Remember Why You Started

Why did you start?

This is it–the last Monday in January!

That means that this is the final entry in my four-part January series to ensure that we start off this year as positively as possible. Here’s what we’ve covered so far in 2015:

1) Start by asking yourself the question that will determine the direction for your entire year (The Question That You Need to Ask Yourself)

2) Next, find the courage to push through the temporary pain and discomfort that’s an inevitable part (sorry, but it is) of making any meaningful change in our lives (Pushing Through Pain)

3) Then, take the first steps to ruthlessly remove any toxic habit (or toxic person) that will slow down your progress in 2015 (Release to Rise)

Now it’s time for the final step, and in a sense, it’s probably the easiest one of all.

And it’s also the most important, by far.

The Motivation to Keep Going

If you’re reading this, I’m going to make two educated guesses about you.

Whether it’s giving up a destructive habit, learning to love yourself, being more courageous, or something else incredibly positive–I believe:

1) That you’ve decided that this is the year where you’re going to make those goals a reality, and

2) That you’re already taking steps to do so.

So, now that that’s out of the way, what happens when things get tough as we move toward our goals? (And things will get tough, by the way.)

For example, here are some less-than-pleasant things that could be waiting for you in 2015:

  • You could get hurt, sick, or both.
  • You could lose your focus and inspiration.
  • You could be relentlessly tempted by the things that you’re committing to eliminate from your life (junk food, excessive spending, cigarettes, choosing unhealthy relationships, etc.)
  • You could be sabotaged by people in your life who may not want to see you succeed.
  • You could be too tired, too broke, or too beaten up by life to keep going.
  • You could allow your fears and insecurities to convince you that you can’t do it.

When these things (or something else) show up in your life to slow you down, it would be easy to give up and convince yourself that you can’t do what you deeply want to do. Instead, I want you to do something else.

I want you to remember why you started in the first place.

The Unstoppable Power of an Epic “Why”

I want you to think of the one thing that you’re committing to do in 2015. Or worded differently, picture the one thing that will make your life much more positive than it is right now once you achieve it.

Got it in your mind? Ok, good. Here’s my question for you:


In other words, why did you start on the challenging path to achieve this goal? I can promise you that your answer has the power to change everything in your life.

But before you answer it, you need to do this right. A lame-ass “why” doesn’t have the power to change anything. And in case you’re wondering, here’s the difference a lame “why” and an epic one:

Lame: “I’m giving up smoking because it’s not good for me,” or Epic: “I’m giving up smoking because I will be damned if I don’t do everything within my power to be alive for my kids’ graduations, weddings, and the birth of my future grand kids.”

Lame: “I’m finally going to launch my business/blog/awesome project because it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do,” or Epic: “I’m finally going to launch my business/blog/awesome project because I know that it will positively impact the lives of thousands (maybe millions?) of people once I do. I am certain that the world will be a better place once I take action on this.”

Lame: “I’m leaving my significant other because I’m not happy in this relationship,” or Epic: “I’m leaving my significant other because I’m tired of the soul-crushing feeling of being his/her doormat on a daily basis, and I deserve to experience what true, healthy love feels like before I die.”

Lame: “I’m choosing to increase my earning potential because being broke sucks,” or Epic: “I’m choosing to increase my earning potential because I will never again look my daughter in the eyes and tell her that she has to wear shoes that don’t fit and clothes with holes in them because I can’t afford to buy her anything else.”

See the difference?

Whatever it is, you must be fully armed with the best “Why” humanly possible in order to make your goal a reality this year. Or as the brilliant Simon Sinek has already said perfectly, we must Start with Why.

It’s your “why” that will keep you moving forward when it would be so much easier to quit.

It’s your “why” that will re-energize you when you’re struggling stand up after life has viciously knocked you down.

It’s your “why” that will remind that you’re very capable of reaching your goals, even though your fears and insecurities are hellbent on telling you otherwise.

This is the power of why, and that’s why I want you to remember why you started toward your goal in 2015.

