Last week I had the opportunity to lead my Visioning Your Best Life workshops in New York City. During one of the workshops, one participant asked a question about accomplishing goals that I hear from so many people:
“How do you keep going when you’ve fallen off track?”
Aaahhh…the age old question.
In response, I shared a few different ideas for her to try, like:
- Break down a bigger goal into bite-sized chunks in order to make it more manageable.
- Set up some kind of accountability system with a friend or a coach to help keep you on track.
- Decide to hit the reset button and start again. Allow yourself the compassion and space to recognize you’ve fallen off track.
However, one of the other participants asked if she could offer another option, and said:
“Maybe you can ask yourself if this is a goal that you really want to achieve.”
I absolutely loved this response.
It’s common to come up with a list of goals that you automatically assume anybody would want, like getting more exercise, making more money or taking more time off for fun and recreation.
But what’s less common is for you to take a step back and ask, “Do I really want to achieve this goal? Why is this important to me?”
Sometimes the dream or goal you think you want actually belongs to someone else.
You’ve probably seen this dynamic with parents who want their kids to be doctors or lawyers. Some kids end up following these career paths, only to question themselves many years later why they didn’t follow their true heart’s path.
If you have any goals or dreams you want to accomplish, it's okay to ask yourself, “Is this really my dream? Do I really want to accomplish this goal?”
If the answer is yes, then ask yourself, “Why is this important to me?”
After you answer why this goal is important, then continue asking why. Look at that statement and ask why is that answer important, and continue asking yourself at least 4 or 5 times.
Why is a powerful question that starts to peel the layers of your heart’s longings.
The point is to uncover your many layers of Why until you reach what one of my teachers calls “the Why that makes you cry.”
Here’s an example:
- My goal is to run a half-marathon. After thinking about this, I believe this is my dream and something I really want to do.
- When I ask myself why it’s important, I feel like I’ve been wanting to do something out of my comfort zone and this feels like a good stretch for me.
- Why is doing something out of my comfort zone important? Because I feel like I’ve been coasting with my life and I don’t want to look back on my life with any regrets.
- Why is it important to look back on my life without any regrets? Because I feel like I’ve been living someone else’s dreams and I’m ready to live life on my own terms.
- Why is it important for me to live life on my own terms? Because I have something inside of me that wants to break through and I’m tired of hiding my true self.
In the example above, you can witness a deepening happening. Each why leads to a deeper layer of meaning, until you reach the final Why.
“I have something inside me that wants to break through and I’m tired of hiding my true self.”
This is an example of "the Why that makes you cry."
For your coaching assignment this week, contemplate these questions:
- What is one goal that feels important to you?
- Do you really want to accomplish this goal? Are you sure it’s your dream and not someone else’s that you’re trying to please?
- If the answer is yes, ask yourself why it’s important to you. Then do this for 4-5 more times, asking why these are important to you.
- Sit back and feel this. Infuse your dream or goal with the Why that makes you cry.
- If you don’t feel any depth of inspiration or feel like you haven’t reached the Why that makes you cry, then continue asking Why. Another possibility is that this might not be the right time for this dream.
When you set a goal, what keeps you on track and what helps to get you back on track are the reminders for why this is important to you in the first place.
When you uncover the Why that makes you cry, your Why act like a magnet that pulls you forward towards your dream.
Your Why serves both as the foundation and the fuel for your heart’s longings.
What dream do you have for your life? And what is the Why that makes you cry?
As you contemplate these questions, here are my prayerful words for you:
May your Why reveal itself with ease and grace, and inspire you to live your best and most authentic self.
Abundant Blessings and Namaste.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about today’s post. What goal or dream is in your heart? And why is it important to you? Please leave a comment below.
And if you’re feeling the need for guidance or support for a particular area of life, I offer a complimentary life coaching consultation where we can chat. You can learn more about these life coaching consultations by clicking here.