When I find my motivation waning I go back to my “why”. Sometimes it takes me a few days to notice I’m off track and check in with myself. Sometimes this might happen a few times a day, depending on how much “temptation” is at my door. But when I notice I’m not on track or when things start to feel too difficult or pointless I remind myself of my”why”. Why am I fighting for fitness, going through all of this inconvenience and denying myself so much pleasure?!?!?! Why am I not buying things when I REALLY REALLY WANT THEM and they would LOOK SO GOOD IN MY HOUSE?!?!?!?
Well, because I think there is something worth it on the other side. Something I am determined to get, something I KNOW is better than this current moment, something I know will FEEL better than the Old Fashioned and Louboutin’s calling my name. Something that can take my “I SHOULD” workout and save to an I WILL. Something takes that sacrifice and leaves me feeling good about what I didn’t do/get instead of feeling like I’m missing out. And that thing is my “WHY”.
A good WHY turns my SHOULD into WILL. A good WHY will take me from I should workout to I will work out or even I MUST workout.
Throughout my life that WHY has changed. Right now my fitness why is because I’ve got a honeymoon coming up. My financial why is because I’m in my 30s and I don’t own any property. These are strong motivators, I imagine walking the beaches of Croatia, turning heads in my Agent Provocatuer swimsuit (PS they’ll be on sale Jan-Mar), my husband all googly-eyed and have a visceral response, that scene motivates me to make good choices. I also picture myself house shopping, maybe buying a vacation property I can rent out for a return, or settling into my own place. Both are very exiting and tug at my heart strings. Those visceral responses are important, they are what help me order the grilled chicken salad over the nachos and not ” feel bad” about “missing out”. That response is what helps propel me out of the bed and into my workout or close the screen after I’ve filled my cart with things I don’t need on Gilt.com.
A honeymoon is motivating for a few obvious reasons, but let me get a bit deeper. Sure vanity is part of it, let’s be real. BUT I also don’t want to lose myself, for a long time being fit was a part of who I was, of my self identity. Not that my abs were the identity, but that I was strong and able to participate in any activity with confidence and always had the energy “to go” at work or at play. Being the fittest I can be “starting my new life”, having lots of energy, owning my identity and feeling like I can fully contribute (which is how I feel when I’m fit) means a lot to me.
If you have a goal but trouble finding a why that gives you a visceral response, a WHY that motivates you and takes your SHOULD TO WILL try the 5 Why’s question. Ask yourself WHY you want that goal, then ask why again, then ask to why again… 5 times and see if that can lead your game-changing why.
Here’s an example:
Goal: 20lbs weight loss
Why: Because I wanna look good
Why: Because I feel good when I look good
Why: Because my ability to be there for my daughter is better when I feel good
Why: Because I when I feel proud of myself I know it makes her feel proud
Why: Because I want her to be proud of me
Feel that? There you go, give it a try, what’s you game changing why?
To be sure it’s not always easy for me to remember my why in the heat of the moment BUT it definitely helps having one rolling around in the back of my head.