The Missing Ingredient in Most Goals

A clearly written goal is not enough. A carefully thought out action plan isn’t either. You need more than this if you are going to accomplish really big goals. Let me explain.

Woman Asking the Question, What Is at Stake? - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/fotosipsak, Image #18826194

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/fotosipsak

Last year, I set a goal to write a new book, called Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. As someone who has spent his career in the book publishing industry, I had witnessed hundreds (if not thousands) of people get turned away by publishers, simply because they didn’t have a platform.

In 2005, I set out to build my own platform, just to see if I could do it. Today, my blog is read by almost 80,000 people a day. That includes direct traffic to my blog plus email and RSS subscriptions. Along the way, I have learned a lot of lessons, mostly by “failing forward,” to quote John Maxwell.

So, I was super-excited about the idea of sharing my journey in book form, along with all the practical tips and resources I had gleaned along the way.

So I wrote a goal:

Finish a 50,000-word manuscript on platform-building by November 1, 2011.

I then wrote out a very specific, detailed action plan. It included developing the book proposal, securing a publishing contract, writing the first draft, etc. I then rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

I finished the book proposal by the end of April—right on schedule. Thomas Nelson offered me a book contract a few months later and I began working on the manuscript.

Then I hit my first snag.

I had an incredibly busy fall, with more speaking engagements than I had originally anticipated. As a result, I didn’t make as much progress on my book as I had hoped.

The November 1st deadline came—and went. I was a long, long way from turning in a manuscript. Worse, the original outline I had created wasn’t working. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the logic to work.

It was at this point that I really began despairing about the project. I seriously thought about pulling the plug and giving Thomas Nelson it’s money back. I was stuck in “the middle of the story.”

You know what I’m talking about, right? It’s that part of every journey when you aren’t sure you have what it takes to finish but you are too far along to quit. That’s exactly where I was.

So, I went back and took another look at my goal. I had a Goal Statement. I had a detailed Action Plan. Only problem was, that wasn’t enough.

That’s when I reviewed my Internal Motivations for this goal. This is a section I write out for every goal. I list why this goal is important and what’s at stake. It is the component that most people never think to include.

But it can save your bacon when things get tough.

Here’s what I wrote under the Internal Motivations heading for this goal:

I will achieve this goal because:

  • I want to help the tens of thousands of authors, artists, and would-be creatives who have been turned away because they don’t have a platform.
  • I want to establish my authority as an expert on platform-building.
  • I want to prove that you can create a platform and use it to sell books.
  • I want to open the door to additional speaking engagements on this topic.
  • I want to develop more product to sell on my website and at my speaking engagements.
  • I want to reach beyond my blog to pull in additional readers.
  • I want to establish a pattern of writing one major book a year.

As I re-read this section, I reconnected emotionally. I saw once again why this goal was so important—to me. When I rediscovered my why, I found my way.

I dove back into the project with fresh energy. That doesn’t mean it was easy. It took a ton of work, including the hard work of fighting through fear and doubt.

Finishing the project took me another nine weeks. But I am pleased to report that I turned it into my editor last Friday. There will be more work to do, no doubt, but we are still on track for a May 2012 publication.

So as you are working through your own goals for this year, make sure you have a S.M.A.R.T. goal statement. Then develop an action plan. But don’t forget to list your Internal Motivations. This is the difference-maker. It may be the one ingredient you need to go the distance.

Question: What is at stake your most important goal for this year? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jane-Babich/100002993676826 Jane Babich

    What is at stake? For me everything.  My top 2012 goal is to live healthy.  Without that I will not be able (really I will not be) to attempt or complete my other goals. In past years my goals were about accomplishing… now it is about fulfilling. And the first on my list is Me. Thanks for the reminder that “what is at stake” if not realized;can take your goal from you.

  • http://recreationalwordslinger.wordpress.com/ Tessa

    My most important goal is to lose twenty pounds. What’s at stake is that I will feel more comfortable in my own skin. I will be healthier and have a more enjoyable life. 

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Michael, for another excellent and helpful post. 

  • http://www.alvalyn.com/ Alvalyn Lundgren

    I can see how writing down the why behind the goal will really make a difference in my follow through. I have let some things get in the way of realizing bigger goals and gotten bogged down. Thank you for the renewed motivation.

  • http://profinitydevelopment.com/ Dr Ryan Hosley

    My most important goal is to achieve my business goals.  My internal motivation: I have six children who I look in the eye everday and tell them I am fighting for the success of our  business.  They need to know that dad is man of integrity and will finish what I start.  If I don’t do finish what I start how could I ever expect that much of them.

    • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      Now that’s what I call some internal motivation! Best of luck to you this year and blessings to you and your family. 

  • Michelle

    Thanks!  I especially appreciated the link back to “the middle of the story”.  I had forgotten about that post, but really needed it today.  Most folks around me seem to be buzzing on New Year’s resolutions but I’m smack dab in middle-land (meh).

    • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      I know where you are coming from. Did you take a look at those internal motivators that got you started on your journey? Even if you didn’t write them down when you began, thinking about it how them might help you find the heart and soul you had when you began.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Interestingly, I had lunch with Don Miller today. He was the one I quoted in that piece. We both talked about how we were in the middle of various stories in our lives. I have to credit him for the concept. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Micheal, 

    Great post.  Motivation is very important and you certainly are highly motivated.  

    Is that the real issue though? Here are two thoughts…

    Time
    When you created the goal for the book project was time allotted on your daily schedule? 

    You mentioned that you got busier with speaking engagements then you expected, which take time to prepare for, travel and conduct.  This means that time was taken from somewhere else. Thus, speaking become the top time priority. 
    Would turning down some of those speaking engagements (to leave time to work on the book) have been an option? Or, possibly changing the date of your goal and the time allocation to when you were not busy speaking?

    Positive Feedback
    In another vein, speaking is very self-satisfying, you get instant feedback on whether you are having an impact; people clap, make eye contact, use non-verbal communication and come up to you immediately afterwards to thank you. You feel good and want to do it again, allocating time and resources to it.

    Writing a book on the other hand is a lonely task with practically no feedback during the process on whether we are doing well or not.  No eye contact, no non-verbal communication, just us and the computer. Since it is really not that much fun we are always willing to do something else in it’s place. 

    Perhaps if we provided ourselves with more positive feedback during the writing process we would be more inclined to spend more time doing it,  just like with these posts, where we get instant (positive?) feedback :)

    My 2c worth…

    ~eric

    • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      Great thoughts. Thanks for the comment Eric. I can speak for myself on this one, and I think you are spot on. There are things that I love doing more than others.

      In the middle of completing big projects, I know that my head is easily turned by tasks and projects that can be completed more quickly (instant gratification), but at what cost?

      This is happens on a micro level everyday. I think Michael’s point is still essential in combating this problem. If we keep what is at stake always before us, we are more likely to execute. All actions will be weighed against the value of what we have set our hands to do.

      • Anonymous


        If we keep what is at stake always before us, we are more likely to execute. ‘

        Thanks Jason,  we need to constantly evaluate our actions against our objectives.

        This is the question that I ask myself every day/every few hours; Am I working on my top priority or something else? Am I reactive or proactive? Have I scheduled time for the most important things in my life/work?

        Some folks businesses are by there very reactive by nature, making it even harder to work on the important/long term projects.  

        ~eric

      • Anonymous

        Here is a link to the priority model that I use. This came from my Information Technology service management days…

        http://strategic-concepts.blogspot.com/2012/01/four-factory-priority-model.html 

        • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

          Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

      Great point about more/instant positive feedback. I was blown away when I attended a “Learning and the Brain” conference and heard about the failure-filled, highly-complicated nature of the video games my students play. Yet they devote intense time and attention because of the instant feedback they receive.

      • Anonymous

        The game people are experts are managing behavior, primarily through instant feedback. I am working on a project right now, http://www.abeo.us, that is leveraging the theory behind this. The buzzword is gamification.

        ~eric

        • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

          “gamification” — something new to explore! Signed up for your beta site…looking forward to learning more!

          • Anonymous

            Cool, following you on twitter, @_eric_langley

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yep, you are no doubt right on both counts. I have so much to learn. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/burlw Burl Walker

    It is always important to have clear concise goals rather than just wishes or vague ideas!

  • Patty

    Cu do’s to everyone because it wasn’t just Mike’s blog but all the encouraging words and language that follows. 
    I decided to join a gym this year. I did not write it down on paper but feel that this would be a good starting point since I just started today. My motivation was to be happy with who I am no matter where I am in my physical being and to become a stronger warrior for Christ. I have longed for a day of feeling good about what I can accomplish.  I am going to try and apply SMART right here without getting too wordy.

