The New Year is upon us. Everyone is all gung ho about setting new goals. There are many areas in life that people may choose to set goals for; business/career, family, spiritual, financial, and personal growth to name a few. Their intentions are good but most of the times they fail to achieve their goals. The most important part in achieving your goal is knowing WHY you are trying to make a change.
First you must define what it is you want to accomplish. Take some time to reflect on some of your goals in the past. You may not have been successful in achieving some and others you may have found some success. Think about some of your “fed up” moments when your WHY was strong enough to make lifestyle changes for the better because you were sick of feeling or acting a certain way. Maybe you ended up simply falling back to your old ways after a few short weeks. A popular goal is to lose weight. People want lose weight so they look better or have their clothes fit looser. That is good that you have defined your goal but you aren’t going to stop here. You must dig deeper. Maybe you want your clothes to fit better so you feel more attractive. Maybe you want to be able to run around the park with your grandchildren. Any reason to get in shape and stay in shape is a great reason to get in shape and stay in shape. However, to make your goals of being in shape and staying in shape a reality, you need to consider the “5 whys”.
The “5 Whys” is a system used by the Toyota Motor Corporation as a simple tool which addresses single-problem issues rather than complex broad organizational issues. The 5 Whys attempt to analyze a problem or issue by asking a series of “Why” this happened questions, followed up by an attempt at addressing the Root Cause of the issue by asking “How” we fix this problem once and for all. Apply this same technique when determining your “WHY”. It’s very simple and really cuts to the core of why you want something.
When you want to accomplish something, you ask yourself one “Why”. “Why do I want to accomplish this?” Then, whatever answer you come up with, you will ask yourself why to that first answer. And so on, five times. Here is an example of how this works.
Goal: “I want to lose weight”
1. Why do you want to lose weight?
Because I want to lose my gut and maybe build some muscle in my upper body.
2. Why does that matter?
Because in the summer I want to be able to walk around with my shirt off.
3. Why do you want to be able to walk around with your shirt off?
Because then I will look good and feel good about myself.
4. Why do you want to feel good about yourself?
Because when I feel good about myself, I am more assertive and confident.
5. Why do you want to be more assertive and confident?
When I’m more assertive and confident, I’m in control and better about getting what I want out of life.
For this person, losing weight really actually meant taking charge of his life. This is a critical insight. They are not just interested in looking good with their shirt off and a lower scale weight. They wants to feel more confident, assertive and in control. That is what is really important.
So, take the time to write down what you what to accomplish. Then ask and answer the “5 Why” questions. Write down the answers and take the answer to question #5 then put it in various places where you will see it. The answer to #5 is what will motivate you to accomplishing your goal.