FINDING YOUR WHY
One of the most important parts to finding and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is finding your WHY. WHY is it you want to maintain your healthy lifestyle? Some people may want to be healthy so they can be active with their kids.
We all have goals (or we SHOULD HAVE) so it's important to ask "why". Why do you want to lose weight and/or live a healthier lifestyle? Maybe you want to eat healthier? Or your bucking for that promotion and corner office at work? You may come up with several superficial "why's", but they're probably not your true "why". You need to take a little time to really dig deep. Search your soul and try to discover the real reason, the real source that is motivating you to find your true "why". SO, you may be asking yourself "how do I DO that"?
Let's say initially your "why" is to "look good", or to be more attractive for your significant other. Maybe it's because you wish to attract your desired partner. As obvious as these types of reasons are, you need to dig deeper to find a more concrete "why". Usually it's the less obvious reasons that really will help you create a more powerful "why". Here's an example/exercise that may help you find your true "why".
Try asking WHY five times. This is a written exercise so grab a pen and paper.
Let's say you start with: I want to start running. I want to exercise regularly. I want to lose weight and feel great.
But why? Why is this goal important to you? Why does it matter?
A good exercise is to insert your goal and your reason into the following sentence:
I want to _______________ because _____________.
For example, I want to run a 10k because it will help me get into shape.
Then, insert the reason into the first part of the sentence and repeat the process over and over again. For example:
I want to get into shape because I don’t have enough energy to be productive at work or around the house.
I want to be productive at work and/or home because it’s important to provide for my family and to accomplish the things I want to do around the house.
I want to provide for my family and get things done around the house because being a great parent is rewarding.
I want to be a great parent because I believe it’s part of leading a good life and will feel rewarding.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Suddenly, your goal of running a race isn’t just about getting into shape. It’s about progressing in your career, providing for your family, getting things done around the home, and living a life you’re proud of and that feels rewarding. Something that will give you a sense of purpose, a sense of accomplishment. This is what we call intrinsic motivation and it will get you a lot farther with your goals.
Your own “why” exercise might be more detailed and take fewer or more “whys.” The point is to keep asking why until you arrive at your ultimate reason for pursuing your goal. Take your time with this exercise and be patient. When you’ve found it, write it down and hang onto that “why.” Tape it up somewhere visible and use it as a constant reminder to yourself as to “why” you do something. Maybe on your fridge or bathroom mirror. Return to it when you feel that your motivation is faltering, or when you’re struggling to see any results of all your hard work. Maybe when you hit a plateau and you're not sure where to go, come back and read your “why” again. You'll be surprised at how powerful this can be.
SOOOOO... WHAT'S YOUR WHY?