Knowing Your “Why”

Many of us understand the benefit of establishing a solid set of Goals. These can be for your business, your personal life or any number of other items. I believe they represent one of the most important tasks that you can undertake. Yet, many people set goals every year, but then fail to accomplish them. New Year’s resolutions are an excellent example of this. Why is it that these so often fail to come to fruition?

Actually, I am glad you asked! The reason is that setting your goals is only part of the process. Of equal importance is of knowing your “Why.” Why is this goal important to you? Why does it matter to you? Why do you want to accomplish this specific item?

Let’s look at one example. First, you may have the goal of having your dairy herd average 90 pounds of milk per cow per day. That’s nice, but why does that really matter? Well, you contend that this production level will make you more efficient. Then, I might ask, why do you want to be more efficient?

Somewhat frustrated, you claim that if you can operate more efficiently, you will be more profitable. So, I then ask why you would want to be more profitable. Is it just to acquire more money? Finally, you reply (somewhat out of exasperation at this point) that being more profitable will allow you to take your family on a vacation occasionally, have money set aside for your two children to go to college, and also get you financially prepared to retire sometime in the future.

Aha! I finally got you to focus on what really matters most with your Goal Setting. Of course, the Goals, themselves, are significant. Without them, you will meander, at best, in making any progress. In addition to setting your goals, though, it is essential to understand “Why” you are pursuing this goal.

Without understanding why, it is so easy to get frustrated and give up your pursuit of any goal. However, if you take the time to understand and write out your “Why,” you will be better positioned to “stay the course” and ultimately reach your objective. For example, if the weather turns extremely hot or your feed supply gets damaged due to rain or other weather issues, you may get easily frustrated and give up your goal of hitting the 90 pounds per cow per day goal we discussed above, settling for less. 

On the contrary, though, if you understand why you are pursuing this goal and the long term implications of actually reaching it, you are far more likely to do whatever it takes to reach your long term objectives. Knowing your “Why” will provide you with the motivation necessary, as the Boy Scouts state, to “Improvise, adapt and overcome!”

Build a solid foundation under your Goals, by knowing your “Why!” I think you will be glad you did. To learn more about Goal Setting and related topics for your business, check out the articles on the home page of my website at I hope you find them helpful!