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The Old City Goal Setting Method: Defining Your Why

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(Actually by Katie Rutterer)

One of the big reasons that we set goals is to recognize our own potential.

You might be chugging along—working out a couple days a week, eating and sleeping ok, not hating work, etc.—and think that you’re doing fine. But what about all the things you could be doing better?

The universe wants you to stay on a relatively neutral path, and it’s up to you to turn it up a notch and achieve more. Goals help turn on that laser focus and set your sights on something specific in order to unlock your potential and create better habits.

Knowing what you’re after helps create awareness in those moments when decisions are made and help you ask yourself “Does this help/hurt my goal?” and, more specifically, why you created your goal in the first place.

Goals help turn on that laser focus and set your sights on something specific in order to unlock your potential and create better habits. Knowing what you’re after helps create awareness in those moments when decisions are made and help you ask yourself “Does this help/hurt my goal?” and, more specifically, why you created your goal in the first place.

Everyone has different reasons for wanting to get stronger, lighter, in shape, etc., and it’s important to recognize what your ultimate “end result” is with your goals so that you can do things that contribute to your desired outcome as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Just like with any overarching “why,” there are a myriad of possible reasons you chose your main goal, but there are just as many—if not more—ways to achieve it once you figure out exactly what you want out of your workout routine.

Desire is a great motivator. When you turn your focus to something you really, really want, you often discover a potential for work that you didn’t know you had, and when you determine what your true desire (i.e. outcome) is, you can put as much energy as possible towards it. Challenge creates growth. Growth creates change.

Knowing your “why” is helpful on those days when it feels easier to make a not-so-great choice—watching TV instead of going to the gym, pizza instead of broccoli, YouTube videos of cats instead of going to sleep, the list goes on. These are moments when remembering why you’re after what you’re after becomes that extra push you need.

Last week we defined your Potential, this week we’re going to define your Why. Think of your Potential as the mountain you’re attempting to climb with your life. Your ‘Why’ should be a constant reminder of what climbing that mountain means for your life. The weeks to follow will start creating a map and a plan to climb that mountain. Stay tuned for the next steps, but for now, do your homework:

Action items for this week:

  1. Define Your Why
    Find a quite space and start writing. Write about what motivates you, about what inspires you, and/or about what fills your life with passion.
    Here are some great prompt questions to answer if you find yourself having difficulty finding something to write about:
    – Who is the most important person in your life, and how do you want them to think about you?
    – Write your own obituary.
    – How would you wish for your children/spouse/parents to describe you to someone you’ve never met?
    Don’t write with a filter on this exercise. Just write. There’s no target length. Just write until you feel like you’ve said all that needs to be said.
  2. Grab a different color pen/pencil than you originally wrote with, and go through what you wrote in step #1 and circle things, words, phrases that stand out to you.
    Re-read what’s circled and try to edit the essence of those words into 1-2 sentences. This sentence is your “Why.” This sentence, when read, should give you goosebumps. This sentence should be something you put in a place that you can read every morning. This sentence should be strong enough to get you out of bed in the morning or push you through that last round of a miserable workout. Share your sentence with us on our FB page or with your coach in class! We’d love to hear it.