What’s your “why?” A different take on New Year’s resolutions.

What’s your why?

One of my favorite quotes is “If you have a why, then any how is possible.”

Meaning, if you are emotionally attached to achieving your goal, if you want this goal bad enough, if this goal is important to you on many different levels, then you will figure out how to make it happen.

If your “why” is compelling enough, you can endure the challenges that crop up on the road to success.

Now that we’re mid-way through January, it’s a great time to look at your New Year’s resolutions and ask a few questions: Why do you want to achieve this goal so badly? What would achieving your goal mean? How would the attainment of this goal change your life and future?  If you make this dream come true, what would happen that you really, really want?

A lot of us (especially me!) get stuck up on how we’re going to achieve our goals.  We make to-do lists, create charts to track our progress, and set alarms to wake up at 5 a.m to hit the gym or write the novel or work on the web design business.

But, over time, that initial motivation can start to flag. You get tired. You don’t see the results you want. You don’t see the results as fast as you want. You miss lazy Sundays. You miss weeknights without extra work. You can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and it just feels like you’re slogging up a huge mountain.

This is when your “why” comes in to play. This is when your “why” becomes crucial.  Your “why” will make the difficulty of “how” possible.

“Why am I awake at 6 a.m. staring at this script again?”

Why? Because have a story I have to tell, I want to breathe life into my characters, and I want to break into the film industry.

“Why am I training for a marathon in the rain after work when I want to be watching TV?”

Why? Because I want to cross off this off my bucket list, I want to build endurance and strength beyond what I thought was possible, and I want to finish this race with a smile.

“Why am I going to class for three hours after work?”

Why? Because I want to earn my MBA without going into debt, I want to start my own business, and I want to revolutionize my industry.


Your “whys” are the antidotes for slow, labored progress. Your “whys” are reminders for when the going gets tough, boring, overwhelming, challenging or just too hard.  Your “whys” make it easier to open the laptop, get to the gym, or head to class.

Try something different this year. Figure out your “why” so you can make your “how” happen.

Take Action: What’s one of your goals this year? Why do you want to achieve this goal so badly? Make a list of reasons. Then, ask yourself: Do you feel strongly attached to your “whys?” Do they stir you to action? Would they motivate you, even if you were exhausted or totally overwhelmed? If not, maybe it’s time to rethink your goal or dig a little deeper into your motivations.

If your “whys” sets you fire: post your list somewhere you will see it everyday.

Tweet: Want to make it happen this year? Figure out “why,” then make a plan for “how.” 






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