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Finding your "Why?"

How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Odds are, not very well. According to U.S. News, approximately 80 percent of resolutions fail by the second week of February.

Setting and keeping resolutions can be difficult when you don’t know why you are doing it. As with all things in life, it is extremely difficult to do anything when you don’t why you are doing what you are doing. This surpasses beyond resolutions. Whether it is work or career choices, athletics, relationships, or goals, you will not be able to enjoy what you do or follow through on your goals if you don’t understand the why.

Understanding your motivation for what you are doing enhances your focus, directs your attention to relevant tasks, defines who you are or who you want to be, and it re-emphasizes why you do what you do when things aren’t going your way. I have shared in this magazine my time playing high school basketball and how I was voted most inspirational during my two years on the varsity team. At the time, I viewed it as the player who never played but cheered the most! Until recently, I felt as if the award meant nothing. It wasn’t until the end of my graduate program that I understood what those awards meant and why they define my character. I truly believe that I am here to inspire, care for, and motivate any person with whom I cross paths.

Whether it is when I’m working with an athlete, conversations I have with strangers, or having someone become inspired my articles in this magazine, those awards showed me who I am and who I am meant to be. I am that motivational person who inspires others to perform their best, and sometimes to take chances. This is the reason I studied and work in Sport Psychology; this is why I am a mental performance coach for many high school athletes.

Having understood my why, everything is so much more enjoyable.

How do you know what your why is? It may seem like a simple question, but it takes time and thought. In order to find your why, think about some of these questions:

What do I want?

Why do I want this?

What makes me happy?

How do I want to be remembered?

What makes me go?

What do I find meaningful?

You don’t have to answer all of these, but use them to get your mind thinking about why you do what you do. Try to think of any thoughts, feelings, people, words, or images that come to mind when you answer these questions and see if you can come up with a phrase that states why you do what you do. This can be your mission statement.

Mine is “To care for, to motivate, and to inspire others to give it their all and enjoy their sporting experiences”.

Once you understand why you work in the field that you do (or will), once you understand why you want to accomplish your goals, once you understand why you do you what you do, everything will become more enjoyable, even the mundane tasks we participate in on a daily basis.

Understanding your why gives you purpose, and it gives you direction. I challenge you to find your why as we will incorporate this into next month’s article.

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