    *Exercise in a gym format is a great way to get out of the house and be surrounded with like minded people who are all striving to reach the same goals.
    *Many of my family members have started to get on the weight loss and healthy eating program so I wanted to be along side them through their journeys
    *I need to keep my blood sugar levels down since I was creeping up the diabetes ladder to success. (JK) 2 relatives with diabetes does not weigh in my favor.
    *I want to be a good leader and part of being in that leadership role is showing confidence in who I am and helping others to grow to be leaders as well.

    That is all I can think of for now. It was only my first day today so I am really inspired. The pain of the workout has not fully kicked in but I feel it coming on. 

    • Rachel Lance

      You’re on the right track, Patty, and you’ll never regret taking strides to get healthy. Go for it!

  • Pingback: Monday Morning Observations « StoryDriven | by Jason Salamun

  • http://www.livesimplylove.com/ Merritt

    I love this. So very helpful, especially in connection with a TED video I watched this morning: 
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html

    Usually I KNOW my internal motivation but I often have trouble allowing it to move me in the midst of difficult times. What’s at stake? Mostly, I think it’s my heart. Will I stay connected to the Why, or will I get caught up in the What?

    Thanks so much for encouraging me today!  

    • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ Joel Fortner

      Had the pleasure to meet Sinek recently and listen to the same talk in person. It was such a joy.  On goals, even when we know why we’re doing something, we lose sight of it for a myriad of reasons and then we begin to doubt our ability to achieve it.  Simply put, our mindset changes from “growth” and focused on putting forth the effort necessary to achieve it to “fixed” and one focused on achieving it in a flawless fashion, judgment (even of ourself) if we don’t achieve it and questioning our ability to even do it.  When we get there, our chances of achievement drastically decrease because it becomes more about self preservation than goal accomplishment.  We all do this in life but the key is to recognize when we do it and learn to shift our mindset back to one of growth and effort.  Then we’ll get back on track. 

    • Jim Martin

      Thanks Merritt for the link to the video.  Will be sure to watch this one.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

      Just watched the Sinek TED Talk, and I agree. The WHY is directly related to the Internal Motivation, which you can then use as the External Motivation for others, to draw hem to you and to your message. This also makes sense to me from the Tribal Leadership, Dave Logan, et al, Noble Cause perspective, ( 
      http://www.triballeadership.net/authors) and from Dan Pink’s Purpose perspective (
      http://www.danpink.com/drive). Thanks for the Sinek citation. I really like what he presents and had not seen this one. Great stuff!

    • Rachel Lance

      Glad you’re encouraged! I totally agree with you that although I know my motivators, it’s easy to lose sight of them. I’ve seen several other commenters resonate with the physical act of writing the motivators down – I’ll be rewriting my 2012 goal sheet to include those motivators for reference when the road gets long!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000045950823 Carla Marvin

    Thank you for this excellent post!  I always have my local writers group make goal posters at the first meeting in January, listing out specific goals with specific deadlines for what they wish to achieve during the year. They then place these posters in their favorite writing spot or wherever they will see them the most often, so that they are reminded of them frequently.  This year I have added motivation by promising them rewards for goals accomplished in each quarter (a certificate) and a special reward for accomplishing their longer-term goals by Dec. 
    Now, with this new information at hand, I can help them even more! 

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      It seems like you share with others as a built-in approach to learning yourself. What a great way to learn…teach!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this.  At this point in my life (I’m 54), I’m realizing that it isn’t enough to know how to do something–or even to be good at it–but first and foremost, one must truly WANT to do it.  It recalls for me the legend in which Socrates said to Plato, after holding his head under water: “When you desire my knowledge like you desired that breath of air, then you shall have it”.

  • http://frugalportland.com/ kathleen

    I think it’s also really important that it’s your why, not someone else’s.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      You’re right Kathleen. If it’s not your reason, you’re not going to care enough about it to complete the goal. Make it personal and important to you and you will go for it.

  • http://www.failuresneverfinal.com Colleen (FNF)

    Wonderful motivation on a Monday morning.  Today is going to be a great day!  Reading the post was wonderful (thank you, AGAIN, Michael) but reading through the comments was equally motivating.  What a great group of readers!  Think I’m going to need to take up running (actually, honestly, it is something that God has been nudging me on anyway. . . but its winter in Chicago . . . yuck!) because of all the great stuff the early comments said about its benefits!

    While I may not start running yet, I am planning to tweak my goals to include my “whats at stake” this week!  ;-)

    • Jim Martin

      Colleen,
      I feel much the same as I read through the comments.  A number of these comments today have really helped me think through the points that Michael is making in this post.

