By Cora Gold
When you’re working to achieve a goal, remember why you started chasing it. You may have lost sight of your why—or didn’t pinpoint it in the first place. Knowing your why becomes vital when running into setbacks. In moments of doubt, your why will bring you back to the compelling reason you started the goal.
What Is Your Why?
Your why is the personal, deep motivation for what you are trying to achieve. Identifying your why will lead you to answering the “what’s” and “how’s” later down the road. For example, let’s say you’re a freelance worker, and your why is to be free. You can work wherever, whenever, and with whomever you want while maintaining a work-life balance. Sometimes you may wonder why you didn’t take a more traditional job with its steady paycheck and benefits, but remembering the freedom you value gets you back on track and moving forward.
Why Your Why Is Important
Any worthwhile goal will have some roadblocks you must overcome. With intense goals, your why is the motivator to get you through these challenges. The chances of reaching success are higher when you discover your why.
Your why will be totally personal to you. If the goal is not accomplished, something should be at stake for you and those around you. What’s at stake is worthwhile pressure, creating the motivation to achieve a tangible and realistic goal.
When you go after any goal, there will be days you feel more stressed than others. However, your why shouldn’t be something that causes additional stress in your life. When you hit a series of roadblocks and setbacks, take a day to sit back and reflect on your why. Regrouping can reduce stress, prevent burnout, revive energy, and renew your spirit to tackle your goal again the next day.
How to Find Your Why
Finding your why will take time, so don’t expect to come up with it in the next hour. It can take months or years to find what sparks your passion—and it’s an ongoing process that may change over time.
A great way to find your why is by becoming more mindful. Awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and actions will also help reduce anxiety. Here are several factors to evaluate that can help you determine your why:
- Values: These core beliefs guide your actions, behaviors, and more while navigating the world. They are your personal rulebook regarding how you live your life.
- Motivations: Your motivations are what allow you to take action. They are the things that get you excited about something. Motivation helps you accomplish activities you enjoy and those requiring some extra effort.
- Passions: Nothing can get in your way when you have a passion. You can’t stop thinking about the things you are passionate about, and people might come to you about them when they need help or advice.
- Strengths: These are your natural talents, skills, and abilities. Strengths come in many forms, like hard skills and soft skills. They may come easy to you and leave you satisfied when you do a good job.
- Self-experiments: Experimenting with different things will help you learn about yourself and challenge your assumptions about yourself and your patterns, leading to new perspectives.
- Track thoughts: Start writing down recurring thoughts to become more self-aware. You might be surprised how frequently you think about something.
Start Finding Your Why
Finding your why may take some time, but it’s ultimately worth it. You’ll start to achieve your goals with fewer roadblocks when you remember why you’re working towards them. Staying motivated with your why keeps you grounded and motivated while pursuing a goal.
About the Author
Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist, where she aims to inspire women to live a happy, healthy, and mindful life. Connect with Cora on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest.