During the month of November, I celebrated my three year fitness anniversary (YAY ME!) and, of course, I had to share that special day with social media. I received countless messages congratulating and encouraging me, but what really made me pause and think were those messages asking what helped me stick with it. I spent the next few days pondering what made this attempt so different from the other times I wanted to get in shape. I kept coming back to the reason why I started. It was my “why” (which didn’t seem that life changing at the time) that made me push my fear, excuses, and doubts aside and go for it. So, dear reader, let us discuss the power of your “why.”
Your “why” is that thing that makes you take charge, keeps you going when it gets hard, and helps you get back up when you fall down. Your “why” helps you shut out the noise of naysayers and negative thoughts because your “why” is all about improving your life. Your “why” gives you the courage to create and meet your goals. And, even if you fail the first time, your “why” will give you the motivation to keep trying. Your “why” is that little thing you repeat to yourself when you just don’t want to drink your water or eat your veggies or go workout.
So, how do you know when your “why” is right? From personal experience and in talking with others, I’ve learned that people with a “why” that is less about outward appearance and more about health and well-being tend to be more successful with long-term fitness success. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with wanting to change your appearance, but looking at that as a byproduct of your hard work may be a better idea. Beyond that, mull over it, write it down, pray over it, and commit to it. Notice that I didn’t say talk to everyone in the world to see if your “why” is right for you. The power of your “why” is meant to carry you through your fitness journey and lifestyle change.
Here is my “why” and a few others that have been shared with me. I hope they help inspire you whether you are beginning your journey or well on your way.
- I’m tired of hurting on the inside and smiling on the outside. I’m tired of feeling empty. I want peace in my life and, when I get it, I’m not letting it go.
- I watched my Dad suffer and die from diabetes. I don’t want to do that to my kids.
- I’m a minister. I don’t feel that I can do God’s work if my temple is not at its best.
- I missed the old me. I missed being active. I was a cheerleader, played softball, and ran track but now I can’t even walk up the stairs. This ain’t me! I want the old me back!
- My doctor told me it was time to consider blood pressure medication. I immediately started to cry. My biggest fear had come true.
- The truth is, I had a bad break up. After my pity party, I decided to get my life in order.
- After I had my little girl, I felt obligated to be her example. I want her to be confident, intelligent, kind, strong, optimistic, and all of that.
Written by Kelly Boyd