Back in our Habitude Holiday Challenge that took us from Thanksgiving to the New Year, one of your many challenges was to find your inner motivation. Exploring the why in your plan to exercise, eat healthy, get adequate sleep, and manage your stress levels is what helps each of us to stay the course. Being specific, writing your whys down, and revisiting them often is a habitude that will drive life-long health, wellness, and happiness.
I come from a conservative middle class family in the rural mid-west. My parents and my husband’s parents have worked extremely hard for their modest happy lives. My husband and I take the values that were instilled into us as kids around finances and attempt to work hard, live within our means, and practice gratitude. With that said, we both come from several generations where making money was stressful, and thinking about the future caused tension at times. Money can and will cause stress in everyone’s life in some way.
When I sit with my pen and notebook to write down my current whys, I reflect that we could be driven by money, cars, and things. This would dictate how and where we spend our time and resources more than perhaps it should. Or we could invest more into our health. This is something that as we age, I doubt we will regret. I cannot ensure that I will not have disease or illness in this life, but I can certainly do my part to be a healthy human. I never want heart disease, diabetes, or cancer to enter my world and say, why didn’t I try to invest my energies differently knowing what I know? If there ever comes a day where I do get ill, I cannot buy good health. It is an investment I need to make now. Therefore, one of my whys is that I want to be active and healthy as long as possible, doing my part, depositing investments.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to lean out for summer, look hot on the beach, or go down a dress size. Those whys are on my list too! In your reflection time, I encourage you to be specific in naming this why; I want to lose 15 pounds in the next 3 months so that I can fit into my little black dress for Kate and Ben’s wedding! I know that not only will I look and feel good, but I will have the confidence I need to dance the night away instead of playing spectator. This example is personal, sets a time line, and reaches into something that fitness and health can offer other than outer appearances-a new habitude!
I love seeing athletes do amazing things with their bodies. The fittest of the fit can twist themselves up, hang upside down, leap off of mountains, and swan dive into waterfalls. Those are some extreme examples, but another good why is naming what you would love to be able to do with your body. Skiing every year with friends for many years to come. Running marathons until the cows come home. Working hard in the yard all weekend until your dying days. Playing with your grand-kids instead of watching from your rocker Doing a cool arm balance in yoga…as we say, you are so much stronger than you think you are!No excuses. There is something out there for everyone in the world of health and wellness. Knowing isn’t enough though. Starting tomorrow won’t get you there. Making excuses is getting old. Waiting for a magic pill…well I think we all know that ain’t gonna happen. Find your why, let it fuel you, and get going!