It’s February and we’re one month into the New Year. When I was a student at the Naval Academy, we called this time of the year “The Dark Ages.” The days are short, the weather is cold and dreary, and staying upbeat and positive can be tough.
At the beginning of the year you set some big goals for yourself. You wanted to make some changes in your life. You wanted a new beginning.
Well, if you’re like everyone else, your commitment to those goals is being tested right about now. Maybe you’re beginning to doubt yourself and your plan. Perhaps you’ve given up altogether. Today, I’m going to help you overcome your doubt. I will help you remain strong through the uncertainty. I will help you get back on track. But first, you must answer this question:
Why do you want to achieve your goal? How will it help you? How will you feel when you reach it? How will it change your life?
Knowing “why” you want to do something is extremely important; much more important than “how” or “when” you will do something. Oftentimes, after we set a goal, we jump right into figuring out how to accomplish it. This can be overwhelming, especially if you set big goals like me. These goals can’t be accomplished in 1 or 2 days. Therefore, your plan can’t be created that quickly either. It can take months or years to figure out the “how” and ultimately achieve your goal.
There will be many times along the journey when your commitment will be tested. Much like it is right now. Knowing “why” you want to do something will provide you strength as you move toward your ultimate destination.
Recently, my commitment to one of my goals was tested. Actually, I feel every day is a test. I feel a constant burden of stress which causes me to ask questions like, “Am I on the right track?” “Am I doing everything I should be doing?”
We want life to move faster and the world to grant us our ultimate desires TODAY! Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work on our schedule. It takes time for things to develop, especially big things. If you haven’t achieved your goal yet, it probably means you’re not ready. There are steps you must take and skills you must learn. You haven’t become who you need to be to achieve that goal…yet.
But YOU WILL become that person. It will just take some time, persistence, and a good understanding of WHY you want to achieve your goal in the first place.
Today, think about the goal that’s stressing you the most – the one that’s testing your limits. Write down 5-10 reasons “why” you want to achieve that goal. Make sure your reasons are clear and convincing. If not, it will be tough to persevere when times get tough. It’s important to understand, deep in your heart, “why” you want to achieve your goal. Keep those thoughts and words close to you. They will provide you with the strength you need, during times like these, to persevere when your will is tested.
I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.
Scott Mackes is a leader and founder of the blog Margin of Excellence. A U.S. Navy veteran and graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Scott’s mission is to help others lead remarkable journeys. Connect with Scott on facebook and twitter.
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