Establishing Your Why & Setting Goals

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My little sister’s favorite question to ask is why. Why this? Why that? Why, why, why? The other day after answering one of her many “why” questions, I returned to my room and sat down at my desk. I suddenly had a very depressing realization… kids never grow out of “why.” If kids never grew out of “why?” adults would never ask “why?”

“Why” is something that drives people to do something. People make money. Why? Because you almost can’t live without it. People drive from point A to point B. Why? Because no body wants to walk more than half a mile (or down the street, let’s be real). People go to work. Why? Because they need to provide for themselves and their families. There’s a “why” connected to everything in life. There’s a why connected to existence, but most people can’t seem to really come up with a better answer than “I don’t know.”

The reason it’s so important to establish your WHY is because when you are your own boss, you don’t have another person’s why driving you. You need to know what the most important thing is to you in your life that will drive you to stick to your goals.

My WHY wasn’t clear for a long time. I had a perspective more like, “Get from point A to point B; I’m dancing because I want to become a professional ballet dancer.” Can we all agree that that’s a really weak why when you’ve hit rock bottom?

My WHY for my businesses became clear only just a few months ago. This is what I wrote:

I will not waste my life away working for someone else’s success. I will not sacrifice my time (which is my freedom) in exchange for money for the rest of my life. I will work hard now, as a single individual and build my businesses so that in my future I will retire early with a residual income so that I can have all the time in the world to spend with my husband and my children. I want to earn that privilege of time freedom so I can focus on my family and continue pursuing my dreams and their dreams together. My WHY is my future. My WHY is my children and my husband. My WHY is to pursue my dreams and live my life to it’s maximum potential. My WHY is to be free.

For a while, my other written proclamations weren’t enough to keep me going. Now, I actually can feel the guilt set in when I don’t stick to my goals, when I choose to not exercise discipline and I find that my WHY becomes one more day, one more week, one more month ahead of me than it was yesterday.

I was babysitting a few weeks ago for this couple. They have a dream board up on their wall of the places they want to go, a year they want to retire by, and pictures of their kids with several quotes. This is the one that stuck out most to me:

To a child, love is spelled time-freedom.

This is such a true statement that it’s the only thing I can think about when I’m working. My future has kids in it, and once you have kids, they’re in it for the rest of your life. That is what I am working for, what I am working towards. So how do you reach your why?

Goals. Most people I’ve met who tell me their goals make it sound all motivational and exciting, but really, we all know that in the process of reaching your goals, it’s never motivational, and it may be exciting at times, but most of the time you’ll find yourself asking “Am I there yet?”

I like to think of goals like milestones. For whatever reason, thinking of hitting milestones seem a lot more easily attainable, even though it’s really just the same thing. I’m going to give you a ballet example. There was a goal or a milestone I wanted to hit that I set when I was 9-years-old. That was to pass my Advanced II examination with a Distinction. Nearly nine years later, I hit that milestone and passed my Advanced II with a Distinction.

Was it motivational? Nope! In fact, it sucked. It was pain, it was brutality, it was quite literally no pain, no gain. Was it exciting? I certainly had my moments. But most of the time, it was all very hard, back-breaking work (reference to an injury I had in 2015, go figure!). I went through injury after injury after injury, overcoming things that the body is not really meant to handle. I went through “brain surgery” (metaphorically, not literally). I was constantly having to change my way of thinking. I went through massive burnout and depression and anxiety in that process.

My point is, reaching your goals is not all butterflies and rainbows. It’s not green pastures and pretty moments in the golden hour. No, it’s awful. Goals help you see where you’re going. With goals, you can set a time you want to hit them. For instance: I want to retire by the time I’m 30 years old. Is that a huge goal? Absolutely! Can I achieve that? Only if I stick to my goals, if I stick to my strategy, if I follow through with what I have been telling myself for the past two years, then yes. It’s possible.

