Chris Wilkinson column: Defining the ‘why’ key to your goals

The reason why resolutions never see fulfillment is that people don’t consider their “why”

By Chris Wilkinson

How are you doing with your 2020 health goals?

As you may have seen in a recent edition of the Citizen, March is Nutrition Month! Given nutrition is such a huge part of reaching health goals (hint: it’s generally considered about four times more important than exercise in weight loss(!) and exercise is still very important), it fits in perfectly with a 2020 health goals check in!

One study in the U.S. showed that the top five categories for 2020 resolutions were as follows:

1. Health — 39 per cent of people surveyed had a health goal in their resolutions

2. Self-Improvement — 32 per cent of people had self-improvement goal in their resolutions

3. Money — 30 per cent

4. Love — 17 per cent

5. Career — 14 per cent

Interestingly, a full 35 per cent of people surveyed didn’t have a resolution/goal for 2020. No road map for success. No established commitment on where they want to improve in their life/health. And for many that did set intentions, New Years resolutions are long gone and forgotten.

The reason why resolutions (and many goals in general) never see fulfillment is that people don’t consider their “why” deeply enough — their deep reason and motivation for the goal(s). They also don’t write down their goals and read them two to three times per day. And no consideration to daily habits is given. If these practices sounds a little foreign, there’s a clue.

Simon Sinek, popular author and motivational speaker, wrote the book on “why”, entitled Start With Why. In it he states that the “why” of a goal is the most important place to start. And to find a meaningful “why” you must dig layers deep. For example, if you want to lose weight, you must ask yourself why that is important. And when you arrive at that first answer, you must ask yourself why that is important to you. Do that three to five levels deep and you usually have your deep reason why. Often it’s related to something we’ve experienced previously (or witnessed someone else endure or project) and want to avoid.

Once you have your “why”, it’s important to envision what the changes will bring about for you. And how that will impact your life and the lives of those most important to you. And literally feel what it feels like to have achieved those goals, as if they have already happened.

And finally, goals and habits are where the rubber meets the road. The things that map the route to success. We always hear so much about how the goal writing is the last important piece to achieving success. But it’s not. It’s in the habits.

Let me explain. You could have a goal of losing 20 pounds. So you write it down. And you measure it. And you achieve it. Great! But what then? Are the habits in place and sustained? If you don’t have the healthy habits in sustained mode, you’ll go right back to where you were before. This is a big reason why people have trouble keeping their weight off once they achieve it. Yes, goals are important to have the milestone defined. But more important are the daily habits that get one there. Establishing habits that work for you. Habits that are formed and strengthened and ingrained so they become part of who you are. That way once the goal is achieved, the habits remain, and you maintain the achievement!

One last word on this for now. When your stated goals are not as important to you as you thought, the above work defining the path feels tedious and it likely won’t get done. When your “why”, your goals (and habits!) are deeply important to you, you take the time and effort to do the work above to exponentially improve your chances of success!

So take your most important goal or that one thing you want to create a breakthrough with, and do the five-levels-deep “why” exercise. Then envision your success and great results, and experience now the fulfilling feelings you receive. Write down the specific, time-bound goals that you know will inspire you and get you there. And define the daily habits that will keep you in rhythm. Then read your “why” and your goals two to three times per day, while envisioning and feeling your success as if it has already happened. That’ll be when you know you’re on your way with a much higher chance of success! Only if you really want it though.

Chris Wilkinson is the owner/GM for Nurse Next Door Home Care Services for Cowichan and central Vancouver Island. For more info visit or for questions or a free in-home Caring Consult call 250-748-4357, or email


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