So we all want to be fit, happy, and healthy right? We join a gym, or start an exercise program. We make adjustments to our diet so we’re eating healthier, more nourishing foods. We’re being fuelled by the motivation for change and self improvement. But life is not a perfectly linear experience, we don’t go from X, do Y, and end up with Z. Life throws us curve balls, it gets messy, it gets busy, things just happen. And in those moments we need to remember our WHY.
Why am I doing this in the first place? Why am I going to a 5:30pm exercise class when it’s dark out and I want to curl up on the couch? Why am I crunching on this salad when today I really want to crunch on potato chips? Why am I struggling to learn a new exercise, when it seems that my body clearly doesn’t get it?! Why bother going for my walk/jog/bike ride, one missed day isn’t going to make any difference! WHY?
In those tough moments, if you don’t have a solid intrinsic motivator, you are more likely to give up. If you can’t place a deeper meaning on the actions and goals you’ve committed yourself to, what do you think is going to drive you to keep going? So I invite you all to practice the 5 Why’s.
The 5 Why’s is an amazing tool to help you get to the bottom of what really motivates you. It pushes you to dive deep into the meaning of your goals and actions. Let’s say for example you want to lose weight. Who doesn’t? 😉 Ask yourself why. Because I want to look good in some lululemon tights. Why do you want to look good in tights? Because it’ll make me feel good about myself. Why do you want to feel good about yourself? Because when I have confidence I’m a happier person, I enjoy life. Why do you want to be happy? Because being happy will make me a better mom, wife, girlfriend, sister, etc. So the real reason to lose weight becomes the mission to be a happier, better person, and get more out of life. You go from a superficial reason of looking good in an outfit, to something deeper that you can really connect with. See how that works?
I invite you to try this exercise. Journal it if you want. Keep some sticky notes handy just in case you forget your why. Make a note on your phone, whatever you need to do to remind yourself in those moments of struggle. To further this practice, try being mindful every single day, with every thing you do. Especially as you do those things you’re not always so fond of, but even with the things you love to do. For example, why am I grocery shopping at the busiest time of day? Because this was my only opportunity to buy _____________ food that I need to nourish myself and my family. Why am I working out today? Because I want to build muscle and reduce my risk of osteoporosis. You can even break these down further. Why am I spending extra money on grass fed beef? Why should I care about perfecting my form in a squat? Find your reasons, find the thing that resonates with you. Bring mindfulness into your actions.
You will most likely have the same pattern of underlying deep reasons for your actions, but your smaller why’s can change and fluctuate everyday. Your smaller why’s will still get you closer to your big WHY. Conversely, sometimes you might not be able to think of a why in that moment. Sometimes, you’re going to struggle, and just ‘fake it till you make it’. And that’s OK. Your daily why will show up, you’ll gain clarity. Just keep asking the right questions 🙂