In goal-setting, “your why,” refers to the relevance that the particular goal has in your life. Relevance is the R, in the SMART Goals method of goal setting. This part of setting a goal for yourself is crucial because it’s about ensuring that the goal is important to you.

There’s little point in putting time and effort into a goal that truly doesn’t matter to you. Goals should drive us forward towards something significant. The relevance of the goal you are setting should also align well with your other life plans. Decide the relevance of a goal by answering a few questions pertaining to the goal and your current life.

Questions like:

  • Does this goal seem worthwhile? Is the tradeoff of time and effort worth the result?
  • Does it align well with my other efforts and goals? Are other aspects of your life driving forward in the same direction?
  • Is this the right time for this goal? Does this goal fit in with your personal goals? Does it make sense financially?
  • Am I the right person for this goal? Is this goal attainable? Do I have the skills and ability to succeed in the goal?

Coming up with answers to these questions will help you determine the goal’s relevance in your life. Some of these questions are not necessarily straightforward, black and white. You will need to dig deep to answer some of these questions to find the real “why” of your desired goal, to know if it’s relevant enough to move forward.

An example of a goal relevant to one’s life might be for someone whose goal is to be promoted in their field, to take available online courses, to gain knowledge and experience of their desired position. This plan is worthwhile because it provides professional experience. They offer the courses online, so you can take them at a time convenient for the subject. Online courses are affordable, so most likely they will make financial sense. The online courses will ultimately propel the subject forward, toward an even bigger goal, the eventual promotion. 

The relevance of a goal is an important part of goal setting. Deciding if a goal is relevant helps you match your goals to the rest of your life, helps you know if the goal matters to you, and if the time is the right time to achieve the goal. Sometimes, one must truly examine themselves and their life to determine the relevance of the desired goal.

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