Congratulations! You’ve started the journey to better health. You are working hard to eat healthier and exercise more. You may even be starting to see results in terms of weight loss. You are riding a wave of adrenaline, determined to persevere this time around. Then it starts to happen…the weeks pass, the initial excitement begins to wear off, and it gets harder and harder to stay motivated. What can you do to keep your momentum and maintain it for the long-term? The answer lies in finding your personal “Whys”.
What are your personal “Whys”?
Ask yourself the following question – “Why do I want to be healthier?” Most people respond to that question with something like the following:
“I want to lose weight.” or “I want to get fit.” Those are all reasonable objectives, but they don’t answer the question of “Why?”. Losing weight, getting fitter, building muscle may be the outcome of adopting a healthy lifestyle, but they don’t address the underlying reasons that motivate you to get and stay healthy. Your personal “Whys” are the true reasons that you want to be healthier.
Some examples of personal “Whys” include:
- I want to sit in an airplane seat without using a seat belt extender.
- I want to get my diabetes under control without medication.
- I want to carry my groceries into the house without assistance.
- I want to ride a bicycle with my children.
- I want to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded.
Why is knowing your personal “Whys” important?
Research shows that individuals that identify the things that they want to do/have/experience when they are healthy are more successful in achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When times get tough and motivation begins to wane, focusing on your personal “Whys” can give you the push you need to achieve your goals.
How do I find my personal “Whys”?
A good way to determine your personal “Whys” is simply sitting down and by making a list. Brainstorm all of the things that you want to do/have/experience when you are healthy. Once you have your list, post it somewhere you can see it everyday. Keeping these “Whys” in the forefront of mind keeps you focused on the things that are truly important to you and sustain you in the long run.