All things are possible. It’s only impossible when you get in the way of yourself. So get out of your way. Stop it. Stop self sabotaging. Stop being all talk and no action. Stop wallowing and stop throwing yourself pity parties when you don’t reach your goal by that certain time. Quit that! Let your irritation and frustration drive you to actually do something about it. Be so sick and tired of being stuck in the same cycle and let that carry you to where you’re meant to go!

Set Your Milestones

Everyone wants to be celebrated. When I launched LIFE ON POINTE for the second time, I was so excited! I celebrated, and my family celebrated, and my friends celebrated a dream come true. Did that mean the hard work stopped? Heck no!

Just because you hit a milestone doesn’t mean you’ve hit success, and I think that’s a huge misconception and a big problem in our mindset. Just because you launch a company doesn’t mean there’s money in the bank. Just because your idea came to pass doesn’t mean it’s successful.

So here’s a couple things you should do when you set your milestones.

1. Set it. No matter how big, no matter how small.

One of the milestones I’m really hoping to hit is 100 subscribers on my YouTube channel this year. It seems measly, compared to the thousands of other influencers with millions of followers. It seems so small, but it’s a reason to celebrate. I am one step closer to success. A baby takes several small steps to get to their destination. They don’t cover as much ground as an adult can. Why? Because babies aren’t fully developed. You have to treat your milestones like it’s your baby and nurture it and watch it grow. Give it the time, the grace, the compassion, and the mercy to grow into what it’s meant to become, not what you think it should become, but what it is meant to become.

2. Give yourself a REASONABLE time frame.

It would be really stupid of me to say, “I’m going to retire by the time I’m 20-years-old!” Why? Well, because I have a crazy lifestyle. In setting your time frames to hit your milestones, you have to look at your lifestyle and give yourself a reasonable time frame that matches your life with everything in it. And it’s okay to readjust your timeline. Some things end in certain seasons and some things begin in others.

For me, I know I can retire by the time I’m 30. That’s a reasonable time frame for me, as my focus is being pulled in many different directions. If I had a 100% focus on just my business, I probably could retire by the time I reach the age of 21 to 23. But because I’m running two businesses, a brand, on the path of becoming a ballerina, writing a book, and everything else that’s going on in my life, it’s just not possible because I can’t nurture that baby in the way it needs to be if I were to retire in that time frame.

Set your timeline, and if you don’t hit it, that’s okay! Forgive yourself and move on. Time is something you can never get back, and if you waste your time on wallowing in self pity because you didn’t reach your milestone by a certain time, then you’re one day, one week, one month even further behind. Forgive yourself. Readjust your timeline. And be 100% okay with it.

3. Do Your Part

It’s really simple: if you want to hit your milestones in the time frame you have set for yourself, then you need to take action and do what it is you need to be doing in order to achieve those goals. You can’t just sit around and wait for something to happen. I spoke about this in April in my video Opportunities. I voiced my opinion on opportunities and share with you my experiences with watching other people go after opportunities. It’s like we take these things for granted. We expect opportunities to just fall in your lap. Sometimes you don’t have to knock on a door, and yes, sometimes they do just fall into your lap. However, sometimes you have to knock on a few doors and continue knocking until they open to you if you know that’s exactly what you want and that’s exactly where you’re meant to be.

Take initiative. Take control. You are in control of your life, so act like it! Give yourself more credit and take more responsibility for your own life and for the success you will and 100% can achieve.

I have full confidence in each one of you. You can do anything you want, you can have everything you want, but in the wise words of my ballet master, “You have to just be smart enough to make it all fit.” And you can! You so can. All you need is a push. Get outside of your comfort zone. Get out a piece of paper and a pen and create your why. Really think about what drives your life, and if you don’t have one, don’t get discouraged. Sometimes it takes a while. Write down your goals and what you want to achieve. Motivate yourself. Get yourself excited about your life again, and start going after the life you want.

“Start living your best life.” - Fat Joe

I love you all! Thank you so much for reading this very long blogpost, and I will see you here next week with part 4 of our How To Be Your Own Boss series.

Peace Out!

Hey, guess what?! You can now listen to this blogpost on SoundCloud! Listen to How To Be Your Own Boss Series!


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