I’ve touched on this a few times before, but I figured I’d expand on it a little bit. You’re welcome.
When you decide to make a change in your life, a significant, impactful change, you are almost guaranteed to fail if you don’t ask and answer the single most important question.
That question, of course, is “Why do you want to do make this change?” One of the reasons that real change, real improvement, fails to take hold in your life is that you don’t have this part figured out, and it’s the very first thing you should figure out before you do anything else.
This is the fundamental and foundation for your success, so it is not something to be taken lightly. So what are some common “whys”?
- I want to lose weight
- I want to look better
- I want to be healthy
- I want to walk my daughter down the aisle
- I have a reunion/wedding/event coming up
All, some, or none of these may apply to you. But here’s the secret: It doesn’t matter what your “why” is, but it’s crucial that you have a “why”. (Actually, there are two secrets. The second is you can have more than one “why”, and you can add and delete them as your progress continues.)
It doesn’t matter what your “why” is, because as soon as you assign a value judgment to it, you are taking away its effectiveness. If you decide that your “why” is dumb, for example, you have just removed any power it had to drive your efforts to make real change in your life.
Having said that, though, there are two crucial things needed for your “why”…and it’s these two things that you should use to judge your “why”. Your “why” must be:
- Your “Why” Has To Be Honest
- Your “Why” Has To Be Relevant
This is the biggest stumbling block for a lot of people, because we tend to want to ascribe much more nobler motives to our decisions than we really should. If the most important reason you have for losing fat is because you want to look good in a bathing suit, then be honest about that…and don’t pretend that it’s because you think eating a particular way is better for the environment. Your “why” is your anchor, and it’s the thing that will guide you through the, often, difficult journey of changing your body, mind, and lifestyle. So keep it real, be honest, and own it.
This is more subtle, but it has everything to do with your progress. As you move toward your goals, achieve success, and make real change, your “why” will often change. You might start out with a “why” of “I’m tired of not being able to tie my shoes without losing my breath”, but once you have accomplished that, you might change your “why” to “I want to see that little vein stick out when I flex my bicep”. Your “why” will change, and you need to keep it relevant or it has no power to help.
If you keep yourself honest, and you keep a close watch on how your motives change, you are setting up a solid foundation for success. Why?
I’m glad you asked.
Because your “why” is your anchor. When you wake up one particular morning feeling sad, or you have a really difficult day at work, or you watch your son suffer through another seizure, your mind will be flooded with negative thoughts, detrimental ideas, and self-sabotaging plans. If you don’t have a solid, honest, relevant “why” in place, you are unlikely to stick with your plan. Chances are, you will just let yourself go, because you will want food to fill that emotional void. But if you know why you want what you want, you can combat that negative self-talk with definite, purposeful truths about why you will not allow yourself to succumb to the suck.
So start with “why”, so you can end with success.