Lessons from a five year old – find your why

Start on January 1

We’re a day into 2017 and if you’re like many people the new year’s resolutions that you made on the stroke of midnight have already made it obvious that they were perhaps not as well thought out as they should have been.  Whether it was to quit something, take something new up, eat better, lose weight, train harder, hit a tough goal or achieve a new mindset you’ve now had time to think about the reality of the work it will take and perhaps there are second thoughts.

Of course if you need help with the “how” of meeting these resolutions there is no shortage of advice at this time of year.  From businesses targeting people with your aim (notice the step up in ads from weight loss companies, gyms, PTs and coaches?) to magazine and internet articles on goal getting (SMART/SMARTER goal anyone?) you can waste a lot of time and potentially money chasing something that is little more than a dream.  The same resolution you had at this time last year and will probably be using next year too.  Why is it so hard?

The reality is that most people set themselves up for failure long before they even define their goals, let alone formulate a plan to achieve them.  All worthwhile goals, as new year’s resolutions surely are, take perseverance to accomplish and that needs sustained motivation.  But that won’t be a problem will it, because this year we really, really want to do it…don’t we?  Maybe not.

For those that have gone through the fun of raising a child we all know that there’s one word that we dread.  One simple word that can cause endless frustration and throw our thought process into turmoil and a five year old just loves it.  The conversation normally goes something like this:


“Because of…”

“But why?”


“But why?”

“Because I said so.”

“But why?”


When  it comes to setting goals and resolutions we need be to more like a five year old.  Don’t stop with the thing you think you want.  Ask yourself why and you’ll often come up with the reason behind the goal.  Keep asking until you find the root of what you really want.  Sometimes it leads you in unexpected directions, away from your original thought, but it will always provide you with your true desire and thereby the motivation you need to achieve it.

Happy new year everyone.  Here’s hoping that 2017 brings you everything you desire.

Coach Trav