19 Oct Finding Your Why
When you are first starting out, it’s easy (and common) to feel overwhelmed and set with an impossible task. You look at where you are now and compare it to where you want to end. For some this seems like an unclimbable mountain, for others your head may be swimming with all the information and advice about nutrition and exercise out there that is often conflicting, and not know how to put it all together and make it work for you.
Before you start anything that requires change, commitment or effort on your part, it’s necessary to have a clear why. Without it, it’s like knowing you have to go somewhere you have never been before, jumping in the car and driving without a map in the direction you think you should be going. Sometimes you’re lucky and eventually find your destination, but most likely you get sidetracked, or there’s a detour, or your sense of direction is not good and you never get there. In the meantime you’re probably frustrated, have used a lot of petrol, wasted a lot of time, and left questioning if the place even exists!
If however, we decide where we want to go, get directions, learn them or type them into a navigation system, start the car and follow the directions one step at a time, we will get there with minimal time waste, a clear and direct path and the desired outcome of being exactly where we wanted to go. No fuss, no confusion.
Any person can be inspired to start, but\ not everyone has the tenacity and strength of purpose to achieve what they set out to do. Those that do succeed have a clear why, something that pushes them forward when things are hard or they lose momentum and want to quit. Inspiration is not enough, there needs to be something to motivate you past that initial enthusiasm and the challenges that inevitably arise day to day. I’m not talking about an external motivation (eg society’s ideal), but an internal motivation like wanting to feel and move better or have more confidence.
Do you want to improve your health and educate yourself to live a life of wellness?
Do you want to improve your quality of life with your body working and moving how you want it to?
Do you want to play better with your kids/grandkids or partner without your body holding you back?
Do you want to learn how to put together nourishing meals and learn healthy habits for yourself and/or children?
Do you want to feel more in control of your life? Look better in clothes? Feel more confident? Stop the yo-yo dieting?
Everybody’s why is different but no less important. Without this, your inspiration is unguided and has no purpose. We are inspired and motivated by our why and it can be broken down into contribution and impact. Contribution is the primary action you take towards making a difference in your life or the impact of your choices. Impact is the result of your contribution and what is changed by the choices you make. This becomes your purpose and your key to being successful.
So what if instead of thinking of all that must be done to get from HERE to THERE we just took one step at a time? Created a clear goal and reverse engineered the process right back to this moment.
If you want something to change, step one is NOT hopping on a new diet or exercise program. Start deeper with things that serve as your internal compass, and then work your way outward.
Step one: Find your reason and what you are willing to do. Willing to eat healthily but want to enjoy dinner out? Work it into your plan. Like a wine on the weekend? Limit yourself to two or sip on water in between to lower your intake.
Step two: Your schedule, environment and habits will need adjusting in order for you to set yourself up for success. Make a meal plan, shop to this plan and set aside time to prep some basics for when you are time poor. If you don’t have fresh and minimally processed whole foods in the house, it will make it difficult to prepare nourishing meals and you may slip into old habits of grabbing nutritionally empty convenience meals.
Step Three: Move your body in a way you enjoy. Walk, run, dance, try yoga, weight training, Pilates, chase your kids/dog, have a dance party… just move! Park your car the furthest away at the shop or get off a couple of stops early on public transport, it all adds up.
Step four: Get your family and friends on your team. Your support network and those you are surrounded with regularly can affect your motivation and mindset. Be clear with them about what you want to achieve, how important it is to you and how they could help you.
Step five: How do you see yourself and how do you want your future to look? Write it down, make a mood board, picture it in your mind and look at it often. What we believe we become. You’re the star in your movie and you write the script.
When you have a clear why, you stay focused on your end goal, even when you feel like giving up. You find a determination and strength of spirit that perhaps you didn’t know you had and helps you focus and direct your efforts towards success, whatever that looks like for you.