Why do some goals get accomplished while others linger without receiving the metaphorical check mark?
A goal that gets accomplished most likely has a strong “why factor” associated with it. There is a clear and deep understanding of the significance, symbolism, and meaning of the achievement. There is also an equally clear understanding, and un-acceptance, of the failure to achieve.
Think of a person who has never run more than a 5k, but was personally affected by the Boston Marathon bombings, and subsequently decides to run the Boston Marathon in memory of a loved one. That person now has a deep emotional and concrete reason to keep up with the training program, regardless of the difficulty level. It means more than just a road race; it symbolizes something deeply personal and is emotionally charged. Not seeing this goal through is simply not an option. This “why factor” is, arguably, what can create a marathoner from a recreational runner.
On the other hand, take a person who goes to the gym very sporadically. A group of her friends plan to run a half marathon in six months time, so she decides to sign up. Chances are, at some point along the way this person will fall off her training plan and not hit her goal. The reason behind the goal (doing it because her friends are) is not strong enough to justify the significant commitment required to complete a half marathon. This is often the case, even if there is 100% enthusiasm at the start!!
In other words, the more specific and profound a reason for accomplishing a goal, the better the chance of accomplishment.
Use the “why factor” to help you achieve your own goals!
When you develop a new goal, take some time to ask yourself the following questions:
1. Why do I want to achieve this goal?
2. Why now?
3. What will it mean for me if I achieve it?
4. What will it mean for me if I don’t?
5. What am I willing to sacrifice to achieve this goal?
These questions will help you clarify the “why factor”, and help you develop a strong understanding of how committed you actually are to the goal. If you have honest and detailed answers to all 5 questions, your success rate will be high! If your answers are vague or missing, its a good sign that this goal is not one you should formally set for yourself.
Using the “why factor” will help guide you toward completion of ALL the goals that you really want!!!