A Christmas lesson on achieving your goals

In the heart of downtown Chicago there is something unique. Something special that is only around for a short time each year.

Nick Palkowski - Youth Speaker

Hillary and I outside Christkindlmarket


ahwhatawhat… Exactly what I thought.

This past weekend I took a trip to this mysterious place. Christkindlmarket is a traditional German American holiday market. There are rows and rows of these little stands packed with a wide variety of Christmas decorations.

From drinking hot chocolate out of a porcelain boot to cuckoo clocks to small hand painted ornaments this place was Christmas.

The one that fascinated me the most was the Christmas Pyramids or Weihnachtspyramide for you German blooded folk.

What is that you ask? (yes, I can read minds) Picture a multiple level miniature carousel with wiseman, or santas, or wintery type figures instead of horses and unicorns.

And the best part….

It moves…by itself?

On top of the pyramid is a fan that’s attached to the platform the figures are on. The outside of the Christmas Pyramid has candle holders. When lit the heat from the candles rises and spins the fan. It’s so cool.

Why do I bring this up? (besides to tell you how awesome they are)

This Christmas Pyramid illustrates an important point especially as you sit down to write goals and resolutions for the new year.

It’s the flame from the candle that keeps the Christmas pyramid in motion. When the first goes out, when the flame is lost the pyramid comes to a stop.

You and me act the exact same way. 

When we lose our fire our progress soon halts. You will never reach the goals you set if you don’t have a burning passion, if you don’t have a “Why” that is pulling you forward. And when the going gets tough, when you are caught in the trenches, if you stop focusing on your why you will lose your way.

You lose your way if you lose your why.

What can you do now to prevent that?

The 7 Levels Deep exercise

The purpose of the 7 Levels Deep exercise is to help you discover your big why. The true powerful reason why we go after our goals is not always immediately apparent to us. Yes, we have an obvious reason but often their is more to it than that initial response. 7 Levels Deep tries to pull out the underlying reasons, because those underlying reasons are stronger motivators.

Here’s how it works:

– Pick one of your goals for next year and answer this question: What is important to you about [your goal]?

– Step 2: Ask yourself, Why is it important for you to [previous answer]?

– Repeat the process five more times

Essentially you are asking Why is it important? seven times hence, 7 Levels Deep. (clever I know)

Going through this exercise for your most important goals will help you fish out your big why’s. Now, get a notecard, restate your goal on one side and write your big why (Level 7) underneath that goal. Review it every day.

Use that big why to keep your fire burning and to propel you towards your goals.

The process for the 7 Levels

The process for the 7 Levels

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