So you have a goal and you want to make sure you’re set up for success.
After all, nobody wants to set themselves up to fail, right?
As far as you can tell, you’ve done everything right.
You’ve written down your goal and make actionable steps and checklists.
You’ve thought about potential challenges and obstacles that might get in your way, and come up with a plan of action if that happens.
Maybe you’ve even read our blog post about how to achieve your most ambitious goals.
You’re pretty much set up for inevitable success, right?
There is one more thing that you might want to think about before you dive in at the deep and and go full steam ahead with your plans.
You need to figure out what is your why.
What Is Your Why? The No Nonsense 5 Whys Method
In order to find out what is your why, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s my reason for setting this particular goal?
- What will it mean for me when I achieve this goal?
- Exactly why am I going for this goal? Is it because I want to do this or because I think I should do it?
- Why is it this goal and not some other goal?
Often, the answer isn’t as obvious as you may think, and you’ll really need to dig down deep to discover your why.
Sometimes, when you answer the question, ‘Why do I want to do this?’ your answer may come from a superficial place and you’ll need to keep drilling down to find the deepest emotional reason behind why you want the things you do – the real ‘why.’
The 5 Whys Method
Toyota (yes, the car manufacturers!) have developed a philosophy for understanding the nature of any problem and getting to the root cause of it.
This philosophy is called the 5 Whys Method.
It is an interrogative technique that aims to get to the root cause of a problem or goal by repeating the question ‘why?’ until the real answer becomes clear.
When you understand the deep-rooted reason why you’re actually setting a goal, you are better equipped to achieve that goal.
The 5 Whys Method sounds very simple, but it can often take a bit of practice to get the hang of it.
You answer the initial question, ‘Why do you want to achieve your goal?’
Whatever is your first answer is the basis for the second question. This question asks why you want whatever your first answer was.
This process is continued with 5 whys until you ultimately come up with the real reason you want to achieve your goal.
The 5 Whys in Action
Let’s look at an example of how this process works.
We’ll use the example of a coaching client who wants to save up $50,000.
- Client: I want to save enough money to buy a house outright.
- Coach: Why do you want to do that? (1st Why)
- Client: I don’t want to have a mortgage.
- Coach: Why don’t you want to have a mortgage? (2nd Why)
- Client: I want to have a place to call ‘home’ that I actually own, and not have to worry about mortgage repayments if I am not always so financially well off.
- Coach: Why is it important not to have to worry about paying a mortgage? (3rd Why)
- Client: I want to have kids someday.
- Coach: Why is it important for you to own your own home before you have children? (4th Why)
- Client: I want to have something that my children can inherit when I pass away.
- Coach: Why do you want them to inherit something when you pass away? (5th Why)
- Client: My own parents were terrible with money and left me with nothing but crippling debts when they died. I never want to do that to my children, and by owning a house, I can guarantee that they will always have something.
As we can see, the underlying reason for wanting to save a lot of money in this example is that the client wants to be able to provide for their children, even after they pass, which is the opposite of what happened to them.
Your Why Helps With Commitment and Motivation
Knowing deep down what is driving your desire to attain your goal will help you gain an emotional commitment and attachment to your desired end result.
Knowing your why also helps you to provide motivation from inside yourself rather than from external forces that are pushing you to achieve something.
A goal that you set from an emotional desire deep within yourself is highly motivating and is the kind of goal that will help you persevere when things get rough.
Of course, with any big goal there are bound to be obstacles and setbacks along the way. Knowing your deepest reason for wanting that goal will enable you to stay on track and keep working hard to overcome any roadblocks in your path.
If there is not an emotional commitment from within that keeps you focused and moving, you’re likely to give up on your goal, and this is why you shouldn’t skip the step of uncovering your why when it comes to any goals that you have.
What Is Your Why? | Final Thoughts
Setting yourself up for inevitable success should always begin with a clear understanding of the deepest reason why you want to be successful with your venture.
When the going gets tough later on, ground yourself with your why and you will find the strength and motivation to keep moving forward.
You got this!
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