People always ask me how I stay so motivated to eat real food and be active.
It’s true that (for the most part!) I fit these things in no matter how hectic my life gets. Long single parenting stints or minus 25 degree temperatures don’t tend to stop me from putting real food on my plate or going outside for a run. “Maybe I really do have more motivation than others,” I thought. So I went to work on cracking my code and publishing it in a neat and tidy bulleted list or easy-to remember acronym.
Here’s the only glitch. I actually don’t feel motivated to cook or run much of the time!
There are many days when the last thing I feel like doing is peeling another carrot or lacing up my running shoes, but I do them anyway. If this isn’t motivation, then what the heck is it?
Human nature has fascinated me for years. Questions like, Why do people do what they do? and, What do ‘successful’ people do differently than everybody else?, keep me up at night reading piles of books on human behaviour and psychology. And if there’s one thing I’ve read over and over again, it’s this. Successful people do not have more motivation than everyone else, they just have a clear vision. A clear purpose. A clear WHY.
WHY do you do WHAT you do?
Let’s say two people follow the exact same nutrition plan. Person A feels a bit deprived — like it’s a struggle to eliminate her favourite foods — but is motivated by fitting back into her jeans from high school. Person B feels excited to learn a repertoire of delicious real food recipes because she knows that a bit of planning and prep work are all she really needs to feel energetic throughout her busy week. Who do you suppose will stick to it longterm?
Person A’s WHY – I want to look good, and doing what it takes means giving up my favourite things.
Person B’s WHY – I want to feel good, and doing what it takes is absolutely worth it.
Having a clearly articulated WHY motivates you to choose what’s right (for you) instead of what’s fun, fast, and easy. It gets you to do all the noble things your future self really desires, like passing on the dessert tray, the movie popcorn, or the third glass of wine.
Most unrealized health goals are not for a lack of hard work, but from lacking a clear sense of WHY.
My WHY is driven by one word: INTEGRITY.
I believe my daily food and activity choices shape my overall health more than anything else. Everything I do stems from my desire to live out this belief, which is why it may seem like I’m extra motivated to eat healthy and exercise. But it’s just that acting out-of-integrity about this isn’t worth it to me. It makes me feel blah.
So if you’re not getting traction with your health goals and you think it’s a motivation or willpower problem, it may be time to dig deep on your WHY.
Mine is integrity. What is yours? (I’m really looking forward to the comments on this one!)
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