How many times have you set out determined to lose weight and get back in shape but nothing seems to happen. Maybe you’ve vowed to eat better and go to the gym but when it comes right down to it, life gets in the way; you ended up working late, you too tired to cook dinner after working a long day, you already get up early enough you can’t possibly wake up any earlier, or well you get the idea. Although these reasons are legitimate, they are still excuses. Everyone is busy, no one wants to cook at the end of the day and let’s face it’s pretty easy to put off what we don’t want to do. The problem is, not only will these excuses keep you from reaching your goal, next year you’ll very likely weigh a little more, be a little bit more out of shape and possibly have some aches and pains as well as low energy to go along with that.
The first step in becoming successful at reaching your goal is to take a long hard look at why you want to reach your goal. Why is this so important to you? If your reason is that you have a high school reunion coming up, then I’m going to tell you that’s not enough. I’ve been training and coaching clients for 30 years and I can promise you, anyone who starts off with “I have a trip coming up in October that I want to look great for” will not reach their goal. And it’s not for lack of time, desire or ability.
ATTACHING AN EMOTIONAL REASON TO YOUR GOAL
The missing piece here is the emotional reason behind the goal. Why specifically is the goal so important to you? Don’t get me wrong, wanting to look great or to fit into a pair of jeans that have been hanging in the back of your closet for the past year are all wonderful goals. They just aren’t going to keep you on committed; unless you dig for the reason behind wanting to fit into those jeans,
So how do you discover you “Big Why” behind your goals?
I recommend you grab a pen and paper and answer the questions below. You’re going to have to put some time into this. I love to grab a cup of coffee or tea, my journal and favorite pen (yes, I have a favorite pen!) pick a quiet peaceful spot so that my thoughts aren’t interrupted, and just start writing! Getting your thoughts out on paper can reveal quite a bit. I also recommend taking pen to paper rather than typing on a computer or laptop. There’s a much better connection to your mind when you physically write out the words. So here are your questions:
Take your time with this and ask yourself each question more than once. Dig deep!
Once you have this written down, keep it someplace handy to refer to. Better yet, write out a simple statement that helps you to connect to your Big Why and post it where you will see daily. This emotional connection to your goal will help keep you focused and better able to push through when you’d really rather grab some chips and do some binge watching of your favorite TV series.
Another way to help hold yourself accountable to reaching your goals is to share them.
In the comments below, share your goals and your "why" behind the goals.
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Lisa Swanson is an ACE Certified Health Coach, Personal Trainer and Orthopedic Exercise Specialist as well as a certified AASDN and PN level 1 nutritionist. With over 35 years experience helping people turn their lives around, she is on a mission to provide relevant and useful knowledge to help women in midlife reach their goals.
Check out my interview with the Magnificent Midlife podcast on staying fit and healthy long-term.