The lyric from the song, “Got you Where I Want You” by the Flys pops into my head often.
Heeeeyyyyyyy, what’s the point of this?
What’s the point of the workout I am inputting into each of my athletes’ schedules? What’s the point of their overall plan What’s the point of each interaction?
What’s the point of each move in the strength sessions? What’s the overall point of the phase?
What’s the point of my overall work?
What’s the point of MB Coaching? What’s the point of Zone Racing?
What’s the point of each individual blog? What’s the point of the blogs overall?
What’s the point of my book?
What’s the point of (all of) this?
As you can likely imagine, I don’t save this kind of questioning only for work…
What’s the point of each race choice? Each training session? My athletic career?
What’s the point of working with my nutritionist? Caring about my food choices?
What’s the point of my parenting identity right now? My marriage? My roles in family and friendships? My commitment to my communities?
What’s the point of my existence?
And of course, what’s the point in trying to keep the house meticulously clean through the messy freeze and thaw in the midwest… especially with dogs? 😉
What’s the point of (all of) this?
I could keep going and going, but I am afraid I may lead you to fearing that I am deep in an existential crisis. Don’t worry— I am not. And my tone is not at all cynical or condescending. I thoughtfully filter my life through this question to decide on my “why’s,” which is a vital step in self awareness, and ultimately, goal setting.
Knowing “why,” or what the point of all of this is matters.
Knowing ‘why’ serves as a point of reference for all my actions and decisions. It helps me prioritize and provides a daily foundation of focus and accountability, whether highly motivated or not. I suggest you also use this lyric to look at all things in your own lives, especially in goal setting.
How Do you Find Your Why’s?
First of all, you must remain open and curious about getting to know yourself. Seek out your strengths and weaknesses, passions and fears, and desires and dreams. Bring awareness to your likes and dislikes, quirks, and your tolerances and limitations. Knowing yourself means knowing your purpose in life– what you believe to be your overarching ‘why.’ (The point of your existence) This is crucial to honoring smaller ones along the way. It can be found through therapy, reading, listening to podcasts, journalling, mediation, and other forms of self reflection. (A caveat– this is your best guess right now. Please don’t think you are unworthy or your life is meaningless if you haven’t nailed this down… or come even close. Keep chipping away.)
I hope you find these tips and examples helpful.
- Make your WHY simple and clear. Consider how you can contribute to others.
A solid why: My goal is to finish the local 5K at the best of my ability so that I can inspire my kids to set and reach hard goals.
- Start from a place of abundance, not scarcity. Believe you have the tools and skill in you in order to actualize your goal. You don’t have to prove anything.
A shaky why: I will go on this massive diet in order to prove to myself and others that I can do it.
Improve it: I will use my strength and awareness to fuel myself in a way that honors the needs of my individual body, not what the outward culture is telling me I “should” do.
- Have a clear understand of how this goal will affect you, even if the ‘why’ is solely to encourage or support others.
A solid why: I will help my friends move today because serving them is a way I can show them love.
- Understand your truest reasons for setting your goal (without judgement), and hold yourself accountable to that.
A shaky why: I will charge less for my services so that other people can be happier with me.
Improve it: I will charge what I believe my services are worthy of so that I can prioritize creating an amazing experience for those who wish to invest in it.
- Try to not get distracted or heavily influenced by social media or your friends and/or family when establishing your purpose. Immersing yourself in goals that you don’t believe in will have a strong counter affect. Search deep within yourself through reading, therapy, meditation, etc. in order to know that you are following your passion.
A shaky why: I will do Ironman since my best friend is and I don’t want to miss out.
Improve it: I will set my own race goals so that I am following my own interests and motivate others to do the same. If I can share the experience with friends then i will consider that a bonus.
- Stay curious and open to continual reevaluation.
A solid why: I will complete in a triathlon so that I can accomplish a goal that I want to do right now and can inspire others to believe it is never too late to follow their dreams.
Take the time to do some soul searching. Don’t be afraid to keep asking, “what’s the point of this?”
And you are welcome for getting that song stuck in your head 😉