Early year is often the period we hear a lot more about goal setting and how important it is. Perhaps you’ve even heard a goal is more important than deciding on a New Year’s resolution. Which is true, because a goal gives you clarity of direction and a deadline to get you off the starting line.

But, is a goal enough to consistently motivate you over the long term? Because, after working with people for a number of years now, I’ve noticed it isn’t.

One of my colleagues shared recently that “29% of New Year goals fail after two weeks, 36% after a month, 50% after three months and the majority shortly after that.”

This really is a huge stat and shows clearly how many people continue to consistently take action over the long term and how many give up by March. Contrary to popular belief, this has less to do with self -discipline and has more to do with self-motivation and the reason why we set the goal in the first place.

If we don’t have a powerful reason to set the goal and have a clear understanding of it, then it’s easy to lose motivation and fall off track. You’ve possibly heard this described as “Your Compelling Reason Why” which is just an exciting name for the reason why you are doing something.

We have reasons for doing everything, like brushing our teeth for instance. The goal is to brush our teeth, but it’s not the reason we do it. We do it because we don’t want to have bad breath and repel someone we’re talking to or kissing, or we want our teeth to feel clean and stay healthy. And this reason is compelling enough to motivate us to consistently brush our teeth, right?

Or, maybe it’s not, depending on what you value. When our reason why is connected to our values, it becomes powerful enough to motivate us over the long term.

I love Dr John De Martini’s philosophy on this. He believes that “true motivation is internal and comes in the form of inspiration, which is present when we fulfil our values”. And in my experience I have also noticed this as being true.

Let me give you another example; say a business owner sets a goal to increase his income by 50% and this means he will need to spend a lot more hours at work. He values spending time with his family and if his reason for increasing income is to eventually spend more time with his family, it will give him the long term motivation to sacrifice family time in the short term.

It may sound complicated and because values are mostly unconscious it can be. But there is a simple process, which can help you.

Set your goal
This will help you get that initial direction and motivation. Be sure to make it specific and measurable with a deadline. This must be something you want for you and it’s essential to write it down as if it is happening right now.

Get clear on your reason why
This means you will stay motivated over the long term. There is no right or wrong here, its different for everyone. Ask yourself what achieving this goal will give you. It’s important that your reason why lights you up from the inside.

Remind yourself of your reason why regularly
Chances are if your reason why lights you up from the inside, it’s aligned with your values. So it’s vital to regularly remind yourself of this throughout the year by displaying it somewhere, especially when the going gets tough.

We take action or not based on how we feel. Self-discipline implies force and we all know what we do when we feel forced. Motivation and inspiration on the other hand are pleasurable feelings. Which would you prefer and which will keep you on track?

If you are ready to achieve high this year and create an aligned pathway so you are consistently motivated then check out Your Success Planner here