May 24, 2023
Why Am I Doing This?
You have big goals, but willpower will only get you so far towards achieving them. If you want to see traction on those goals, you have to break them up into manageable bite-sized pieces. This keeps you engaged with the bigger vision. We recommend taking some time out to ask yourself: Why am I doing this?
Find Your Why
Before you can create plans, you need to figure out what motivates you to get out of bed every morning. Call it your passion, calling, or mission.
By taking time to think about what matters most to you, you can get clearer on what motivates you. Some use an exercise called the Five Whys to gain more clarity around their true motivations.
This helps you get beyond the usual surface level reasons for business goals (aka “make more money” or “increase sales”). Not to get all woo-woo on you, but expect the final answer to your questioning to evoke some strong emotions.
Paint a Clear Picture
In the daily grind, you can easily lose sight of this noble reason, especially if it’s too vague. So, after you’ve found your true “why,” paint a clear picture in your mind of what that looks like.
To help keep the idea “sticky” and at the forefront of your mind, create something tangible as a reminder. This helps you refocus when you inevitably face obstacles and stress.
Write a detailed description, create a vision board and hang it where visible, or repeat a mantra to yourself. Whatever medium you use, make sure to refer to it frequently to keep your focus on the right things.
But if you want to achieve that shining future you’ve imagined for yourself, you have to take concrete steps to get you there.
Create Actionable Goals
So, let’s work backwards to get you there. Where do you see yourself in 10, 15, or 20 years? Many find this a hard exercise because we’re simply not wired that way naturally. We focus mostly on what’s directly in front of us.
But just like those New Year’s resolutions won’t stick without SMART goals, neither will longer-term plans. Just remember to keep them aligned with your why.
Remember: less is more (think no more than three markers for success). Also, keep these high-level, leave the specifics for shorter-term plans.
Now, start breaking down what you need to do in the next year, quarter, and month to achieve them. With actionable tasks laid out in front of you, you now have a roadmap to success.
The baby steps will ensure you get those dopamine hits from small wins with each milestone.
It’s been said that complacency kills the best of intentions. Avoid getting smug about smaller wins by looking back at that visual reminder on how far you have to go.
A little peer pressure helps, too. Finding an accountability buddy - one who will actually push you to do more - can make or break any goal. You need someone who will call you on your BS when you make excuses or challenge you with tough questions.
In most situations, we don’t suggest you ask your mom or spouse to be your accountability partner. They’ll love you no matter what (pretty sure that’s written in their instruction manuals).
Finally, make those big goals public. Having even casual acquaintances ask you about your progress makes for good networking discussion and keeps you honest.