Have you ever asked yourself that question? “Why am I here? Why am I doing this? Why do I want to be married? Why do I want to have children? Why do I want to work from home? Why do I want to lead worship at the church?” (Insert your own idea here.)
If you don’t know the why behind your biggest dreams and desires, then all they will ever be for you is a dream. Without the why it’s virtually impossible to stay motivated to reach your goals.
Gail Hyatt says, “People lose their way when they lose their why.” She’s so right.
Last year I set a goal to open Freedom Outreach, the day program portion of Esther’s House, by September 5, 2016. There was only one ginormous problem. I spent most of September confined to my bedroom thanks to the ugly attack of black mold, even living in a motel room until we could find another place to live.
It was hard for me to keep pushing through. I was too tired to think about getting the doors open. Too tired to think about the next step in front of me. Reaching the goal seemed too far out of my reach. I felt like I just couldn’t do it. Felt like I was letting everyone else around me down. People were waiting for me to make this happen. Failure screamed at me loudly.
But I realized something important in the midst of that trial. I’d forgotten my why. I wasn’t pursuing Esther’s House just because it was something fun to do. Are you kidding? It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. In order to stay motivated to keep moving forward, despite the trials in my way, I had to dig deeper, but most importantly I needed reminded of why I was pursing this dream. I needed to be motivated again.
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So… I went back to my list of key motivations I’d written out when I set my goals for 2016, which I do every year through the 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever goal setting course with Michael Hyatt. Here they are:
- To see women set free.
- To offer the full experience of the program.
- To teach women about God’s love for them.
- To see women learn God’s plan for their lives.
- To make disciples and share God’s Word.
- To give women a safe place for healing.
It was so invigorating to see that list again, to be reminded that I wasn’t just doing this for me – I was doing this for other women desperate to understand freedom. It spurred me forward to keep fighting the battle.
If you’re struggling to push forward, don’t beat yourself up. You’re human. But let’s get back on track together and that starts with finding our why. Here are three actions to help you do just that.
- Identify your key motivations. Why is this goal important to you? What’s at stake if you achieve it? Or if you don’t? My goal of getting Freedom Outreach open was important to me, as you can see by the list above, but my number one motivation was to see women set free. What was at stake if I didn’t keep pushing forward? Women understanding the fullness of Christ and the freedom he offers.
- Record your motivations. It makes a difference when we write things down. When you’re feeling discouraged, going back to a list that’s right in front of you vs. in your heard is great inspiration for moving forward. I have my motivations written out in bulletproof from in Evernote, but maybe you just need them on your refrigerator door. Find what works for you.
- Prioritize your motivations. After you’ve written down your motivations, figure out which is your most compelling and move that to the top. My top motivation to see women set free wasn’t the first thing I’d written down, but after going over the list it was the most compelling to me. All the other motivations fall underneath that one.
Good news. We didn’t hit our goal of September 5, 2016, but we did open the doors to Freedom Outreach on November 15, 2016. We’d love for you to check us out…
One of my goals for 2017 is to find a plastic surgeon to remove the extra skin from my 145 lb. weight loss. Perhaps during that search I might feel some discouragement. That’s normal. But keeping my list of motivations in front of me, remembering why I want to do it, that’s what will keep me going. A few of my motivations for achieving that goal is knowing it will increase my confidence, I’ll be able to fit into a pair of jeans easier, and it will inspire others to keep pushing forward in their health-related goals.
So.. what’s your why? What do you want to see happen in your life and 2017 and what will motivate you to keep pushing towards that goal?
Remember to review your motivations often, and even more when you’re feeling discouragement. Remember, you lose your way when you lose your why.