What’s Missing From Your 2015 Goals That Will Keep You From Making Them

If you’re like most people, you’ve set goals for 2015. And if you haven’t set any, your boss, your company, somebody set some for you. If you have a job of any significance, you have 2015 goals. I know all sales people do. And if we don’t have work goals, many of us have personal goals, you know like losing weight.

But there is a problem with goals. Almost all goals are missing something critical. They are missing the most important ingredient, the key element to success. It’s not enough for us to have a goal, as a goal doesn’t provide motivation. As much as we like to think it’s the goal we’re chasing, it’s not, and that’s why most people miss their goals. They are too focused on the goal and not why they want to achieve the goal.

“Why?” That’s what missing from our goals, why we want to achieve them is the key to success..

When we understand why we want to achieve a certain goal, it changes everything. The why is our motivation. When forced to be clear about what the goal represents, we become anchored in a vision that represents our emotions and most intimate desires.

If your goal is to lose 45 lbs, why? Why do you want to lose 45 lbs? Is it because you want to feel healthier? Is it because you want to have more energy. Is it because you want to go on more dates, is it because you want to show up someone at your H.S. reunion? What is the reason for wanting to lose weight? Once you’ve figured out why, go to the second why. Why do you want to show up someone at your H.S. reunion? Why do you want to have more energy? Is it to spend more time with your kids? Why do you want to go on more dates? What is your second tier reason? It is absolutely critical to get to the core of why? If you have to go to a third level “why?” then, do it.

If you want to be the top sales rep, why? If you want to exceed quota by 150%, why? If you want to grow your company by 40%, why? If you are looking to get a promotion, why? If you want to . . . why?

Once you answer why, ask it again.

If you want to be top sales rep, why? Why do you want to be top sales rep? Is it because you want to be the sales manager? If it is, why do you want to be sales manager? Get to the second and third why. That is where the true motivation comes from. When we understand what’s emotionally behind our goals, we try harder. They take on more meaning. They have more value. Trying to achieve our goals when they aren’t anchored in our true motivators makes them almost impossible to achieve.

It’s not OK to just have goals. Goals don’t represent our desires; they are manifestations of our desires and unless we know exactly why we want something, chasing it becomes less important.

Go take a look at your goals. (I’m assuming you write them down. If you don’t or haven’t that’s an entirely different problem.) Do you know why you want to achieve them? Are the reasons compelling? If not try again.

Here’s how I like to do it:


Exceed quota by 50%


To maximize accelerators and be in the top 1% of the sales team

Why? (Second level why)

To be able to save X amount of dollars for my kids education and take the family on Safari. And to prove to myself that I’m one of the best sales reps.

Why? (Third level why)

My daughter is a very talented in math, and I want to give her the best opportunity to accelerate in it. I want the family to do something together that will bring us together AND grow as people. I sometimes question if I’m good and I want to stop questioning my abilities.

Each level of why explores more of the intrinsic motivators to a single and seemingly simple goal. What’s powerful about these motivators is they are different and unique to each person. No one’s reasons will ever be the same.

Exceed quota by 50% seems pretty simple and straightforward, but when you dig deeper, it is anything but simple.

Get clear on why you want to achieve your goals. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they move from goals to reality.

We all want things, but it’s not what we want that drives us, it’s why we want it.

Why do you want it?