Every. Single. Day.

Will This Be Your Year?

Can I share with something with you?

You already knew exactly what you needed to do in order to make this year your best year ever before you came here.

You didn’t need the blog posts from the past three weeks (or any other blog post on The Positivity Solution, for that matter) to tell you what to do.

Most importantly, “knowing what to do” doesn’t (and never will) change anything. The only way that real change happens is if we can find the willingness, perseverance and courage to actually put this information into action.

So, here’s my final question for you: Will this be your best year ever, or another year just like last year?

Only you can answer that.

Here’s the good news: If you can remember clearly why you’re choosing to fight for a better life, why you’re choosing to push through temporary pain to reach your goals, and why you’re committing to release the things and people who no longer serve you, then there is no doubt that you can have anything that you want in 2015.

It all begins and ends with why you started in the first place.

Your Turn

Simple question: Why did you start toward your goal(s) in 2015? Jump into the comment section below and make your voice heard!



Founder of The Positivity Solution
Author, keynote speaker, and kindness extremist who is committed to changing the world by helping as many people as possible to live and work with more positivity.

Latest posts by Shola (see all)


  1. Clare stella says:

    I decided to focus on being as well as I can be so that I can enjoy my senior years with BF, children, and grandchildren.

    • Right on, Clare! Congrats to you for focusing on your health so that you can enjoy your loved ones, and so that they can enjoy you for much longer too 🙂

  2. Oyenu Olugbala says:

    Hiya Shola,
    The post couldn’t have been timed better. I’ve started this year the way I wanted by starting my blog and taking action concerning my small business venture and taking it to the next level. It’s already proving to be challenging.

    But I think that’s how I want to feel this year; “Challenged”! Doing things that make me feel uncomfortable, taking my self outside of my mediocre zone with some results at the end of course!!

    I’m totally aware that I may not be 100% consistent with challenging myself but I will take the plunge.

    Many thanks again Shola.


    • Yes Oyenu! Lean into that discomfort and challenge yourself this year. You weren’t put on this earth to be mediocre, you are here to experience greatness. Keep fighting through those challenges and know that your greatness will be waiting for you on the other side. Good luck with your blog!

  3. Hi Shola, thank you for another great post, that gets us all thinking and taking action. I really like your week 4 question, “What brought you here?”. If forces the answer to be framed as a positive, as in, “I want to understand what workplace bullying is, and what I can do emotionally to protect myself and have the confidence and self-esteem to move on”, or “I want to recognize the old bad habits that I slipped into over the last few years (self-medicating with food, sitting in front of tv), and then get active again with exercise and home cooking good food, so I can feel healthy and energized, and get out to enjoy the beautiful outdoors here. It’s been one year since I found this blog, and I’ve been a regular follower ever since I checked in and read a few old posts. Thank you for all you do Shola, and I can’t wait to see where we’re headed for 2015!!!

    • Donna, I can’t believe that you’ve been reading for a year! It feels like we just met a few short months ago–time really does fly by! I believe that the only way to get the most out of life is to be curious. Asking high-quality questions leads to high-quality answers, and that’s what I’m hoping to do with these blog posts. Stay curious my friend, and I’m excited to see where life takes us in 2015!

  4. Shola, love this entry! I thought of you in our morning meeting. They did a segment on ‘TED talks”.. I am sure you are familiar with this for better, more positive work/career habits? Well the one we watched is about it. They are supposed to come to Nashville in March.. I am SO interested in attending! It made me think how people are so hard wired to not stay motivated, or motivate themselves with negativity.. which is why they fail when trying and trying again. Since we are ‘hard wired’ to think negative first.. taking the leap to put positivity first is a task for everyone and needs to be maintained to be ultimately and totally successful, in the long run, for whatever we do in life. My sweetest revenge to what was done to me.. yes still at the same company.. is being positive day in and day out. FINALLY got there and thanks to this blog you have! YEAH.. so I workout every morning just about.. gets me pumped to come into this negative workplace and spread love and sunshine all day long! 🙂 They may not like it.. but it keeps me feeling happy and positive no matter what. I am in charge of my own happiness and them for their-self. I have no control over them and THEY DO NOT over me! Loving my positive mindset.. sure negative thoughts creep in a lot and I have to continually re-assure myself with overriding with positive messages to myself and that is where I find my motivation to keep on keeping on! Peace and Love.. Happy Monday!

