One reason we don’t succeed at setting goals is because we have not identified what we value, so we don’t know why what we are doing is important. For example, suppose our goal is this:
Keep the house clean.
So I make a plan, and I decide: I am going to clean the bathroom every week.
Let’s go further than just setting that goal, though.
Why do you want to clean the bathroom every week?
Probably you clean the bathroom because you like having a clean bathroom. In our communications classes, we call this something that we value. I value a clean bathroom, because I don’t want to worry about germs being all over the place. And - quite frankly - I don’t want to have to worry that if someone comes to our house I am going to have to pretend that I don’t have a bathroom.
But sometimes, when I forget the “why” or the “value”, I might be in the bathroom scrubbing away, thinking, “I hate cleaning this bathroom. It’s an awful, thankless job.” So - how much energy do you think I have to work with? Not very much.
When I can identify the why, I am identifying what I value. I know what I want, and I know if it is an important thing to me. It’s much easier to be happier when I am doing things if I know that I am acting in harmony with my values.
It may be only words - but the very words we use to think about things that we do matter. They either increase energy, or draw energy away from us.