Why do so many New Year’s Resolutions fail? Why do so many of us find it so hard to follow through on our own goals? We make promises to ourselves and to our loved ones, yet more often than not we fail to stay true til the end. Blame it on your busy schedule, blame it on external factors, blame it on circumstances, but I would argue that nine times out of ten it’s because you didn’t have a strong enough WHY to start out with. What is a “Why”? Why is a “Why” important? Why don’t I tell you what a “Why” is and why it is crucial to your success as a who, who wants to become.. ok this is getting ridiculous. Let’s move on.
Your “Why” is your reason for pursuing the end result. Whatever your dreams or goals are in life, whether short term or long term, start with an intrinsic motivational force. This force is different for everyone on earth, even those with the exact same goal in mind will find something different that motivates THEM. This makes your journey unique because it has special meaning to you and you alone. But how do we find this “Why” and what purpose does it serve? You can find your reason behind your motivation by searching yourself for the biggest emotional factor that pushes you forward when the going gets tough. But you will have to be intentional about searching it out.
Let’s use weight loss as an example. Let’s say that you wanted to lose 20 pounds because you wanted to become “healthier”. Is this your why? Absolutely not. Becoming healthy is important, but it is too generic, and it is not unique to you. How about that your doctor told you to lose 20 pounds? Still no, as this is not your own driving force, but rather an external influence. How about that you want to lose 20 pounds because you want to have enough energy to play with your children while building memories to last a lifetime. You want your children to remember you as being part of their childhood, and so you will fight every day with every fiber of your being to do what is necessary to lose the weight. You will wake up early, eat healthier foods, join an accountability group, and find a coach to guide you forward. THAT IS A WHY. Not only will you do what is necessary to lose the weight, but you are more likely to build healthy habits during the process which will in turn make you more likely to hold on to the desired result for life. You may even surpass your own goals and exceed your expectations of what you thought was possible. Do you think that you could expect the same result coming from “I just want to be healthier”?
Now, I used weight loss as an example because it is a popular topic, but this can be utilized in just about any form of life planning or goal setting. Think about a grad student pushing through the toughest semester of their life. Will, “I just want to graduate and get this over with” get them through it? Or would they likely perform better if they dug deep to find an emotional reason that set a fire ablaze inside of them every time they felt like giving up? Your “Why” will not be easy to identify at first, it takes practice and many times can lead to an emotional response – this is good. The more emotions that your reason to pursue your goals evokes, the closer you are to finding your “WHY”.
Once you’ve decided on your reason to push through the hardest of times, write it down. Set it as your phone background, print it and tape it to your mirror. You don’t need to publicize it, as it may be something that is very private to you. But you need to remember it, see it every day, and hold on to it when you really, really want to quit. Seeing it all over the place is a great reminder to say it out loud and make it real in your mind. Find ways to weave it into your daily schedule, make it into a mantra if you have to. Whatever it takes to solidify in your mind that you will not give up, no matter what.
Use your “Why” to achieve your dreams, to do what seemed impossible. Never let something like Diabetes hold you back. I am a trainer living with Type 1 Diabetes, and let me tell you.. sometimes life sucks, but you need to pick yourself up, remember WHY you are doing what you set out to do, and push back when life (or diabetes) tries to trip you up. You are a WARRIOR. Find your “Why”, and Keep up the Fight!
You can do this! Let me know if I can help.
Keep up the Fight,
Matt Vande Vegte, CPT
Matt Vande Vegte is a certified personal trainer,
nutritionist, and type 1 diabetic whose biggest goal
in life is to help people with diabetes around the
world live their lives fearlessly. Looking for
an online health coaching program to
help you live your best life? Click the link below to
learn more about our program for diabetics only that is
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