by Mark Timm, CEO Ziglar Family
Over the past two weeks, if you’ve been following my blog posts, you’ve identified some areas for your family to focus on improving and have set some specific goals to get there.
But here’s the sad reality: 92% of people fail at their goals or resolutions after a very short time.
Zig Ziglar explained it this way:
“The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what we want most for what we want at the moment.”
In the case of family life and family-related goals, it may be that you trade what you want most (a strong, healthy, successful family) for what you want now (just to be left alone because you’re exhausted and don’t feel like putting time or effort into working on your family or anything else today).
But here’s the good news: 8% of people do succeed at their goals and resolutions – and there is no reason you can’t be one of those 8%!
The question is, how are you going to get there? How are you going to stay motivated, keeping your eye on what you want MOST instead of what you want NOW?
To get to the finish line, I believe you have to know your WHY.
Too many families today keep the primary focus on the what— what do we have to do today to make it to the end of the day without falling apart?
What tasks do I have to accomplish at work? What extracurricular events do the kids have to get to? What needs doing around the house?
And it’s repeated day after day after day.
You may even, to some extent, be focusing on the what when you’re thinking about your goals. For example, if you set the goal to have the family together at the dinner table 3 nights a week, you may be focused on what you need to do to make that happen: whose schedules you need to work around, what groceries you need to buy, etc.
But the more important question to keep in mind is WHY you set those goals in the first place. In other words, why is having your family together at dinner going to move you toward the family life you know you were designed for?
Maybe your why is that you want your family to feel a deeper commitment to one another.
Maybe it’s that you know that spending more quality time together will help build and strengthen your family bonds.
Your why might be that your family needs to establish better, more constructive communication practices so that you can build each other up while showing respect for and genuine interest in each other.
All of these are compelling whys, because families with those characteristics of commitment, character, respect, gratitude, and so on are strong families who can legitimately expect to win – to experience long-term success and significance.
The bottom line is this: make sure your why—the desired outcome that motivates you to keep after those goals you’ve set—stays focused on the fact that you want your family to be all that it can be, doing all that you can so that you will have strong, healthy relationships both short-term and for all of the many years yet to come.