Knowing Your ‘WHY’ Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

by | Dec 10, 2019 | Blog, Inspiration, Mindset, Tips | 0 comments

It seems crazy to say it – but we’re almost at the end of another year. Before we’re whipped up into the mad whirl of Christmas preparations, it’s a good time to take stock and reflect. How has your year been? Have you achieved what you wanted to achieve? Done the things you wanted to do? And what are your goals for 2020?

It’s all very well having vague New Year aspirations – to be healthier, more organised, or to progress in our careers. What we’ll be focusing on, however,  is how to hone these general aims into specific and achievable goals. The starting point for this process is understanding your motivations. In order to work out what you actually want from your life and career over the next year, you need to know why you want it. And that means knowing your values.

It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are – Roy Disney

You will only ever find real motivation for doing what you have to do in life if you are being authentic and staying true to your core values. Your values are the things that matter most to you – the things that drive you from within. From my own experience, when I was working in the City pre-children, I certainly knew what I wanted – a well-paid job with status and recognition – but I had no sense of any deeper meaning to my ambitions. This resulted in a crisis of motivation when I later tried to combine my working life and motherhood.

By stepping back, reflecting, and learning to identify my ‘why’, the things that really mattered to me –  I was able to work out a better strategy for keeping myself motivated and happy, whilst working and parenting.

Knowing your ‘why’, then, is key to setting the right goals, for being able to achieve those goals – and to finding that all important work/life balance. The problem that many of us have is not having ever taken the time to properly identify our ‘why’. As I mentioned, I was forced to think seriously about mine when I came under intense pressure trying to combine my career and parenting – and going through that process has really helped me with my subsequent career and work/life decisions. Now my ‘why’ is at the heart of everything I do – and that is what ultimately makes for a fulfilling and rewarding work/life experience.

I would therefore encourage you to take the time and effort required for identifying your ‘why’. To get you started, follow these steps:

1. Reflect

Cast your mind back over your life experiences. Think about the times when you felt most excited and energised. What was going on then and what were you doing? Conversely, reflect on some occasions in your life when you felt enraged, frustrated or devastated. Again – what was going on at that time and what were you doing? Write down your thoughts.

2. Connect values to those experiences

Think about the values that are connected with each of those experiences. Have a look at this list of values below, and choose a handful that resonate most deeply with how you felt at the time;

Adventure, Ambition, Beauty, Authenticity, Creativity, Excellence, Excitement, Freedom, Friendship, Fun, Honesty, Humour, Integrity, Kindness, Learning, Love,  Nurturing, Openness, Recognition, Trust, Balance, Choice, Appreciation, Security, Reward, Growth, Balance, Achievement, Spirituality, Zest, Health, Performance, Order, Risk-taking, Recognition, Loyalty, Challenge, Tolerance, Autonomy, Independence, Originality, Flexibility, Respect, Safety, Stability, Care.

3. Choose the values that align most with your best experiences

Pick a handful of values that recur when you look at your favourable past experiences.

4. Create a values statement for each of your chosen values

Write a sentence for each of your values explaining what it means to you and your life: eg: Health – ‘It is important to me to eat well and exercise regularly to maintain high fitness and energy levels.’ Or Independence – ‘It is important to me to earn my own money and have control of my finances’.

5. Rank your values

Think about your values in order of the importance they have to you. For example, is achievement your top priority? Or is it more important that what you do involves creativity?

6. Plan some positive actions that align with your chosen values

For example – if you value creativity, make a plan to take up a creative hobby or attend classes – pledge to paint or write (or whatever your skill) once a week. If excellence is important, plan a project where there is an opportunity for gaining an award or recognition to give you something tangible to strive for.

7. Re-assess your ‘why’ regularly

Keep yourself on track by regularly checking in with how you are doing in relation to living a life that aligns with your ‘why’.  Your values may change as your life circumstances do, so remain self-aware and make sure that whatever you do, and whatever decisions you make – everything is still aligned with the things that really matter to you.

Once you have worked out your ‘why’, you are in a much stronger position for making a success of combining your career with any challenges you face in 2020.

Signup here to find out more about ‘Having it all’ – my one on one coaching programme for 2020.


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Knowing Your ‘WHY’ Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

by | Dec 10, 2019 | Blog, Inspiration, Mindset, Tips | 0 comments

For many years now, the Millennial workforce has been consistently changing the way we work in more ways than one. As noted by NBC News, aside from raising awareness over various topics such as employee and workplace well-being, work-life balance, and flexibility, this new generation of professionals has also made it the norm for managers and company leaders to provide a steady flow of feedback.


This reality has eventually led to the emergence of hundreds of millions of resources on the different ways to give effective feedback. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about being on the other end: there just isn't enough information out there on how to receive feedback well. That being said, here are six tips that can help you get the most out of all the feedback you receive:

1. Handle your emotions offline 

We can't help it if certain comments make us feel certain ways -- we're only human after all. However, your emotional response is yours and yours alone to deal with. To ensure that you are capable of addressing every piece of the feedback with determination and an open mind, get negative emotional reactions out of your system through simple breathing exercises.
An article by Pain-Free Working explained how exercises like deep breathing, the 4-7-8 breathing technique, and the lion’s breath technique can help release tension in the head, promote relaxation and improve your mood in just a few minutes.

2. Identify good intentions 

Taking in criticism or feedback can be hard -- no matter how meaningful, constructive or true it may be. However, it is something you must overcome in order to become better at receiving feedback. Again, you have to remember that the person giving you an evaluation isn’t out to get you and intentionally hurt your feelings. They are there with the intention to help you see points of improvement.

3. Actively listen

Whether you are listening to a talk or participating in a class, the only foolproof way to learn as much as you can is by listening actively. This undeniable truth also applies when taking in feedback. When the other person is sharing his or her feedback with you, make sure to listen closely. Let the person share their complete evaluation, without interruption. Avoid analysing or questioning each and every comment, and instead, focus on trying to understand what the other person means and the perspective they are coming from. Once they are done, The Muse suggests repeating back the comment to ensure that you got everything right.


In addition to repeating the other person’s comments, it would also be in your best interest to ask questions if there are parts that you weren’t able to fully grasp. Asking questions will not only show how willing you are when it comes to understanding their assessment. This simple act can also help you have more clarity, get to the root of the issues raised and have access to some possible solutions for addressing said issues.

5. Learn from each feedback

Even if the feedback you’ve received is unfavourable, there is surely still something you can learn from it. Just like how you would try to ‘Overcome Failure’, ask yourself why you got such commentary. Then, use that knowledge to further improve your work and to ensure that the next feedback you’d get will be much better.


As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. With that in mind, after making sense of the feedback you've received, make sure to work on the items mentioned and issues raised. It would also be a good idea to circle back with them to see how things are going from their perspective. Doing so will not only strengthen your relationship with them, but also provide you with an opportunity to get more feedback.

Feedback can be thought of as two-way streets. Meaning to say, in order for it to be as effective as it can be, the giver should know how to offer meaningful comments while the receiver should know how to receive assessments well.


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