This question is one of my initial questions that I ask all of my clients. What is your “why”? Why are you reaching for healthier habits, a healthier lifestyle and a healthier version of you?
I ask this question to understand their motive. Is it external motivation or internal motivation? We are more likely to stay dedicated if we are internally driven.
I ask this question because when life gets hard or things seemingly get in the way, I ask them to reference their why. Most times when we get overwhelmed or bogged down by life, our muscle memory is to revert back to the unhealthy habits that have gotten us in the situation we are currently in. By recognizing that life is slightly crazy, taking a moment to pause and revisit the “why”, this allows the client to regroup, reset and then recover.
I have heard many different why’s, all individualized and true to the individual: I want to run around with my grandchildren. I want to look in a mirror again. I don’t want to hide from my family. I want to be able to go up a flight of stairs without being short of breath. I want to be able to put on shoes comfortably. I want to minimize my risk for heart disease. I want to feel better. I want to sleep better. I want to take control of my life again.
If you can identify your why and make it 100% true to you, this will help guide you on your journey.
I started running and working out diligently back in 2008/2009 to take control of my mental and emotional health. I had just graduated with my first bachelors degree and was moving back home to be with a guy. He dumped me 6 days before I moved home. I was waitressing after spending the last 4 years with an unrealistic idea of what life would be like after college. Needless to say, I was struggling emotionally and mentally. I spent my days sleeping in, going to the gym and then straight to work. On many of those days, I woke up wondering how I would get through the day and go to bed at night feeling grateful that I made it. I started consistently working out and running because I didn’t know how else to get through my days. I didn’t have any friends that were living back at home, I felt alone, desperate and was struggling with my situation; the future felt a bit hopeless. My why for working out and running was to take control of something when everything else felt like it was out of my control. I wanted to feel more confident, strong and able; the first way I knew how to do that was physically. To this day, I continue to workout and run multiple times a week, no longer just to control something, but because it fuels me and continues to make me feel good. It helps me feel strong, powerful, confident, capable and able to do anything. Who wouldn’t want to feel like superwoman?!
My recommendation for you as you approach your journey – whatever that goal may be – is to look past your goal itself and identify, define and create your “why” and make it your solid foundation.
Without your “why”, it will be easier to lose motivation after a few weeks and revert back to your current habits… the same ones you are trying to change.
You’ve got this!