Knowing why you want to accomplish a goal is every bit as important as knowing how you hope to accomplish it. The deeper you can get into the questions of purpose and identity at the beginning of your goal setting process, the more likely you are to stick with your plan.
Sometimes it’s enough to simply commit to a goal because it feels good, or you like it. But when we’re challenged – when the plan gets thrown off course by life events – those shallower statements of purpose are less powerful in calling us back to our original vision for ourselves. Taking a moment to really dig in and write out your purpose can mean the difference between success and failure.
The challenge in writing this part of the Goal-Setting Guide is that why any specific goal is important is highly individual, and the types of why questions you need to ask yourself to really get at the core motivation behind each goal varies a lot. Nonetheless, I have a short list below to get you started. Not all of the questions will be relevant. They represent a spectrum of ways to think about purpose, so just focus on the ones that seem to help the most.
(NB that all of the below is designed to work with our short Values Clarification guide and the 10 Life Categories, so we recommend you begin there.)
- How do you feel about where you are now vs where you hope to be?
- Why did you select goals in this specific Life Category?
- What does your future-self hope to get out of this experience?
- How does this goal tie-in to your sense of identity?
- Who is the person who is successful at this goal?
- Who is the person who fails at this goal?
- What does it mean for you both short-term and long-term to do this?
- Is this goal important for people beyond you? If so, what does it mean for them?
- What feeling is this goal investing in?
Once you’ve thought through these questions, fill in the blanks below to further refine and clarify your purpose.
- I am committed to my goal because I am…
- I am committed to my goal because I believe…
- I am committed to my goal because I care about…
The Uzume App is designed to track purpose as well as tasks to help keep you energized and focused on your commitments. But regardless of the organizational system you use, keeping purpose top of mind as you organize your tasks and your daily calendar is a key component in ensuring that your goals don’t get lost in the million tiny details each of us manages every day.