Laina Turner, Author
L.C. Turner, Author

You Must Have a Strong WHY for Your Goals

Do you have a strong WHY for your goals?

If your goal is to be a writer and make a living at it, that’s awesome!

Achieving your goal of being an authorpreneur requires a positive attitude and a clear focus.

First I want to say, I’m totally proud of you and your desire to follow your heart. You can do this! It can absolutely happen, but it’s not enough to wish it. You’ve got to set goals and take action toward those goals to make your dreams come true.

You must build your authorpreneur foundation for success with great intention.

When thinking about what you want out of your writing career, the key is to be specific. Nail those suckers down. Don’t just say I want to be rich, or I want to be a best-selling author, or I want my own private island. That’s too vague.

You Must Have a Strong WHY for Your Goals

If you can’t say it with conviction, then maybe you don’t want it that badly.

Instead of saying: I want my own private island.

You want to say: I want to buy my own private island in 5 years. It will cost me 10 million dollars, so I need to sell 5 million books at two dollars apiece. That means selling 274 books a day at two dollars each for 1,825 days (5 years).

The second goal I wrote down is specific. Something I can sink my teeth into, explain to someone, and visualize. The goal is written in such a way that I know exactly what I must do to achieve it.

I read that goal and get pumped up thinking, let’s go sell some stuff! Whoo-hoo!

What are your goals? Do you already have a clear idea of what you want? Are the goals in your head kind of floating around? If so, now’s your chance to write them all down. You might not realize how many goals you have until you start to list them all and find you have so many you can’t accomplish everything at once. Even if you wanted to.

You also want to think of your goals in the sense of both short-term and long-term. Many of your smaller goals will be stepping-stones to bigger goals.

I would also encourage you to throw limitations out the window. Write down your goals as if you haven’t a care in the world and you can do anything. Don’t let doubts creep into your head.

Download the worksheet and write down your goals in the goals section. Starting with your biggest, scariest goal.

Take your time to think hard about what it is you want. Will everything on your list be doable? Probably not. But until you’ve had time to explore the possibilities, don’t limit yourself.

Once you have your list of goals, then you need to make sure they’re the right goals and are going to move you forward to your ultimate end game. To make sure you have the right goals you need to have a compelling WHY for every single one you just wrote down. You need to ask yourself:

  • Why have you made this goal?
  • Why is the goal important to you?
  • Will achieving this goal make your life better? Why?
  • Who will this goal impact?
  • In what way will it impact someone?

Identifying your WHY is crucial to staying passionate and focused.

[tweetshare tweet=”He who has a why to live can bear almost any how – Friedrich Nietzsche” username=”laina_turner”]

If you don’t have a strong WHY, then kick your goal to the curb. It’s not something you need to waste time on. There’s only a certain amount of time in a day so you need to spend your time where it matters.

Reflect for a minute. Have you ever gone down a certain path, either personally or professionally, because it seemed like the right or fun, thing to do at the time but at some point, doubts crept in and you started to wonder why you were doing it in the first place? I know I have.

Questioning why you are doing something often leads to frustration and resentment toward that task. Sometimes even anger at yourself for wasting time on it. Those feelings can lead you to become unmotivated and, baby, it’s all downhill from there.

If you have a strong WHY, then when you start to have doubts – which you will, we all hit rough patches and want to quit – you can revisit your WHY and remind yourself of the reason you wanted this in the first place.

If you don’t have a strong WHY it will be harder to get through the tough times and easier to give up. Frankly, life is too short to spend on things that you don’t feel you must have at all costs or your life just won’t be the same. I’m being a little dramatic but you get my point.

My million-dollar goal is a huge one and freaks me out every time I say it. I know you probably think I’m nuts, but I like to dream big.

My WHY for that goal is to be able to live my life the way I want on my own terms. To travel with my family, have the flexibility to be the kind of mom I want to be, provide my kids with the things they need and want, to be my own boss, to create something I’m proud of, and to not worry about money.

Do I actually NEED a million dollars? No, that’s not my motivator. The things I just mentioned are my motivator. Money is a vehicle.

When I’m up at 2 am, tired and exhausted, not wanting to write one more thing and thinking a 9-5 job with weekly direct deposits and sick days is sounding better and better, I think of my WHY and it keeps me going.

I can close my eyes and picture those above things happening. And it brings a smile to my face. Ultimately, I know I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t pursue my passion and at least try to reach my goals. Even though at times I want to throw in the towel.

At the end of the day, I would rather fail at making a million dollars doing something I enjoy than settle for a steady paycheck doing something that doesn’t fulfill me. It’s just not worth it.

Life’s too short not to live it to the fullest. I’m not talking about bankrupting yourself or not being able to put food on the table. Sometimes you must do things you don’t want for the necessities, that’s called being an adult, but rather I’m talking about the big picture.

I’ll share with you a few of my goals and corresponding WHYs as an example.


To make 1,000,000 a year.

To earn a living as a writer.

To work out daily.

Get a Masters in psychology.


To live life on my terms

To pursue my passion.

To stay healthy for my family and me.

Because I like psychology.

I put a big goal, a medium sized goal, a smaller goal, and one that I’d like to achieve but isn’t that important or going to help get me to my larger goals, to demonstrate how you sometimes need to pick and choose.

I like the field of psychology. The topic fascinates me and you already know I love to learn. Getting another degree in this topic would be fun for me. However, it’s not going to help me in my career, or help me get closer to my million dollar income and the life I desire. As much as I’d like to do it, my WHY for it is not as strong as my WHY for my other goals.

I’m not going to be devastated if I don’t get that additional degree. If I can’t write for a living I will be. So I choose to spend my time writing and keep that goal for a “maybe someday” goal. It’s still fun to think about.

Your WHY needs to be powerful. You’ve got to feel it. To envision it. To imagine it. If you can’t do that, then is the goal really and truly something you want to focus all your time and energy on? Be honest with yourself.

Now complete the WHY section of your worksheet for the goals you wrote down. You might find that your WHY to some goals are a “because I want to” variety (like my psychology degree) and not as important as you originally thought. You might find you have several WHY s for one goal, which will make it a front-runner to work on.

Once you’ve made your list of goals and your corresponding WHYs, you want to organize and prioritize.

After you’ve listed your WHYs, ask yourself the following:

  • Can I delete any goals right now because it just isn’t that important?
  • Are my goals the right ones?
  • Did any surprise me?

What might not have a strong enough WHY to do now, but you don’t want to totally abandon the idea, and can be pushed to the back burner.

Goal setting isn’t easy. At least realistic, actionable goal setting isn’t, and it’s even harder figuring out a five-year (or longer) plan. That’s a lot of planning. Heck, sometimes I have a hard time planning the next month or even tomorrow.

If you’re having a difficult time figuring out what you’re truly passionate about and what goals of yours are most important, it’s OK. It’s normal to like a lot of things and not be exactly sure which ones are best to get you to your end game.

You might need to take a step back and think about it. Talk through your goals with your spouse, significant other, or a good friend. Post in the Facebook Group and ask me and your peers. Life isn’t meant to be lived in a vacuum.

The more time you spend putting your goals and WHYs in concrete form, the better you will be able to determine the importance of each. It’s not a quick process, but it’s a very important one.

When you think you’re ready, decide what goals you want to spend the next twelve months working on and creating this plan around. Write those down in your workbook and get ready to dive into the next chapter.

Things to think about:

  • Don’t put limitations on yourself.
  • Explore all possibilities.
  • Are your goals meaningful to you?
  • Do you feel you must make your goal at all costs?
  • Do you have a positive outlook toward your goals?
  • Can you imagine yourself living your goal?
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