    • Rachel Lance

      Great comments, indeed! I’m always amazed at the conversations to be found in this community. Whenever I dread winters in Chicago I think of my family in Alaska – yesterday they got 12″ of snow! It’s supposed to be beautiful tomorrow – get out there!

      • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

        Alaska? Always wanted to go! it sounds soooooo amazing! I heard it can get could though? true? rumor?

        • Rachel Lance

          I always recommend everyone go…first in the summer & then when you think you want to move there, go back in the winter! When I was there over Christmas it was below 0 most days & we went snow machining despite the car thermometer reading -27. Yes it gets cold & snow lasts October to April, but the mountains, ocean, outdoor lifestyle, the restaurants, the people…nothing like home sweet home! Let me know if you ever get to go, I’ll get you the inside scoop!

  • http://twitter.com/MuchClearer Sean Sankey

    Purpose, purpose, purpose. If every consultant, leader, manager, entrepreneur, creative could just get the absolute importance of being crystal clear about purpose it would make such a difference to the endeavours that individuals and teams make. Michael calls it Internal Motivations here – fine, the language isn’t what matters so much – they key is asking (and answering!) the “Why” question. 

    Awesome reminder of a vital idea, Michael… and told with vulnerability and authenticity. Thanks as ever for sharing.   

    • Jim Martin

      Sean, you’ve made a great point here about the importance of knowing and articulating the purpose for what we are doing.  Reminds me of a couple of projects I have that really need more time spent asking the “why” question.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You are welcome, Sean. Thanks for commenting.

  • http://www.cookthisgetlaid.com/ Mona Holmes

    I’m really happy to see that I’ve already done this for my own healthy eating project/blog. It’s the list I refer back to when I’m too tired, busy or uninspired to write/promote/create something new.  I refer to this list and am easily reminded that I’m up to a very big game.

    Thank you for your incredible and thoughtful words. They make an enormous difference for me.

    • Jim Martin

      Mona, it is great to hear how this process has been helpful to you in your healthy eating project/blog.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for this post. It seems to be true of projects and even character development that we need internal motivation to change or grow. This was helpful to me, since I’m stalled on a project of my own at the moment. I need to go back and work through my motivations as well. 

    • Jim Martin

      Matt, wish you the best as you work through your motivations regarding your stalled post.  I thought the same thing about a particular project that I am working on.

  • http://jeffwaskowiak.wordpress.com/ Jeff Waskowiak

    Ahhh the “what’s at stake” question is terrific.  These same thoughts are applicable to a whole host of projects outside of platform building.  Whenever something cuts to the heart of the matter…that’s when things get interesting.  I’ll remember these wise words as I work on several things I want to accomplish in 2012.

    • Jim Martin

      Jeff, you said it well!  You are so right.  When we get to the heart of the matter that is often when things do get really interesting.

  • Mike

    This is goal setting gold. Well done I live my life helping others set goals and this really is brilliant

  • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

    As a family we have a goal to save up a certain amount of money this year so that next year we can move onto phase two of our dreams and move to Hawaii. If we don’t save enough, we’ll have to suffer through another Wisconsin winter (not so much this year). Week two and we’re on track, 50 more weeks to go!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Sounds like you’re moving towards the goal Kimanzi! And the goal sounds quite nice.

      • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

        Pushing ahead brother, great post today on your website, I really enjoyed it!

  • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

    What a timely post Michael. I use the SMART approach, however, I had never even considered documenting my Internal Motivations. I have a goal to complete a book proposal that I am working on, by end of this month, and then to submit it to publishers and/or literary agents, and I am making decent progress, but I do at times find myself getting bogged down. I can see how outlining my Internal Motivations for this and future goals will help me to break through the “freeze”when I bog down, and get them done. Now all I have to work through is the FEAR and DOUBT! Thanks very much.  

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      It sounds like your goals are well documented and measured.  If you don’t mind sharing, what are your internal motivations for the book project?

      • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

        Thanks for the comments John. This is what I came up with for Internal Motivations:
        GOALWrite a book proposal and submit it to prospective
        publishers and/or literary agents in that have an affinity with my topic and target
        audience.

