January is coming to an end. Are you one of the 8% that will claim success on their 2018 resolutions? Today let’s look at motivation. What makes your resolution important to you and how can you keep moving forward towards your goal?
Let’s examine a college student’s life. Janie is a non-traditional student, in her 40’s, and is working towards a graduate degree. Her goal is to step outside her comfort zone, learn new material, and gain skills for advancement in her career. She has a sold “B” in one of her business courses. She feels confident about the upcoming midterm, but also knows that additional study time could bring her grade up to an “A”. She plans to spend Saturday afternoon at her daughter’s gymnastics competition, then spend a few hours Saturday evening studying.
Janie’s best friend, Sarah, calls on Friday afternoon. Sarah moved away to pursue her career in a different town two years ago. Janie and Sarah make time for each other whenever they are in the same town and they Skype chat at least once per week. Sarah will be in town Saturday night and would love to get together for dinner.
Janie has a choice to make. She is familiar with the term “opportunity cost” from her business course. Whichever opportunity she chooses, dinner with Sarah instead of studying or studying instead of dinner with her friend, comes at a cost. As she considers her choices, she reflects on her motivation for her goal.
Pursuing a master’s degree is an investment in time and money for Janie. She will gain knowledge in this process and hopes to get promoted at work as a result. A promotion would allow Janie to do work that she find interesting and would provide more money for her family. She would like to spend that money on additional recreation time with family and friends. Janie asks herself which would she value more – an “A” or an evening with a dear friend?
Defining the why – the motivation behind a goal, brings meaning and value to the goal. Knowing why the goal is important makes it a priority. Many times, when we set goals our expectation is a clear ride to the finish line. The reality is that we will encounter unforeseen bumps in the road, steep inclines, and sudden storms. Sometimes we even encounter unexpected crossroads. Knowing why we are committed to our goal helps us through these challenges, straight through to the finish line!