Ok. This week, I’m writing about the 7 most important questions in my work. Yesterday was, “who are you?” and today is, “what do you want to achieve?”
In my business of coaching people on health & fitness, you can imagine what most people’s first answers to this question sound like.
“I want to lose 20 lbs.”
“I want to lose 50 lbs.!”
“I want to run a 5k race.”
“I want to get back to where I was before.”
Not to detract from any of those goals–it’s important that they’ve acknowledged them and been able to state them out loud–but they are all on the surface-level, superficial, and may not be aligned with the person’s deeper priorities.
The real work starts when we ask deeper questions about why these things are important to them now and what they want to achieve in the long-term.
The longer-term goals for someone who wants to lose 20 lbs. might be to look good in a bikini, or simply have more confidence. Long-term goals for a person who wants to lose 50 lbs. might be their actual health & survival; they want to live to see their kids grow old. A person who wants to run a 5k three months from now might actually want to create a new lifestyle of doing outdoor activities and physical challenges on the regular. The person who wants to get back to where they were before is missing something of who they were–maybe it’s the confidence, or the certainty of purpose, or actual functional abilities that they had in the past–they want to recapture their identity and the lifestyle that made them feel like they were thriving.
Talking about the reasons behind these short-term goals allows us to unlock the long-term goals. This is important not just to provide insights into the person–insights they may not have acknowledged yet themselves–but also to develop long-term plans. If we know we’re not just chasing a little seasonal weight-loss, but a bigger project around self-image and esteem, then we can really get to work in a way that’s more effective.
In The History Books
The other aspect of this question is about what you want to achieve in the big picture. What do you want to be remembered for in your obituary, on your epitaph, and in the history books? I’ll let you sit with that for a minute.
If you haven’t thought about it before, think about it. Practice saying it in your own head, then say it out loud. This is Purpose. When you understand what you are about on this level, and what you want to achieve in life, the work you need to do today becomes effortless and joyful. When you’re unsure of your purpose, or hiding from it, every little thing becomes a chore or a nuisance.
Often, just by confronting this question, “what do you want to achieve?” my clients are able to go forward and do the work without instruction or goading. In most cases, they already know what they need to do, they just need help unlocking the reasons why.
6 thoughts on “What Do You Want to Achieve?”