        INTERNAL MOTIVATIONS

        ·        - I want to give the benefit of my experiences to future
        potential leaders to help them avoid the pitfalls that I could not

        ·        - I want to make a difference in the way
        executives lead their companies and their people

        ·        - I want to develop a substantive body of work in
        the area of deliberate and ethical leadership that allows me to speak on this
        topic to a wide audience

        ·        - I want to affirm my authority as having
        something of great value to share with existing and future leaders

        ·        - I want to prove to myself that I can author a
        book, and can write, blog, speak, lecture and give leadership seminars for a
        living

        • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

          Enrique,
          these are FANTASTIC internal motivations. #4 is my favorite– I love that you are challenging yourself! Keep up the great work!

          • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

            Thank you Barry. Wayne Gretzky said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          This is an excellent list, Enrique. Well done!

          • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

            Thanks Michael.

        • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

          Enrique, I agree with the others … this is a great list! You have found the “missing ingredient” to goal planning that Michael was talking about in the post. Thanks for sharing it!

          • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

            I suppose they were in there all the time. Michael showed me how to get them out in the open so that they inspire and self-motivate. That is the most effective kind of motivation, SELF MOTIVATION. Thanks again. I learn something valuable every time I read this blog!

  • Kari Scare

    Internal motivation plays a huge part in achieving goals. Because I am an internally-motivated person by nature, I tend to achieve goals pretty regularly. When I don’t, that’s usually because I failed to find something internally to drive me. This was a good reminder to always be in touch with my motivation for achieving something. Vanity and pride are not good motivations, and those are the two that usually lead to my downfall with a goal.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Great thoughts, Kari!  Vanity and pride are not only bad motivators, they are time-consuming distractions!

  • http://ketywriter3c60.prosite.com/ Ket

    Thanks! A bunch! I will write about the results in a couple of months. Cheers.

  • Lhirst

    Thanks, Michael. I teach a class on Personal Development Planning. This makes two items from you I have passed along: the book and this blog. Thanks for your generous spirit!

  • http://www.SpencerMcDonald.net Spencer McDonald

    I love the idea of internal motivations to keep you moving on your goals. This are key to prompting you along. They give you a reason to engage and take massive action.

    In my own writings on life planning and goals I talk about “anchors.” Anchors are the things that tend to keep you focused. They are things like affirmations, mentors and coaches, good books, blogs, articles, and of course king of them all… your personal why for going after your goals or dreams in life. 

    Thanks again Michael. Another wonderful reminder for us to move forward even if it is failing forward by utilizing these motivations or anchors. 

    • Jim Martin

      Spencer, I really like the idea of “anchors” to help keep you focused.  I appreciate you listing some examples in your comment.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

      Spencer,
      I really love the imagery of “anchors.”
      they keep us from drifting
      they buoy us in storms
      but our anchor has to be the rite size too, right? too little won’t do a thing… to big and your stuck because you can’t lift it!
      Spencer, that’s great stuff! Thanks for your input!

  • http://kevinklau.com Kevin Lau

    I find this post very inspiring. . . A great way to start the new year. We are more motivated when something is at stake. . .

    • Jim Martin

      Kevin, so true, we are more motivated when believe that what we want to do matters and that something really is at stake.

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    One of the things I enjoyed about this post was learning that even a successful, previously published author experiences fear, doubt, despair and considers quitting during the process.

    The difference between you, and the unsuccessful, unpublished author who is also a talented writer may be the ability to push through those feelings to refocus, refresh and fight through.

    Congratulations, and I look forward to your book.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

      Kelly,
      I am with you! It was really encouraging to hear that even Michael struggles with some of the same things that we—mere mortals— struggle with. And, yes, some of the success of talented writers is the ability to push through “resistance”(Pressfield) Probably has something to do with his “achiever” strength. I need to borrow some of his achiever! ha.

      • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

        “Do the Work” rocked my world.

        • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

          Jason, I know, right? So simple and so convicting at the same time!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have gone through these emotions on every book I have written. I even go through a mini-version of it before I speak. I think it is something akin to labor pains!

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    Perfect timing…again! I’ve been trying to figure out why I’ve been so stuck in launching my radio show into Phase III -creating income. Phase I – idea. Done. Phase II. Launch Hope101.net. Done. Phase III – creating income – STUCK !

    Coming back to my Internal Motivation is the push I need to get out of the muck.
    I will achieve this goal because:
      -  I want to be a financial blessing to others in need.
     -   I want to bless my husband for blessing me by allowing me to follow my dreams.
     -   I want to help people around the world find HOPE by providing inspirational content.
      -  I  want to help others who have a voice of Hope BE Hope around the world.
      -  I want to create products that help and inspire others.
     -   I want to take my speaking platform to a new level and reach more people w/ hope.
    -    I want to hire people to help me.
     -   I want to build a better and more use friendly website.
     -   I want to have more time (drop my part-time $9 hr. job) to write and promote my book.

