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“What’s your why”? 

Yes, that’s right –  what’s your driving factor?   Instead of a quote this week, I’ve decided on a seemingly simple question.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of quotes in the two videos I mention in today’s post that I’ll probably use for posters later on in the year, but I had to start with this.

What’s Your Why?

Sometimes, we set goals without really knowing why we set them.  We think we “should”, society thinks we “should”, guilt is eating us up for not having accomplished it last year…let me count the reasons.

One key I realized when reviewing how badly I did at my goals last year compared to past successes was that in 2018, I didn’t have enough of a WHY for each goal.

What’s the real purpose of our goals? What will we get at the end – and is it worth it? 

These are some questions to consider as you read through today’s post, and set your own goals for the year. 


Two Secret Ingredients For Better Goal Setting

When you grab out your goal-setting sheet, is it a list, a paragraph, a story, or simply a few statements?  Well, if you know me you know that I create a whole document of goals.   Now, I know that may seem overwhelming, but I really have fun writing down every short, medium and long-term goal for all my categories:  personal, financial, career, fitness/health, and business/blog.

There are two columns I added this year, though.  They’re really getting my “why” in motion.

Discipline Is - Motviational Monday

1.  The Why Column

It’s really as simple as it sounds. However, writing down our whys keeps us disciplined.  For each short, medium and long-term goal I’ve set, I’ve written 2-3 sentences about why I really want it.  Not why it’s expected of me, but why I truly want to achieve it.  It takes a bit of thinking – be warned!


2.  The Visualization Column

Next,  I add this column in to help me visualize.  I’ll be honest and let you know that this is the hardest part! I’m still filling in this year’s visualizations.  It involves closing your eyes, squeezing them tight, and truly believing and seeing your goal come true.  Then, write down how you are feeling in that moment.  For every. single. goal.

If you don’t truly believe it, I don’t believe it’ll come true, either.

I’ll be updating my Printables Library soon to reflect my new goal-setting process, but for now get a start with my FREE goal-setting template! It was the first printable in the library, and it’s still the one I use with every student I begin teaching in private lessons.

Free Printables Library


Remember That Your Why Can Be Different: Motivational Videos

I saw an amazing Goalcast video the other day by Jay Shetty.  He really reminds us that our whys, our purposes don’t have to be the same as everyone else’s. We often believe that there is one path that we’re supposed to take.  Graduate college, grab a corporate job, work in it until we’re financially secure, and follow our passions later.  I tutor so many high-school kids and teach classes with university students who want to follow a conventional path.

Jay Shetty gives us a reason not to, and explains what people told him before he made his big, different decision. 

  If you know me, you know that I’m all about non-conformity, and this video hits the spot.

I won’t ruin the content for you – take a look!

Take a few minutes to check it out here:



By the way, I’m working on an exciting new resource that incorporates video lessons you’ll be able to purchase soon, and it includes a lesson plan for this video. (It’s one of my main goals to have so much more ready for all of you wonderful readers in 2019 and 2020).


What About Fear-Setting – Why?

Okay, I’ll admit that when I saw the title of this TED Talk, I thought whaaat?  Why would I set fears instead of goals?  Motivational Monday 75 Fear Is The EnemyThen, I saw that the speaker was Tim Ferriss, and I ended up using this one in a class last night!

Ferriss encourages us to recognize and write down our fears, not just our goals.  I’ll admit that the beginning of this talk is not super convincing, but by the end, I was sure that I had at least one fear blocking me from achieving my goals.  That’s likely the subject of an entirely different post – one on overcoming fears, for example.

However, for now-  watch this video!







What will students think of this “fear-setting” process?  (A 15-year-old ESL student yesterday told me she thought it was “interesting…but a bit weird”.)  I do agree, but I have to say that most processes can be a bit weird at times. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, too 🙂 



How To Follow Through On Your Goals

Okay, so now you’ve set the goals, but how are you going to follow through on them? How-To-Set-New-Years-Goals (Tim Ferriss’ TED Talk in the section above may be a good start, actually). 

Well, if you missed my  New Year’s Day post, head on over and check that out for top tips on how to stick to your goals. 

Here are three ways I’m checking in on my goals this year:


1.  3-Month & 6-Month Check-ups

It’s as simple as it sounds!  So, after I’ve written up and finalized my goals on my birthday (January 24th) every year, I close the document.  Then, I don’t even look at it for three whole months. 

Do you know why?

If I do, I start to obsess over my progress (or lack thereof).  I find that if you do the visualizations properly, you’ll be continually thinking of those feelings anyway.  If we “set and forget” them, but continue with the plans you’ve set, that document will soon become a summary of what we’ve accomplished instead of just our goals.

At the 6-month mark, I take a look and see if anything needs adjusting.  Were any of my goals unrealistic? Have my whys changed? If not, I leave it as is and go on my way until the next January.


2  Online Tracker Tools

So, depending on my goal the tools I use are different.  You’ve probably seen my popular post on How To Use Google Calendar to Avoid Overwhelm.  That’s always my first step.

Then, I use tools like Trello (an amazing drag-and-drop planning software), Goodreads to track books (one of my main goals is to read more this year), and Garmin’s fitness tracking software for my amazing Vivosport watch. (I LOVE it! If you need a fitness watch, you can get a great deal on Amazon). Garmin was so good  that they even replaced my watch when the band broke!


3. Telling Everyone

Okay, so the most important part for some people is to have an accountability buddy.  That means someone you can tell your progress to!  A lot of people use social media for this.  I find if I have to record everything for my trainer or share my Garmin data with him, I’m slightly more motivated to do well. Sometimes, it helps to have someone other than ourselves invested in our progress!


What are your goals this year?  Have you tried the visualization and why-statement process?  Let me know in the comments below. I read and reply to every comment and I really can’t wait to hear your thoughts!  🙂


Have a lovely and productive week!


P.S. Photography lovers, the photo for today’s post (and poster!) is from one of my favourite trips to the Costa Brava, here in Spain.

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