Making a decision to work on a behavior, a habit, a dysfunction, or maladaptive thinking can be very difficult. Sure, the deciding to do something can be fairly easy to say. “I’m going to do such and such.” However the follow through can be so much more difficult. Why is that?


Many goal-oriented programs will tell you that you need to find your “why.” What is that thing that matters so much to you that you are willing to push through the hard times to complete your goal? This is highly individualized. For example, an individual who wishes to quit smoking. Their reasons could be as varied as wanting to live longer, to walk easier, to breathe easier, to be more active, to not have a certain odor, or many other reasons. What is that one reason that matters more that all the others? We call that your “why.”


The second part of finding your “why” is the follow-up question of “when.” This is often known by the acronym SMART. The goal needs to be:

  • Specific: What do you want to accomplish
  • Measurable: How will you know when it is reached
  • Achievable: Is it realistic
  • Relevant: Your “Why”
  • Time-bound: When do you want to have this goal accomplished


When you can figure out your “Why” and you are able to write it out using SMART, you will have increased your chances of success!