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The Four Why System: Setting Purposeful Goals in 2023

Emmanuel L. Rock, MS, ALC, NCC

Associate Licensed Counselor/Board Certified Counselor


Weiss Lake Counseling Services, Mental Health Service

839 West Main Street, Centre, AL


Emmanuel L. Rock | The Weekly Ledger News |

It's that time of year. You read this and reflect on the stressful year that 2022 brought. It was a difficult year for many people, indeed. The difficulties you overcame. The lack of sleep seems to be taking its toll now. The conversations with loved ones about things getting better but seems like a dream. However, you're convinced that 2023 will be different.

I say this because I want what's best for you. Remember the beginning of 2022. It is likely that you set goals for yourself regarding what you would like to achieve and accomplish.

Some goals may have been to exercise, take on debt, learn a new skill or hobby, take a vacation, or make more money. These are great goals, and if they work for you, they are worth achieving. Did you achieve those goals? If you did, that's great, and I hope you continue that path. For everyone else, I would like to give you a system that could help break the yearly cycle and provide the foundation to build systems toward your goals.

Before I get into the system, ask yourself, what do you want to achieve? Sit and think about

what goal you want to embark on. Be honest with yourself, and don't be afraid to be specific about your goals. For example, if your goal is to lose at least 3 pounds every month and cut sugar out of your diet, then you need to be more specific than simply saying, “I want to lose weight”. The purpose is to completely define what is on the other side.

The Four Why System is a tool that can help you achieve your goals for 2023 by asking four simple questions. This system identifies the "why" for trying to accomplish your goal. This

system helps you understand your mission and determination. However, it's important to find the purpose and obstacle blocking you from your goal.

Example Using the Four Why System

1. Why 1 - Why do you want to lose at least 3 pounds a month and cut out sugar?

- Response - I want to look better and feel better about myself.

2. Why 2 - Why do you want to look better and feel better about yourself?

- Response - So that people will not think I am big and ugly.

3. Why 3 - Why do you think people will think you're big and ugly?

- Response - Because I think I don't, I am attractive

4. Why 4 - Why do you think you’re not attractive?

- Because I have low self-esteem and never believed I could be beautiful.

The cause of the scenario is low self-esteem. The goal is to build low self-esteem, which can be worked on daily. This is how you would use the Four Why System to achieve your goal. Set a detailed goal, then use the system to find your core purpose. I believe in you and your goals as we move forward in 2023.

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