Did you set a health goal in January?
Did you want to drink less alcohol, stop eating sugar, reduce your body weight, build muscle…?
How is it working out for you?
Sincerely, I hope it’s positive. However, it’s almost June and many people are still not where they want to be. I believe there are two simple reasons for this.
- The reason for wanting your goal is not strong enough
- You’re not consistently emotionally connected to it.
The exciting part is that if there are two reasons why we can’t succeed, there are two reasons why we can.
Everything has an opposite. Thin – fat (can we still say fat?), fit – unfit (surely that’s allowed?), up – down, right – left, inside – outside. If we can find the reasons for our unwanted results, we can easily find the breakthrough required for the results we do want.
We begin by looking at the reason we set the goal to begin with. If it was New Year, you had likely done two things:
- Used the end of the year as an intention for the future changes you planned to make; another way of saying `I’ll start on Monday,’ settling your mind as you opened the peanuts and poured a glass of wine.
In January most people are talking about goals, so it’s easy to get energised and stay committed for a while. You can’t walk down the street or turn the TV on without seeing a reference to health, diets and fitness. Even if you weren’t thinking about your body weight or whether you’re in shape, you soon will be. And, even though 1st January is just another date, it feels like a new beginning. It feels like when I get to the end of a notebook, bursting to start a new one so that I can stop looking at the cluttered pages. But, by the end of January the notebook is as messy as the previous one!
Why are all the ideas of a clean start, that promise better results, quickly forgotten?
There are two simple reasons:
- Your WHY isn’t big enough
- You stopped focusing on WHY
Your WHY isn’t big enough
Your reasons for wanting to eat well and get fit start powerfully. It’s likely that you’ve been mildly dissatisfied for a while, but then something triggers the end of the line for you; your favourite jeans don’t fit/ you catch a glimpse of yourself in a window. You feel terrible. You don’t like feeling terrible, so you act – join a gym, start a 10-week diet programme, restock your fridge with green stuff and put chocolate in the bin (or eat it all in one go, which is fine since you’re starting your 10-week diet tomorrow).
The problem is that this reason for taking action isn’t powerful enough. It comes from a place of misery – the worst you’ve felt about yourself. 6 weeks into the diet programme you start to feel better and your jeans fit again. The misery that was driving you has gone. Even if you reach the end of the 10 weeks your motivation shrinks by the day.
Spend time getting to a great WHY!
Dig deep for a reason or a series of reasons that are going to keep you on the right path for the rest of your life.
Take some time to do this and find reasons that will have a powerful impact for you.
Some examples to get you started:
- Your Future – if you continue the path you are on, what will your health, body and fitness be like 2 years from now, 5 years from now, 10 years from now?
- Vanity – what do you want your body, skin, hair and nails to look like?
- Energy – how are your weekends; are you exhausted or bouncing? Can you run around with your kids/ grandkids?
- Internal Health – are your organs and bodily functions still serving you?
- Lifestyle Related Diseases – the diseases you are highly likely to get if you continue to put more damaging things into your body than healthy things.
- Maintenance is Easier – I’d rather preserve a healthy body shape/ size and weight than always trying to release weight or regain fitness.
Once you have dug deep and unearthed the reasons you want to develop (or maintain) a healthy lifestyle, ask yourself some questions:
Do I care enough about these reasons?
Is it going help me stay on track when will power is no longer in my corner?
Am I emotional about it? If not, is it important enough to you? Look again, find a reason that you care about and lock it in.
Cultivate your WHY every day
With a strong reason for your health-related goals, you must now get emotionally connected to it every day.
If your WHY is lack of energy, in your journal each day, write a detailed description of a version of you living each day with the most energy you have ever felt moving through you. Step into the feeling of the energy you want to feel by imaging it each day as you visualise it.
If your WHY is the pain of looking in the mirror, look in the mirror every day then immediately connect with the excitement of the person you will become.
The super-simple secret to permanent change is to:
- build a strong reason that you feel emotionally connected to.
- keep it alive by reconnecting to it and focusing on it every single day.
But, be aware of:
- Your internal chatter. The opinion you have of yourself will dictate your results. Create a new way of looking at yourself to compliment your goal. See the you of tomorrow and be him / her now!
- Impatience for visible results. Keep a journal and record the small wins. Notice the immediate change in your skin quality, your sleep quality, energy levels, mood etc.
- Your stories (excuses). We are so good at this but we don’t even know we’re doing it. Find out what yours are so you can begin to extinguish them.
Be kind to yourself.
Make healthier choices today than you did yesterday.
A few chocolate bars do not write off the week (or even the day). It’s a moment in time and what’s important is the bigger picture. Look long term over several days, a week, a month. If you are making the best choices most of the time you’ll get your results.
Find your big WHY, plant that seed, water and nourish it every day!