Approaching another new year often creates a desire to reflect on the past year and consider what you want for the year ahead. New year’s resolutions are a fun pastime that create a fantasy of becoming a better version of yourself. This is why they often do not last longer than a few weeks, if that!
You may have begun a wellness journey time and time again, only to get caught up with the many other areas of your life that pull you out of your wellness routines and then it slowly falls away over time. This is common when you approach your wellness goals with a simple outcome of wanting to eat better or exercise or to just “be healthy.” While these are reasonable and legitimate desires, I’d like to ask you to dig a little deeper. I want you to ask yourself the WHY you want to achieve this goal in the first place. When you know this—your WHY, your 2019 wellness goals will be achievable.
If your goal is to eat healthier, WHY? If your goal is to exercise, WHY? If your goal is to create more work-life balance, WHY? If your goal is to end a potentially harmful habit, WHY?
And here’s the kicker, your WHY better be good! Your WHY better be something that drags you out of bed day in and day out. Your WHY better be important enough to create focus and determination after any inevitable backsliding to ensure you don’t give up on your goal—that you don’t give up on yourself.
Do you want to live a long happy life? Do you want to prepare your body to host your future children? Do you want to avoid primarily life-style driven diseases such as diabetes, cognitive impairment and heart disease? Do you want to be a role model for a child? Do you want to feel amazing? Do you want to travel around the world with your grandchildren?
By determining your WHY, your wellness goal becomes more authentic and meaningful. No matter what your goal is, the WHY behind your goal will be the reminder that you are trying to create something much greater for your life. The WHY will be the kick in your behind to start, stick with it or to get back on track without beating yourself up, or worse, giving up.
Even though your motivation will wax and wane, knowing your WHY is a constant. The WHY is more likely to jolt you back into action mode if your motivation lessens as time goes by. Rather than the generic “I want to be healthier in 2019” or “I want to exercise more in 2019,” your new mindset might be: “I want to eat vegetables with every meal in 2019 to not have to take blood pressure medication” or “I want to exercise three times per week to be a good role model for my children in 2019.”
When you finally connect with your own personal WHY, you have to put it to good use. One way to ensure you remain focused on your WHY is to make it visible constantly. Creating affirmation cards where you write, draw, paint or collage your WHY on note cards and leave them—well—everywhere—will help keep your WHY in the forefront of your mind. You can also place reminders of your WHY on your cell phone that pop up daily or even hourly to keep your WHY fresh in your mind, heart and soul. When motivation comes from within, you are far more likely to act—to follow through—to MAKE YOUR LIFE HAPPEN!
Your WHY will get you out of bed to take that class, to sit on your meditation cushion, to continue with weekly meal plan and prep, to maintain date nights with your partner, to exercise consistently, to eat those veggies, to prioritize sleep or to not spend time or resources on something you don’t truly need.
So, when you think about your goal, what comes up for you? What is your WHY? Can you dig deep and create a reason that makes you jump out of bed in the morning and keeps you focused in times of challenge? Your WHY is yours, no one else’s. Don’t judge your WHY, don’t downplay your WHY, and definitely don’t forget your WHY!
Focus on your WHY and the action will follow, it will have to. Focus on the action and you will be reminded of your WHY. They work together and need one another. Now that you have considered your WHY, spend some time reflecting on how you will use it to begin your goal or re-engage with your goals. Do you have a goal in mind for 2019 and have you determined your WHY? Let me know, I’d love to hear what will help to keep you energized and focused along your personal path to wellness.
Are you in the NYC area? If so, Jamie Lopez, RD and I will be hosting a workshop on this topic on January 17th, 2019 at 7 pm in SOHO. You can learn more and register here! I hope to see you there!