WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW, WHY?
This is a blog post by one of my long time clients and fellow bootcamper, Nancy Pochepko.
I think this is so well written because it addresses a very important question that we all face every day when we are trying to incorporate something new into our lives. Knowing WHY we are making the change will make the steps to get there so much more worth it!
If you have had the pleasure of meeting Nancy, you know what an incredible inspiration she can be. If you haven’t, know that Nancy has lost over 200 lbs. on her journey! She has completely changed her life and it shows! Enjoy this awesome read and please share it and post comments below!
“WHY?” is the single most important question you need to ask yourself. It is impossible to stay committed and determined to achieve your goals unless you know YOUR why. WHY is the driving reason and motivation to change. Deciding to leave your comfort zone and make changes to the familiar patterns in your life, even if they are unhealthy and no longer benefit you, can be daunting and downright scary. You may doubt yourself – Am I strong enough? Will it be too hard? What if I fail? Will I have support? Am I worth it?
The focus here is on weight loss and healthy habits, but it applies to any challenging endeavor. Answers to the first four questions can be relatively easy. For me it’s What? Bootcamp Classes, Where? At the gym, When? At least 4 days a week, How? Work hard and eat healthy.
When you are starting out on this new path, being all fired up and excited can be enough to keep you moving forward for a while. But reality will find you. This is hard and you will be challenged. It takes time, determination, perseverance and will power. Life gets in the way, you will be tired, or catch a cold, or get injured, or the people in your life may not support your decision to change, work, kids, finances, the list is endless and can become overwhelming. The worst one for me is not seeing the results I think I deserve and I find myself asking “Why am I doing this?” That negative little voice in my head is saying “I knew you wouldn’t finish this”.
This is the moment you must be able to answer “Why?” Being able to answer immediately and honestly will allow you to tap into the single most powerful source of motivation – YOU!
For me, “WHY?” came first. I had to have both knees replaced at the early age of 47. Under the best conditions, these replacement parts last an average of 12-15 years. Being morbidly obese shortens that to maybe 3-5 years. The surgeon explained in graphic detail that joint replacement could only be done twice, maybe three times before they would have to amputate both legs above the knee. Independence is my why! When I feel tired, inadequate, or defeated, I take a breath and remind myself that my independence is at stake which is so important to me that I dust myself off and get back up.
Your WHY needs to be personal and important and deep seated. It doesn’t matter if your family, friends, doctor, or anyone else think something should be important. It must be important to YOU. What matters to someone else, may not even get you to put your fork down. Losing weight for a wedding or a vacation might be enough to carry you through the easy times, but for long-term permanent change you need to dig deeper and find a bigger, stronger WHY. That thing that will push you through when the path gets rocky and you have to work harder and longer than you anticipated.
Define your WHY, write it down in detail and review it often. “Because I should” is not an acceptable answer. I encourage you to do some serious soul searching to answer this question. Once you have clearly defined your WHY keep reminding yourself of it every day!
Stay committed to your WHY. You will have good days and bad days – days you will feel like a rock star and days you will feel like a pet rock. A day that you don’t deem successful is not a reason to give up. Don’t expect every day to be a complete success, strive for improvement, not perfection – remember WHY you started and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Visualize your WHY– picture it – write it down and put it where you will see it every day, print it on a t-shirt if that helps. Allow yourself to imagine how reaching your goal will feel. Surround yourself with visual reminders to keep you emotionally connected to your WHY – who you want to be and what you are working toward.
Surround yourself with people on the same path. Their WHY may be different but you will find strength in camaraderie and a common goal.
Knowing your WHY changes and drives you. It pushes you past the point where you thought you couldn’t take one more step. Your mind is focused, your excuses lose their hold on you and solutions start presenting themselves. The hurdles and roadblocks are crystal clear, you start to take action and what you thought was impossible becomes “I’m possible”.
You will want to quit, it’s inevitable, but if you know your WHY you have a critical tool you need to reach your goal. A strong WHY will reignite the flame when your enthusiasm is fading.
You are strong enough, it will be hard but completely worth it, you will fail, but you will try again, support will be there when you need it, and I can’t stress this enough . . . YOU ARE SO TOTALLY WORTH IT (just believe)!!!!
Excuses or solutions, you decide!
Now start imagining how you will feel when you reach your goal!