#1 Question To Ask Yourself To Create A Lifelong Habit

I used to think that the best way of achieving anything outside of your normal actions was to set a goal and then run headfirst into it and hope that everything would stick — including the enormous amounts of willpower needed to make sustainable change.

As I started to create more complex goals that required way more willpower and dedication, I realized that this habit changing thing was actually quite difficult!

It is the number one reason that I hear most people fail in achieving their deepest hearts’ desires, or even silly fun bucket list must-do’s.

There are so many little techniques that you can do to make habits stickable and sustainable. And the first place that gets overlooked when venturing into uncharted territories is…well…

A question. One simple question. One paramount question. One deeply emotional, inner-fire producing question….

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Why?

You may know all the little steps to get from “Point A” to “Point Heck-Yes.” You probably do. Maybe you even have a checklist or a roadmap to guide you on your journey. You might be on that journey right this moment! But it is often the overlooked question of ‘Why’ that most people have not truly established. Without that question answered, it’s much easier to give up on your dreams when the going gets tough.

Connecting into the real purpose of any task that requires any amount of energy, especially when it’s something new, needs to have some real emotion tied to it. As humans, we are most influenced by emotion. And with deep emotion, we can move mountains. We can change most anything. Think about the inspiring stories of those who totally changed their life around after being diagnosed with cancer. Or the tear-filled moms who commit to losing weight so they can have more energy to place with their kids and live a long life to help take care of them. Their ‘Whys’ are deep and emotional and help them to create a deep strength within them to push forward and commit to big changes!

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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. You may even find that you don’t care about changing the habit 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. This could be why you never fully commit in the first place (yet, you never fully realized that and instead lived in guilt).

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 that’s super helpful, but it is critical to establish the reason within you that sparks your inner fire automatically. 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. New Years resolutions are a perfect example — The new year starts and you get super excited to start your goal. The next thing you know? Two months down the road, you habit commitment starts to slip and a feelings of overwhelm, self-pity and self-doubt creep in.

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Asking Yourself WHY

This is one of my favorite goal-setting and problem-solving challenges. It’s fun, thought-provoking, and the results can help keep you on-track in a BIG way. 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. 

This little exercise is a powerful way to help you uncover solutions to problems – both practical AND motivational! Plus your answers might surprise you. All you need is a notebook and pen (or empty doc on your computer) and a few uninterrupted minutes. Let’s get started.

First, write down what you want to achieve.

Maybe it’s to fit into an old pair of jeans, get back in shape (or just plain into shape), lose 15 pounds, cut sugar out of your diet, etc.

Now comes the fun part….Just ask why.  Why do you want to do that? (Write it down!) Then, ask why AGAIN. Continue for a total of 5 times.

Example: I want to lose 15 pounds.

  • Why do I want to lose 15 pounds? Because I want to fit back into my jeans.
  • Why do I want to fit back into my jeans? Because I feel self-conscious and my clothes aren’t fitting the way they used to, and I’ll feel more confident if I’m comfortable in my clothes
  • Why do I want to feel more confident? Because right now, I hold myself back from being more social. If I feel more confident, I’ll be more outgoing, and would go out with friends more often.
  • Why do I want to be more social? It’s scary but I want to feel good about myself when I’m out with friends.  I want to have more FUN in my life and develop deeper relationships.
  • Why do I want to have more fun and develop deeper relationships? Because I’ve been feeling isolated and a little lonely, and I need a sense of adventure in my life!

When you dig a little deeper- you eventually get to the real underlying motivation for wanting to lose that 15 pounds – which actually isn’t about weight loss at all.

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.

Tell me, what is your ‘Why?’


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