10,000 sales calls this quarter so I can exceed last year’s sales target and win the most successful salesman award (career recognition).
  2. I want to lose 50kg this year so I can climb up the stairs to my office without losing breath (personal fulfilment).
  3. I want to earn an additional ₦500,000 this year so I can put it away in my emergency savings account (financial security).
  4. I want to quit smoking so I can live longer (healthy lifestyle).

All of the goals above have different reasons and that is fine. What motivates one person may not motivate another. What matters is that you find an underlying reason that is true to yourself. It is not enough to want to achieve a goal because everyone else is doing it or because it is the “proper” thing. Just ask people who went to university to study a course because all their friends applied for that course or their parents said so. You are more likely to end up miserable and quit.

A smiley face icon
The right why leads to smiles

Adding why’s to your goal can serve as a reminder of the reason you committed to starting a task in the first place. It is also useful as a reference point when you find yourself no longer deriving joy from trying to achieve a goal. At that point, it might be that your lifestyle has changed and the goal is no longer relevant to you. It might be time to drop it and seek another that is more fulfilling. The aim is to become a better version of you and find fulfillment not endure pain.

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