You have a goal in mind, but that’s all you have. Creating, working towards, and reaching goals is not easy. The journey is often different for everyone. However, there are three parts of achieving every goal that is always the same. Defining the 3 W’s of your goal will allow you to work toward it without losing sight of the big picture.
What – What do you want? What is your goal? You need to be specific: I want to run a half marathon. I want to write a novel. Explicitly, naming your goal and writing it out will give power to it and will allow you to mentally focus in on what you are trying to achieve. Clearly defined goals are easier to work towards. Writing out your target has the added benefit of making the goal “real,” as opposed to a foggy idea floating in your mind.
When – When do you want to achieve your goal? What is your timeframe? Once you have an overall time frame, you can dive into the milestones that you will need to hit along the way and put time limits on those. Doing this will give you benchmarks on which you can measure your progress. Measuring your progress in increments will also keep your spirits up when you are in the muck of the middle. You will be able to look back and say, “I’m halfway there.”
Why – Why is this your goal? Why do you want to do it? Your why is your everything. Your reasoning should be personal and not something you will be easily swayed from. If you’re going to run a half marathon merely for the glory, you may want to dig a little deeper. Running a half isn’t easy, and in the middle of every training session, it will just be you and your legs. Having a strong why will also come in handy when you lack external support. Having a reliable support system of family and friends makes achieving any goal easier, but sometimes you won’t have that backing.
You have your what, your when, and your why. Write down each of these and revisit the W’s when times get tough. You should especially revisit your why daily. It will remind you why you started, why you are continuing, and what awaits you at the end of your long journey. Setting and achieving goals is not for the weak of heart, but if your heart is in it, the process will be much less daunting.