Think about your health & wellness. Are you motivated? To eat clean and train mean so you can get lean? Consistently or when it’s convenient? It’s a big part of what it takes to get in shape and lead a healthy lifestyle. But it’s only the first step. You need to get beyond the point of being motivated and get to actually doing what’s necessary. We are going to explore where our motivation comes from and how to keep the fire burning long after the novelty wears off. How? By taking a closer look at 2 factors that motivate us, plus an added bonus.
Before we dive in, see if this scenario resonates with you…
You spend 50 to 60 hours a week at work. You’re loaded up with commitments, personal and professional. It’s not all work and no play, but more “me time” would be nice. And time is passing by pretty quickly (actually too quickly). You feel the weight of responsibility on your shoulders and it’s not getting any lighter; not to mention a few extra inches around your waistline.
You are missing workouts, or just not exercising at all. Maybe you’re not getting enough sleep either. As a result of your busy life, you occasionally skip meals. Sometimes you settle for something on the go, but that usually involves a drive-thru. And although you know that burger & fries with a sugary cola chaser is a horrible choice, you rationalize that it’s quick and better than nothing. As you look into the crystal ball of your life, you either like what you see but maybe there’s some unfinished business and room for improvement. Or you don’t like what you see. And not only is this weighing you down but so is the extra weight you’ve been packing on slowly over time, that’s now becoming noticeable.
Does any of this sound familiar? Does it describe you? Maybe a little?
So I have to ask, where is your level of motivation towards exercise on a scale of 1 to 10? Does this number correlate to your exercise “attendance”? You know, the number of times you actually exercise every week. In the gym, at home, or wherever you train. And how about your intensity level; where does that weigh in on that 1 to 10 scale? Let’s assume that your motivation is somewhere between 1 and 5, which means that you’re probably missing valuable workouts. By valuable I mean the numerous benefits you get from your cardio and strength training sessions. Like burning calories & fat, building lean muscle, lowering blood pressure & cholesterol levels, improving balance & stability, gaining increased energy & stamina, and keeping your mind sharp.
Let’s also presume that your healthy eating is on that same 1 to 5 scale – Uh Oh! What are you going to do to get these important elements on track? After all, the combination of exercise and good eating habits are the primary foundation of a healthy lifestyle. But you already knew this. So what’s stopping you?
Re-claim those exercise benefits you’ve been missing out on. Do yourself a huge favor by clarifying what you want and why you want it. I’m not trying to turn this into a complicated goal-setting exercise. I simply want you to stop and think about it for a few minutes. Let it marinate. Then grab a pen & paper to capture your thoughts.
Here’s a quick assignment: At the top of one piece of paper, write “What Do I Want For My Health & Wellness?”. On another piece write “Why Do I Want It?”. Now list out every thought that enters your mind. Just write, don’t edit. Sit and think – alone. You will be amazed at what you come up with (without the TV, your phone, Facebook, or any other distractions).
So these are 2 simple questions that may or may not be easy for you to answer. Especially if you’re overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. But if you’re determined to do this, the answers will give you clarity and insight. You may even find some needed direction that helps you understand what makes you tick.
Want some valuable feedback? Think back to some of the obstacles that tripped you up in the past. They’ll be back unless you deal with them.
If your thoughts aren’t flowing or you’re stuck, here are a couple lists to help you get started. But remember, the answers ultimately need to be your own. Let’s look at some examples:
What Do I Want For My Health & Wellness?
- To lose weight. How much?
- To live longer. How long?
- To fit into a smaller size. What size?
- A smaller waist. What size?
- To beat diabetes, or keep it at bay.
- To prevent a heart attack, heart disease or high blood pressure.
- To look better.
- To feel sexier.
- To achieve a weight-loss goal that’s eluded me in the past.
- To fulfill a lifelong dream (like running a marathon).
- To be able to climb a flight of stairs without passing out.
- To live for at least another 30, 40, or 50+ years, in great health.
Why Do I Want It?
- I don’t like how I look or feel anymore.
- I’m fed up with my unhealthy lifestyle.
- I don’t like who I’ve become.
- I’m embarrassed and tired of being ridiculed.
- My unhealthy habits are killing me.
- I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.
- I want to see my kids, grand kids, nieces, nephews… grow up.
- I want to take control of my life.
- I feel like crap.
- This unhealthy lifestyle is no longer acceptable to me.
- My career is in jeopardy.
- My health is on the line.
- I’m going to die early if I don’t change something soon.
- My kids are begging me to do something about my weight.
- I’m scared and know that I need to do something.
- I’m tired of being ‘judged’ by my appearance.
- I have more to contribute to this world.
- Just because…
So what does all this mean? Did this exercise help you clarify your What and your Why’s?
Until you dig deep and decide “what” you want for your health & wellness, and “why” it’s important, your motivation will deteriorate when life happens or gets in the way of your healthy ambition.
Here’s a bonus. Ask yourself “How will I feel when I’ve accomplished my want”? Visualize that and tie those thoughts to your list of why’s.If you’ve failed before (like all of us have), don’t beat yourself up. Pick yourself up, learn from that experience, and don’t fall into the same trap again. This time you’re equipped with why-power! Leverage it so you can start to build momentum and feel good about your efforts (and results) until you become unstoppable!!!
I hope this was meaningful. Enough so, that it helps you find whatever it is you need to take control of your health & wellness, once and for all. Cheers to your success!!!