Have you ever set a goal to get healthier, and then found yourself 2 years older with no progress made?
What about your motivation - do you have enough driving you to reach that goal?
have you ever really spent time figuring out WHY you're trying to get healthier? it's not as difficult or as time-consuming as you may think, and if you do, it might very well change your life ...
In Start With Why - one of my favorite books - the author Simon Sinek presents what is called the "Golden Circle":
Most companies, organizations, and even individuals think and act from the outside-in of this circle - considering WHAT and HOW instead of WHY they're doing something. Sinek proposes that we will be much more effective if we act from the inside-out of this circle. He believes that by starting with WHY, we can change the world. And I think he is seriously on to something.
Sinek's book is a must-read for marketing and business, but I think there are also some huge takeaways for fitness, wellness, and overall health:
The vast majority of my patients come in for their physio or fitness evaluation with at least some idea of WHAT they want to accomplish. I commonly hear things like:
"I want to walk without a limp."
"I want to run without pain."
"I want to get my legs stronger and faster."
"I want to be able to bend down without hurting."
"I want to lose 50 pounds."
"I want to have better balance."
The truth is that most of us are quite clear on WHAT we want when it comes to health, fitness, and overall wellness. We want to move without pain, lose a few pounds, and feel great. WHAT we want to accomplish is straightforward. It's the surface level thing that we think of when we are setting goals. However, WHAT-based wellness is not they key to success. It's too superficial, starved of the fuel necessary to keep pushing forward.
HOW to get stronger, healthier, or pain free is also pretty clear. There are many ways to the same end. Finding a good physical therapist or fitness professional can be a pivotal piece of the puzzle in reaching wellness goals. There is a new technique or program that pops up almost every single day that claims to produce results- and honestly, I think most of them probably do to some extent.
But with so many HOWs available with a quick Google search, wouldn't you think everyone would be reaching their fitness, wellness or health goals? But everyone isn't. HOW isn't enough. Clearly HOW-based wellness is also not the key to success.
To truly see remarkable results with your health goals, there is a big step that I think we all too often don't focus on. Here's the key:
We need to find our WHY
I consistently see that people who figure out WHY they want WHAT they want hit their goals much more often than those who don't. A transformation occurs when one figures out WHY he or she wants to reach a particular health goal. Here's what happens:
"I want to walk without a limp" transforms into, "Since my stroke last summer, I've always felt self-conscious about the way I walk and I think it's finally time to change that."
"I want to run without pain" transforms into, "Running has been my main coping mechanism for years. I love it and need to be in marathon shape by next year's Boston race."
"I want to be able to bend down without hurting" transforms into, "I want to be able to bend down without hurting so that I don't ever have to worry about picking my daughter up again when she wants to play."
"I want to get my legs stronger and faster" becomes, "I want college recruiters to see what I have to offer, and it's been a dream of mine to play college football for as long as I can remember."
"I want to lose 50 pounds" turns into, "I've been having a hard time keeping up with my kids lately, and I feel like it's time to get healthier for my family and my kids by losing some weight."
"I want to have better balance" transforms into, "I don't want to be scared I'm going to fall down and get injured when the grandkiddos come over and run around the house."
The WHY is the fuel to ignite the WHAT and HOW on our wellness journey. It is the catalyst that can provide us with the means necessary to make a long-lasting change in our health.WHY-based wellness is the key to success.
It's easy to miss this crucial piece of the puzzle, and most of the time we miss out on it because we aren't willing to put a little time into increasing our self-awareness.
Whatever stage of goal-setting or achieving you're in right now- I think it's time for you to do a little digging. Find your WHY:
4 Steps to Find Your Why
(1) Put down your phone, iPad, or computer right now. Get away from distractions and get out a pencil and a pad of paper.
(2) Set a timer for 5 minutes.
(3) THINK! Give yourself 5 minutes to think about WHY you want to reach a certain goal. No surface level content allowed here.
(4) Preserve that piece of paper. Put it by your nightstand to look at when you go to bed and wake up. Pin it onto your refrigerator. Whatever is best for you, preserve this information because it has just become your jet fuel. Use it as motivation. Reflect on this often.
Once you've completed these steps, congratulations! You have just unlocked some serious goal-reaching potential. When you are able to see with your own eyes the deeper purpose that you have to move more and be healthier, you may find it was just the thing that you've been missing.
There will always be plenty of things we will aspire to change about ourselves (WHAT). There will always be a bunch of different ways to get you healthier, stronger, faster, leaner, and painfree (HOW). But I think it's finally time for us to start discovering the purpose underlying our goals, and it can start right now.