One thing I’ve noticed when talking to people about their health goals is that their goals are usually based on an experience. Either something happened that made them realize they need to make a change, or something IS going to happen that makes them think about change. These are two completely different experiences, one often comes out of fear or discomfort, and the other comes from anticipation and sometimes excitement. Both require lifestyle change, motivation, and a plan, but more importantly, they require a WHY that is often a part of a much bigger picture. My first goal when speaking to them is finding that WHY.
The first experience, the one that comes from discomfort or fear, can come from things as trivial as not fitting into clothes, seeing numbers on a scale, or realizing that stress is keeping them awake at night. These are all things that cause a sense of discomfort in our lives. The “fear” based experience often comes from a health scare; bad medical results, illness, or having a medical professional tell you that changes need to be made often set off fear to make changes. These changes need to be permanent and lifelong.
The second experience is one of anticipation and usually excitement. This experience is about something that will be happening in our future-a wedding, a vacation, a reunion. We want to look and feel our best for this occasion, and we use that to spark our motivation and inspiration. Usually, this type of change is short term and short lived.
No matter what your health and wellness goals might be, it’s important to go beyond the fear, discomfort, or anticipation, and find the deepest reasons of WHY. These reasons will be the foundation to finding lasting success!
In my early years of working within the weight loss industry, I had many clients that came from both sides of the “ experience motivated” spectrum. High blood pressure, or borderline diabetic clients would come to me at their doctors orders and begrudgingly follow my food and exercise plans until their numbers improved, but often, when they impressed their doctor, they never came back to continue the focus on their health-until they were told to, which happened a lot.
On the other side of that, was the many bride to be’s, the “high school reunion is coming up”, and the “going on vacation and want to wear…” crowd. These people had a specific date in mind that they felt they could stay focused on, and they were usually really successful. But, most of this was short term as well. The claims of “I love working out now”, and “I can’t believe I feel this good!” seemed to vanish after the event they looked forward to, and their old lifestyle became new lifestyle quickly.
I once had a bride hide from me in a mall. She had dropped 60 pounds in 4 months for her wedding, had made the gym the center of her day, and constantly prided herself on her completely surprising lifestyle change that would definitely be everlasting. After she invited me to her beautiful wedding, I never heard from her again, until she spotted me and ran from me at the local mall. I let it go, of course, but before I left the mall that day, she approached me, spoke of “letting it all go”, and promised to set up an appointment to get back on track soon. “I never felt or looked so good in my entire life…” were the last words she said to me. Her WHY was about her wedding day, and it didn’t carry her beyond that day.
We are all just mere humans, and change is hard. Change requires plans, motivation, support, inspiration, and very deep-rooted WHY’s. These WHY’s are bigger than a positive health report, positive feedback from our doctor, a number on a scale, or a size on an outfit we want to wear for a special occasion. Those factors can motivate us short term, but the FOUNDATION of deep WHY’s keeps us moving forward, keeps our focus sharper, and keeps us inspired for the absolute duration of life.
So, you ask, what are these WHY’s, and how do I get them into my life so that I can make the permanent lifestyle changes I desire???
These deep WHY’s are based on our life and surrounding as we live it, day-to-day, year-to-year. I find that for many, it’s their family that inspires their ultimate WHY. Realizing that they want to be able to be “there” for the people they love, to be present and active in the lives of everyone around them. To have the energy to run and play with children or grandchildren, to spend family time having adventures or being very active, instead of being a spectator. For some, it’s the sudden concern of illness or poor health taking them from the family that needs them, that becomes the focus. For others, it’s about reaching and keeping peak performance for the activities that they enjoy in life, even as they get older. Some find that their why is in the reflection of the lives of older family member that suffered illness, and a desire to change that pattern. WHY’s vary, and are deeply personal, but they give a solid, lasting, foundation to hold us up even on our least inspired days, week after week, year after year.
For me, currently, I find my WHY being about being at my healthiest so that I can enjoy all of the activities and adventures that await me on my island. After decades of raising a family and always putting their activities and lives first, I want to be sure that I am healthy and strong to be able to focus on MY activities and life: kayaking, hiking, yoga, and lots of time spent with family and friends.
When thinking about your WHY, consider a few questions:
When you look into your future, how do you want to be living your life? What do you see being the most important aspects of that life? Who will be sharing that life with you? And, how do you want to be present in that life? Seeing yourself happy, healthy and vibrant in the future will lead you to your WHY. That is where you will find the ultimate foundation to motivate you to your goals.
Setting goals for your health and wellness involves many aspects of life. When planning your goals, be sure to consider ALL of those aspects, because they all interact and work together holistically. Here is a list of the 8 factors in the wheel of wellness, some with links to blog posts for a more in depth look.
As always, if you’d like guidance, knowledge, and motivation in putting together and implementing your personal health and wellness plan and goals, I’d love to talk to you! Feel free to contact me! If you’re curious as to what, exactly, a health and wellness coach DOES, read here!
visit my business site Beewell.com