Clearly identifying your goals, knowing your true motivation, and uncovering why you are not there yet, are vital to your success. This is how I found my “Why.” And a guide to help you find yours.
The men on my father’s side of the family have a history of dying young (in their early 60s). As a 41 year-old man, I often think that maybe I only have 20 or so years left to live. I know that is morbid, but it is the truth. It is very possible that this “dying young” thing is in my genes. That scares the hell out of me! I have plans to retire at a respectable age, enjoy getting old with my wife, and being a part of my grandchildren’s lives (My kids are 9, so I don’t expect to do this anytime soon!).
The “getting old” and “grandchildren” are my motivation. They are my “Why”. It helps me live a healthy life by eating right (most of the time) and exercising regularly. You may be surprised to hear this, but I don’t like exercising all that much. I view it as a necessity…A means to an end. My motivation keeps me going!
During an initial call with a prospective client, I always want to know what brought them to me. It is important for both parties that we are a good fit for each other.
The responses usually start off fairly basic:
“I want to lose weight.”
“I need to be stronger”
“I want to get off medication”
“I want to get rid of my stomach”
“I want my body to be firm”
Please don’t misunderstand me, these are important answers. But, it is not “Why”.
The first step in getting results on your journey is knowing you need to make a change. After that, you need to identify your motivation. The motivation is the “Why.” Unfortunately, the motivation most people offer initially is not enough. It is too general and superficial. So we have to look deeper.
Motivation has to drive you! It has to give you the inner strength to stay committed on your path, especially when adversity gets in the way (and it will).
Your “Why” has to be powerful to you! Because on the other side of motivation are excuses. I recommend to my clients that they look at this with a “black” or “white” strategy. Black is “Motivation”, White are the “Excuses” not letting you achieve your goal. There is no “Gray Area.”
Excuses are easy to come up with:
- “I’m tired and don’t feel like exercising today”
- “I have a headache”
- “Food is comfort for me”
- “I don’t like to cook”
- “Wine relaxes me”
- “I don’t feel comfortable trying something new”
- “I’m too busy”
- “Now is not the best time for me”
These are obviously examples, but you could and should come up with your own. Your motivation needs to be powerful enough that it dwarfs the excuses and drives you forward.
Try this exercises:
Take out a piece of paper.
On the top line, write down a health / fitness goal.
Create 2 columns:
On the left side, write “Motivation”
On the right side, write “Excuses”
Now make a list of your motivation to reach your goal. Then write down some of the “excuses” that you have to not reach your goal.
The motivation should make the excuses insignificant. If they didn’t, you did not go deep enough. Keep trying.
If you are serious about making a healthy change to your lifestyle, you need to find the motivation that drives you. Once you have it, you cannot lose your way.
Commit to your excellence.
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