Here's a challenge for you: The next time you ask a person what goals they're working on, ask them "why" five times. Chances are, the person will stall somewhere around the 4th "why," unable to justify their efforts and fit those goals into their overall life plan in a meaningful way.
Try it yourself: Pick a goal right now, run the "why" exercise, and write down your answers. You might be surprised to learn that you have no idea why you're even pursuing those goals in the first place.
Even if you do have the right goals and you know exactly why they're important to you, you may not be taking the right steps to achieve them.
Let's be honest: Most of what we do on a daily basis isn't helping us to reach our most honest, biggest goals. Sure, sometimes we have to do things we don't like to do -- like clean the house or get an oil change. But ironically, there are many more hours in the day that we spend doing things that derail us from what we really, truly want in life.
You will feel the right goals at the very core of who you are.
Last month I got a chance to mentor the young people of YNG+, the group for kids of YPO members (YPO stands for Young Presidents Organization). Time after time, I asked them what their goals were, and got the usual responses involving finance careers, entrepreneurial aspirations and other canned responses.
But when I pressed them further -- asking "why" five times and skeptically digging into what was underneath those obvious goals -- I got fantastically passionate answers.
Those answers were the ones that had been hiding underneath life's "must-do" list. They so obviously aligned with the person that I could visibly see the effervescent excitement, the irrepressible smile and the quickened pace of their speech as they opened their mind to what they truly wanted.
I was there as an entrepreneur-in-residence; to provide advice and guidance and what wisdom I could. So when they stopped dreaming aloud and asked me what I thought, I said simply: "Do that."
Get honest about your goals, then do them.
Achieving your most honest, biggest goals in life isn't as complicated as you might think. Most likely, you're not achieving them because you're not being honest about what they even are in the first place -- and even then, you might not be honest with yourself about what it will really take to achieve them.
So the next time you're setting goals (and I recommend you revisit your goals daily), ask yourself: Is that true? Is that what I really, truly, honestly want?
Then, ask yourself what it will honestly take to achieve those goals. What must your day look like in order to move those initiatives forward each and every day? How might you get in your own way and sabotage your journey?
Get your destination in alignment with your honest self, and you'll quickly see for yourself that you can't help but move towards achieving them.