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Go Back To Your Why

Starting something is fun. Isn’t it? The rush of adrenaline when you’re daydreaming about the outcome, how you’re going to to do it this time! You’re going to! I’m going to! All of us, we’re there! The fresh motivation and wide-eyed enthusiasm building up at your feet causing them to feel like they’re on fire marching straight toward the new you.

This is the sweet spot. Beginnings! A clean notebook with a binding waiting to be cracked, a new school year, the first entry, a Monday. The sweet accomplishments of beginnings. When it all feels so fresh and doable. You’re happy and resolute. You’re gung ho! Ahhh the early days.

And you sit down and diligently work toward your goal. Day 2…you’re there! Whewww Day 3 you’re chugging along, and holding steady.

Stay with me now…Let’s say it’s day 9 and your schedule gets thrown off. You manage to pull it out by the end of the day, but man it felt like a pain rather than the bright eyed awesomeness you were coasting along with.

It’s Day 10 now and you spend 5 minutes less than your target time you painstakingly wrote down on your calendar when planning it all out. But that’s alright! You tell yourself, because tomorrow I’m going to get back at it. And then day 11 rolls around and maybe you actually do make up the time, but your hearts not in it. You’re distracted, thinking about picking up your phone. Craving the hit of don’t worry about it that rushes in when the notifications stack up, soothing you, allowing you to forget (temporarily) you’re letting yourself down.

You begin to feel the permission of letting yourself slide.

You tell yourself, maybe it wasn’t what I wanted anyway. Yeah, that’s it. The conversation progresses to full on chatter inside your head assuring you it was unattainable and not really a thing you wanted to be doing anyway. By the time the discussion (party of one) is over, it’s day 15 and you’re absolutely sure it wasn’t a thing. Followed by why don’t I pick up my phone and watch this Upworthy video to make myself feel better and definitely, absolutely let’s not think again about what had me so fired up less than 2 weeks ago.


My stomach feels sick thinking about it. I’ve done this. Oh man how I have done this. For a variety of goals, but specifically I’ve done it several times for the goal I’m now 20 days into. A goal that I NEVER (again) want to give myself permission to let slide.

I’m learning Italian

Cue the band and bring out the pasta. I kid. But I’m not. Because when I think of smooth Italian falling out of my mouth, this is what I think of.

But this post isn’t about me. This is about you. (And me) and we, and us. Because we all have done this, fallen down on something we really, really want to be doing in our lives and let ourselves off the hook from actually working on it.

Let’s use me and my Italian as an example to understand how this time is much, much different and how it can be next time for you as well.

Ready? Here’s the reason:

I’ve gotten very clear on the Why.

Whyyyyyyyyy. My Why. Why Am I doing this? Why am I pulling up a chair and spending at least one hour per day ingesting Italian?

  • Half of my family is full on Italian. Not Italian-American. I’m talking let’s-battle-it-out at-the-table-and-then-we’re-all-going-to-eat-the-best-pasta-you-have-ever-wrapped your-lips-around, kind of Italian. And when I’m sitting at that table I want to be able to get right in there and throw elbows, just like everyone else.
  • My husband is Italian and I so look forward to having a relationship with him in his language as well.
  • Italy, the Italian people, and every single piece of that iconic boot has always been a big part of my life. I tell my husband all the time, it’s not the love I have for you that makes me love Italy, but it’s the love I have for Italy that brought me to you in the first place. I know in my bones that I will be spending more and more time there over the years.  I want to make the most of it. Knowing the language is like being granted secret access.

Those are big whys. Huge. When I sit down to concentrate I’m crystal clear on why I’m allocating my most precious commodity (time) to achieving it. When I don’t want to, or I want to quit early, or I feel like I’m not getting anywhere I go back to my why.

I think about how awesome it feels to understand a new passage of conversation. Or to read a post on Facebook in Italian and not only understand it, but also get the humor behind it. I think about when the family comes in December and how much learning (and speaking) I’m going to have under my belt. #thewhy

Here’s my question for you:

What have you started and stopped and started again, abandoned and dearly want to be working on? You know what it is. It’s needling you. You want to go back. BUT, first I suggest you take out your notebook and get really clear on your why. Scribble it down and hold onto it for dear life. You’re going to need it.

Before you put a plan in place or get all excited and start working fresh on it, put that Why into place. So when you want to rip your face off because it’s Day 42 and it feels like fresh hell you know WHY.

Your why. Because it’s important to hold ourselves accountable. The very last person you want to have a bad reputation with is you. Whewwwww when that happens, it takes a bit to come back from it. The permission to slide starts comes earlier and often. The whispers of it’s ok, you didn’t want that anyway are on repeat.

Find.Your.Why and then get that shiny plan into place and hold on for dear life. You’re about to amaze yourself.