    • That’s right Kristen–like I’ve said before, the only way to get the haters to stop is to do more of what they hate! Don’t give them one ounce of power of your happiness, professionalism or sanity. I’m a TED talk junkie, so I can confidently say that if any of the speakers are going to be near your hometown giving a speech, I’d highly recommend checking it out. Even though putting positivity first can be a challenge, keep up the hard work! The skills that you’re learning now to deal with difficult people is going to pay off handsomely for you in the future, if you hang in there 🙂

      • Thank you Shola! Yeah, found a bunch of the TED talks on my Netflix yesterday and watched most of them! Love the tips/ideas it offers!

  5. 2015 is the year that I’m devoting to expressing my creativity. I began the process in 2014 by taking a 12 week class based on the book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. I’ve joined a traditional rug hooking group, signed up for pottery classes that begin in February, and plan to take an oil painting class that begins in late February. Now that I’m retired, I have time to focus on what makes me happy…so grateful for that!

    • Hooray for retirement! This is your time Jennie, and I hope that you continue to use this time to fully express your creativity in any way possible. Good luck to you, and I’m rooting for you to use your work to make the world a more beautiful place!

  6. Colleen Lusk says:

    Thanks again, Shola, for a great post! So far this year, I have lost 15 lbs and I no longer am addicted to sugar. My next thing is to cut out the diet coke. I was going to go cold turkey but changed my mind. I used to drink at least two diet cokes at work every day and then two more at night when I came home. I no longer take pop to work with me and have cut my consumption down to one diet coke a day. The hard part will be cutting out the last diet coke. Asking myself “why?” is very helpful. I am cutting pop out because I am trying very hard to lose weight. Why? Because I do not want to get diabetes. I do not want to have a knee replacement (because I already have arthritis in my knees). I want to live a long and healthy life. The diet coke habit is just another symptom of living in a mindless manner. When I really think about what I am doing and why I am doing it, I am successful. As soon as I go into “automatic pilot” (when I get home from work I have a diet coke), that is when I run into trouble. I have to remind myself on a daily basis “why” and perhaps then I can beat the pop habit. And I guess you can tell that I am Canadian, because we say “pop” instead of “soda!”

    • Yes Colleen, keep asking yourself “Why?” It’s such an empowering question and it always demands a deeper answer. Also, remembering why you’ve started on the road to give up soda (or pop ;)) has an incredibly empowering effect too. You already have a very strong “Why”: You want to live a long and healthy life that’s free of diabetes or a knee replacement. That “Why” will hopefully have to power to get you out of “auto pilot” mode when you’re reaching for that Diet Coke after work. Most importantly, make sure to give yourself some serious props–the fact that you’ve broken your sugar addiction is something to be VERY proud of. I’m working to be there too in 2015!

  7. Hiteshkumar says:

    If we want to succeed in life then we have to keep 3 “C” in our mind…- calm mind, courage and confidence ….

  8. 2014 was a phenomenal year for me, but I certainly hope for an even better 2015!

    My why is simple: To follow through on my life’s purpose, I need to be the healthiest Me I can be! What is my life’s purpose? To ease the burden of others.

    Thank you for the constant encouragement and genuine caring for all of your solutionists! It is these weekly messages that give me the boost I need each and every Monday!!!

    To 2015!


    • My pleasure Kathy! It looks we have the exact same “why”: To ease the burden of others. Is there a better feeling in the world than knowing that you’ve had a positive impact on someone’s life? If there is, then I don’t know what it is 🙂

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