I used to think that the hardest question in changing any habit or forming a new habit was asking myself how do I do it. Surely if you didn’t know how to accomplish something then you were destined to fail. What I learned over the years is that that couldn’t be farther from the truth! See, there are many times that I have known exactly what to do in a situation but just couldn’t push myself through taking the steps to change bad habits or create new ones. I could have had those steps written out step-by-step, but it wouldn’t have made a difference. If you have a goal to lose weight, you probably already know exactly what to do- exercise, eat healthier, get more sleep, decrease your stress levels, eat healthy portion sizes. But, let’s face it, even though you know all of those components help you lose weight, then why is it you haven’t done so yet? I just gave you a little clue in that last sentence. Did you catch it?
It’s the Why. If you have not established a Why you are trying to do what you are trying to do, then what is really the purpose of doing it? When you really step back and dive into why you desire a new habit or to change a certain area of your life that drains your energy, you may surprise yourself and realize that your Why that comes from the depths of your heart is totally different then the superficial Why that is in your brain. Heck, you may even find that you don’t care about changing the habit or that part of you after all. Maybe you discovered that the only reason you’re trying to change is because of how it will make you look or because someone else wants you to change. It is easy to be inspired by an article or a podcast or by a great conversation and get this spark of excitement that propels you into this new adventure and transformation. That is all fine and dandy. But, what happens if you get this spark of excitement and you make a declaration that you are dedicated to making change, but you never really establish why you care to make that change. Days, weeks, or months down the road you may find yourself giving up and feeling like you have no willpower and your self-confidence starts to drop. I see that all the time! Honestly, I think that is the majority of people. What is one of the best examples of this out there? New Year’s resolutions. I have been guilty of it myself. The new year starts and I get super excited to establish a new habit and the next thing I know, three months down the road, I have fallen off the bandwagon and feel this overwhelming sense of self-pity and self-doubt to accomplish what I really want to accomplish. Maybe I never wanted to accomplish it in the first place! Establishing what motivates you is so important for long-lasting results and success. You’re probably saying to yourself right now, “OK, I get it, but how do I establish my Why?”
First and foremost, you need to figure out what habit you are trying to create. Maybe it is a completely new habit or maybe it is something that you’re just not satisfied with in your life right now. Once you have that habit in mind, write it down. You need to declare that and present it to the universe and show that you are serious about your intention. Anytime you write something down, it creates a bond between your “interest” and your “commitment” and increases your likeliness to succeed. It also gives you that opportunity to refer back to it anytime you start to feel like you are slipping. Next, it is time to establish your Why. It can get tricky, but your key to establishing your true Why comes from being completely real and honest with yourself. That means tearing away all of the superficial meanings or fears and anxieties you may have. It also means tearing away the layers of your fears that are associated with what others may think. A true Why statement comes from the heart and is created through emotion and truth. It should make you excited and inspired and create a depth of emotion that motivates you to push forward. If it doesn’t, it is not a true Why. You need to care with all your heart! Sometimes, you have to dig really deep and figure out why you were doing something. This can take much longer than just a few minutes. Make sure to write your Why down and, if it helps, write it in different places so you see it often. The key to using your Why to your advantage is making sure that it is easily accessible and you refer to it often, sometimes even daily. This statement is going to be the backbone of your success. It is going to help to anchor you in and give you the support when you are feeling less than inspired.
So, what does this look like?
New Habit: I want to exercise 4 days a week.
My Why: I want to increase my amount of exercise because it gives me energy to start my day. The increased energy allows me to play with my children and my children are so important to me. I want to be a parent that is active with them and can get involved in their lives. If I increase my exercise, it will also make me healthier and help me keep my weight down. That, too, will give me more quality time with my children and my family that will last years down the road. I want to be a good role model for my children!
Dig deep: Dig deep into your heart and your gut, that little place that holds your intuition, and feel your Why. Does it feel true and real? Does it feel light and inspirational? If so, you are on the right track!
Take action now! Pick one habit that you are ready to change or begin. Write that down and start to brainstorm your Why. Make sure that you are in a quiet place or a place that allows you to really dig deep inside you. Write it down. Recite that often (many days a week) or refer to it when you are really needing a kick in the butt to stay focused. Now, share my “Shout And Share” with all your friends to help get them set up for success in their new habits!
Go to the comment section. Make a comment and let me know what you have struggled with, what you have tried, and what your action plan is. The best discussions start between like-minded friends! Share this with your friends and get more people in on the action.
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