I just finished coaching an amazing group of entrepreneurs. It’s so inspiring to be around the positive energy of people who love life and love creating the lives they desire to have. I coached each member of the group to write their next year’s story by answering questions for the next year like:
Who’s in your life? What relationships are most import to you?
What stories do you want to create?
What experiences do you want to create for your family?
What are you doing with your vocation?
What opportunities do you want to pursue?
What are your financial goals?
What do you want to do in and with your community?
When do you want these things?
What are the habits you need to establish to get what you want? Are you willing to commit to them?
I reminded them to follow up each answer by asking Why?
“Why” is such a small word, but the power it has is life-changing. Asking “Why” gives you the power to dig deeper and understand what’s really happening as you work to create the life you want.
When you set goals aligned with your values, the probability of accomplishing them is much greater. Asking Why? brings you to clarity on the reasons and drivers behind your goals. Knowing Why means you have an understanding of your highest values and core beliefs and can set goals congruent with them.
I certainly don’t want you to think this is easy. Because it really isn’t. It takes time and effort. In a typical workshop, I will coach for about two hours the night before and a full eight hours the next day before a little downtime and a celebratory dinner. There is real work done when you’ve seriously and truthfully asked yourself and answered the kinds of questions required to change your life. I see it in the faces of everyone I have the honor and privilege to coach. I love to see those looks of excited exhaustion at the end of each workshop. When I see those looks, it makes me smile to know I’m making a difference in the lives I touch. Doing what I love and hanging out with people I love makes me smile, too. Fact is, I get to smile a lot!
Now, some of you may be reading one of my articles for the first time. Others may have read all of my writings. Either way, my question for you now is: Why? Why are you taking the time to read this? What in your life do you have in mind as you read and think about the process of changing it? I want you to really think about this. It will tell you a lot. Your answer, so long as it’s the truth, will start you on the path to create the life you want.
It’s December and the end of another year. What a great time to take inventory of your accomplishments, take inventory of what you didn’t complete, and to think hard about your habits, too. So take out a piece of paper. On the top half, write all of your achievements and why you achieved them. On the bottom half, write all the things you didn’t get done, and why not. Now, think about the story you want to create this year. Think about and answer the questions I listed above. Ask yourself “Why?” for each answer. Don’t limit yourself to my questions. Ask your own questions, too.
After you dig deep into your achievements, you will have a much greater awareness of what makes you tick. The same is true with the list of things you didn’t accomplish. By working on these lists, it’s much easier to choose what you want your story to be and to know the changes necessary to make that story real.
When it comes to habits, I also want you to understand that, regardless of your current life situation, until you take charge and take responsibility for why you’re experiencing what you are, it’s hard to become unstuck. Having success takes disciplined commitment to successful habits. The good and the bad news is that it’s just as easy be committed to bad habits as it is to good ones. What are your bad habits? How will you change them? What good habits do you want to commit to?
I believe you have a desire to learn and grow. The best habit I’ve discovered for myself to have a life of learning and growing is to ask myself, “Why?” Dream big, set and write big goals that are in alignment with your highest values and your core beliefs, and get busy creating and committing to the habits you need to create the life you desire.
I hope you have a very merry holiday season!