The successful first step in becoming healthy- and sticking to it
I am guilty of this and I bet you are too. We watch a TV show, scroll through social media, talk to friends and family and are bombarded all the time to be healthy and improve your health now! We see infomercials and adds that say drink this shake, do this exercise and you too can be healthy. When one add, image, or post in particular catches our eye our excitement surges with the idea that yes, I too can look and feel like a Greek god if I eat only kale, jump like a crazy person for 30 minutes, and take these 12 supplements! All sarcasm aside, this happens to all of us all the time. We see something that sparks us in a moment and our motivation skyrockets.
Usually that motivation is when we are in a good place mentally. We are happy or are scrolling through social media and think YES that post from that gorgeous person spoke to me and now I am ready to change. Our intentions are so honorable. But what does that commitment mean? It means we buy the product, the shakes, or the workout routine and anxiously and happily await the product to arrive. We are so sure this is going to be it while singing “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter” with the motivation of a thousand suns that this is THE program that WILL work.
What happens next? We get the product and then set aside the time to work out and follow the nutrition plan and actually our motivation is still PUMPED UP. We are riding high off starting something new that is exciting and engaging. Because this program is THE one that WILL work. We even start gushing about it to our friends and tell them to check out this program or diet that is THE game changer. We even lose some initial weight and feel better. So then why is the fitness, nutrition, and supplement world a multi-billion dollar industry? And why are there so many new programs out there daily? This is the secret to their success and your failure… your well intentioned decision was impulse motivated.
Impulse decisions can only carry us so far. They can last for a short period of time but then the reality of life sets in. You just can’t seem to be able to weave this new low calorie ass kicking program into your life. Throw in work responsibilities, children being sick, birthday parties, and life in general and that well intentioned purchase turns into guilt and shame. The fleeting commitment of joining the next 30 day challenge gets in the way of life and you push it off telling yourself that one “cheat meal” won’t hurt me. I have been soooo good. Then that cheat leads to another and that 30 day challenge can wait… I will do it tomorrow, next week, next month, then next year.
But what if I told you that there is something that will keep you committed? Something that will hold your motivation and it will keep you moving towards your goal so you can actually achieve the life and health you want?
The magic is not in the program. Because there are a LOT of great programs out there… trust me I have tried a TON of them. The real magic is figuring out a deeper core depth reason for you to make this change. The answer is defining what YOUR healthy is.
Wanting to be healthy is not valuable enough to actually make a change long term. Wanting to lose 10 lbs is not enough… it is more specific but is still not deep enough to fire you up at 5 am in the morning when you promised yourself you would work out. No, this is not gritty and raw enough. We have to look inwards. What it really comes down to is the FEELING it will give you when you reach your goals that will keep you counting calories, drinking the kale juice, or working out. That detailed understanding of YOUR why is what is missing. Without a compelling why you will find every reason why not to exercise, eat right, or say no to those drinks.
Here is a common goal, to look sexy in a swimming suit this summer.This is a great goal but is lacking luster. Visualize what feeling REALLY sexy in your swim suit means to you… hanging out with your friends, family, or lover pool side and not worrying about what you look like. Really feeling comfortable in your own skin. See yourself radiating with confidence. You feel free and at ease. This kind of focus can be anything. Go wild on this. Your goals could be anything. It could be to feel strong enough to complete a race. Or be able to play with your kids without feeling winded. But what do those goals make you feel?
Whatever that “why”is it has to make you feel that surge of excitement just like seeing that shiny new program and opening up the package does. It has to be so visceral and make you feel something real. This idea is what keeps athletes such as Olympians so motivated. It isn’t just the win, its the importance of winning, representing their team, community, and country. Giving them confidence and something so exciting and rewarding that they have the discipline to stay laser focused and say no to distractions.
Figuring out your why can be tricky. We can tell ourselves that we want to run a half marathon in October with the goal of completing it in 2 hours or less. Now this is a very well written and defined goal. But do you think that goal is what will get you through those long 9 mile runs on a Saturday? Hell no! It isn’t that race, or the time it is the feeling you will get once you accomplish this goal. What significance does this goal have for you? What does that race mean to you personally?
Getting really honest with yourself and picking out your why is the most important first step to getting healthy. It is getting really real with yourself. Being honest with yourself and allowing yourself to envision a life that is different than now and defining this. Once you have written that definition you have your WHY and THEN you can begin to work on HOW.
Your why is very personal and can only be defined for you by you. Figuring out your deep intentional why will carry you through even your most difficult goals. Because without a defined personal why they are just words.
Answering these questions will help you clarify your patterns as well as help you focus on your deep core motivators that are personal to you.
- Why do I want to start this journey?
- How do I think this program or challenge will make me feel if I complete it? What will it make me feel if I DO NOT complete it?
- Why does it matter if I get healthy?
- Who will suffer from me spending more time on myself?
- Who will benefit from me getting healthy?
- What will I regret most if I don’t get healthy?
- What does being healthy look like, feel like, and how will it look in my life?
- What does being healthy mean to me?
- What is my goal? Be specific, What is it, when is it and what is the timeframe?
- Finally what will I feel the after I accomplish this goal? Describe in detail who will be there to support you, who do you wish to share it with, how you will feel in your own skin, how will you feel about yourself?
Now review what you wrote and come up with three feelings you will experience once you achieve this goal, program, or challenge. Hold onto those feelings. Revisit that sensation as often as you possibly can. And now my friend, we are ready to begin.
If you are interested in a deeper dive into this sort of work and want to find true success out of your health and life you can subscribe for my biweekly blogs with action steps.
For an even deeper dive you can purchase a monthly membership that gives you monthly health focus topics, a workbook, and a live monthly session to ask medical and health questions from me directly in a group setting. Then if you are really ready to jump off the deep end and make life changing movements there are the 1:1 visits personalized to your needs.