When we set goals the intention is there... If there is no intention, there is no motivation.
Each New Year’s Eve we hear our friends set many resolutions that will be let go by the end of January.
Some will complete the goal. This article looks at how to create the motivation to complete your goal.
There are three questions that I ask myself to help identify a desire and level of commitment to any goal. By examining the underlying emotions, reasons, and purpose of a goal I can help to determine if this is something I really want or just something I like the idea of.
The questions to ask before you commit to your goal are:
1. What do I want? Describe the experience of the outcome in positive language?
2. Does this goal enhance my broader life goals?
3. Does this goal get me away from something I don’t want?
Let’s examine these questions.
What do I want?
Motivation towards a positive future creates more energy to overcome setbacks, frustrations and challenges.
For example, if you feel constantly fatigued or in some discomfort it's effective to be focused on a positive outcome.
The goal of "to not be so tired all the time" is not as energetic as "I want to live a dynamic life to participate fully with my family in all activities".
By considering a dynamic life you can build some colour and texture to what is meant by a "dynamic life". Taking the approach of a coach, the question to ask yourself is the meaning of “dynamic life” - When you live a "dynamic life" it's about:
• What activities do you participate in?
• What does it feel like or mean to you to participate fully in family activities?
• What will participating in those activities do for you and for your family?
• When you participate in these activities with more energy wow does it feel?
You can substitute any word or phrase to the above questions - fatigue, anxiety, weight, fitness or mental acuity - to build a compelling "why" for your goal.
Does this goal enhance my broader life goals?
The second question checks if this goal integrates with other life activities to pull you towards a better future. For example, if you were to get relief from pain, what does that unleash in your life. Does your mood change? Does your energy change? Do any significant relationships change?
This question builds positive energy about the future. It in essence creates hope. As Viktor Frankl wrote “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.'”
Does this goal get me away from something I don’t want?
The third question is the flip side of positive hope. You consider what you don't want - the things you are fed up with having in your life. Quoting Morpheus in "The Matrix", it’s creating a "splinter in the mind" to instigate change. The nagging doubt creates discomfort to break the status quo.
For example, here is a list of what is painful about pain. I can't play football with my son because I am hurting, or so fatigued, or so out of shape. My constant pain causes me to be unreasonably short with my colleagues at work which is stalling my career progression.
In the last two questions, we are building energy. Towards attractive energy (pull) and away from negative energy (push). Combining the two, we create a propulsion system that pushes and pulls to create forward momentum.
In life, my experience is, that energy creates change. You own that ability to divert energy to a particular endpoint. Without focus, energy is scattered. As fun as Netflix binges are, and I confess to having many of these, it won't deliver the deepest goals or desires. Directing attention pinpoints your focus and your energy to achieve what you truly value.
What is your greatest reason for change today?
Written by Director, Jack De Leeuw