    Thanks – I needed this! Be blessed!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Excellent list, Lori. Good for you!

      • http://tonychung.ca tonychung

        I tried to reconcile this with Jeff Goins’ recent post on living your best year without setting goals. I think where the two ideas intersect is the “Why”. You don’t need to spell out your goals as long as you have a clear idea of who you are and why you are doing what you are doing at the moment. It changes the perspective from “I’ll be happy when I complete my goal,” to “I have to meet these criteria because it’s who I am!”

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    My Maturity and Development is at stake if I don’t achieve my goals this year. Definitely needing God for these big ones!

  • http://www.usemeplz.com/ Usemeplz

    Reading comments is amost so interesting as reading the post:)  As for me, while planning and creating my goals, I always try to find the pros and cons of my goal, and after creating such list I begin to overcome all negative sides. And than it is much easier for me to get success in it.

  • http://twitter.com/slidingstairs Kristy O’Neal

    I completed this exercise yesterday after reading this post, and found it extremely helpful! I have to be honest, I wondered at first if it was unnecessary – after all, I set the goals so of course I knew why I wanted to achieve them. However, I found it a great exercise – to really think through why I had chosen each goal in the first place, and to re-evaluate and clarify the values that are most important to me. Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/asparagusguy Neal Ely

    I like the statement, “when I rediscovered my why, I found my way.” I have to remind myself of my “why” each night before I go to bed and set my alarm for 5:00 AM to get up and train for my upcoming April half marathon.  I think anytime we make a well thought out decision or set a goal, it’s important to stay focused on why we set the goal or made the decision, to make sure we accomplish the goal and stay true to our decision. 

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    Being a present, active, and loving husband and father is at stake. I want to be the kind of man my wife can follow and that my son can look up to. 

  • http://tonychung.ca tonychung

    Wow Michael. This post hits home at just the right time. Our team is struggling to complete a project and hitting snags along the way due to technology, third party services, and even moving goalposts. We need to remember just why we’re doing this project at all, to keep ourselves motivated to press on. “After all,” as our boss would say, “If this were easy, then ANYONE could do it!”

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  • http://twitter.com/averageus Lon Hetrick

    In response to Justin Wise’s suggestion, here’s my follow up post on “Choosing Goals Wisely” http://wp.me/pMUrU-Fz

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  • http://www.davidashleyonline.com/ David Ashley

    You said in this post, “In 2005 I set out to build my own platform…” What are some of the steps you took towards reaching this goal? Was your actual goal more specific (i.e. x amount of subscribers by a certain date)? And what was at stake if you didn’t reach it?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I detail the steps in my new book, which will be out in May. When I started, I didn’t really have a goal, other than to blog three times a week. It would have been helpful, if I had gone into that detail.

      • http://www.davidashleyonline.com/ David Ashley

        Awesome! I can’t wait to read it!!

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  • http://twitter.com/CoachTheresaIF Theresa Ip Froehlich

    Reconnecting with the reasons why you want to do something in the first place is critical. Just like the Israelites who were rebuilding the Jerusalem Wall under Nehemiah’s leadership, we can also lose sight of why we do what we do halfway.

    I myself almost did this with my first book – getting into this “Why Bother” kind of attitude. The hound of heaven kept haunting me with the reason why I felt called to write it in the first place: to help other parents having difficulty launching their young adult children. Last week, my agent has sent the book proposal to the publishers. At least I am one step toward the right direction after I overcame the internal dialogue.

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  • Tim Blankenship

    Thanks for sharing. It’s always encouraging to see the experts share in their stories when life happens and goals aren’t met. I always assume, because someone is an expert, that they have disciplines down to an art and they never miss on a goal. Great encouragement to keep going.

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  • Patricia Sherrett-Gonzalez

    Interesting food for thought and application. It surely does give me a new perspective on how I approach things. Thank you.

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  • http://www.wordoflifehawaii.com/ Wally Matanza

    WOW!  Thank you for that wisdom and sound advice!  I am in the exact predicament right now.  I just couldn’t move forward for some reason even though I had a clear goal and well laid out action plan.  Thank you for posting!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      It’s great that this post helped, Wally! Isn’t it amazing what a big difference can be made with a relatively small adjustment?

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