Finding Your “Why”

When is the last time you tried to change a habit? How did you do? Were you successful?

A lot of people do okay for a little while, but then things come up, and they find themselves reverting back to their old ways.

Finding Your Why | Life, Unleashed

In the past, you might have been told, and/or believed that you just needed some stronger willpower. Nowadays, however, it’s coming to light that that’s maybe not the case.

Instead, a better method is to find your “why”.

Your why is the soul-deep reason behind the changes you’re wanting to make.

In her book, “F.I.T. 10 Steps To Your Faith Inspired Transformation“, Kim Dolan Leto recommends that your “why” be rooted in one of three areas: relational, medical, or spiritual. The reason for this is that these are areas most closely tied to our core values. As such, our why — our reason for wanting to change — will be super-strong, and will have its roots deep enough to keep us motivated and moving forward, even when life tries to throw us curve balls, and derail our plans.

To give you an example, my own “why” is two-fold: spiritual and medical. First, I want to be able to live life to the fullest, and I can’t do that if I’m unable to get my butt off the couch. Second, I’m tired of feeling like a “victim” in my life, and am aiming to build up my strength, physically. I started with going to the gym. Now, I’m turning my focus to eating better, and to continuing my strength-training from home.

Life has definitely tried to mess with my plans, several times in the past year. But remembering my reasons for making these changes has helped me to continue. Thinking of my “why” re-lights that deep, inner fire to change my life for the better.

So, give some thought to this. See if you can find a soul-deep reason for the changes that you want to make. Make sure that this reason really touches something at the core of you, as then it will be deeply-rooted, and nothing will be able to stop you from reaching your goals.

Unfollowing

Doesn’t it drive you crazy when a friend or family member suddenly gets on a health-kick, and starts putting their running log and/or sweaty selfies all over Facebook? You think to yourself, “Well, gee, good for you… but I don’t want to see that!” So {click}… you unfollow them.

Unfollowing | Life, Unleashed

Five years ago, I did just that — I’d unfollow anyone who was working on bettering themselves and sharing their progress on social media. Why? Because it reminded me of how much I, myself, wasn’t doing in my own life. It highlighted the truth and my weaknesses, and that made me uncomfortable. So, it was easier to unfollow these people than it was to face my own issues.

Something funny happened, though. Much as I no longer followed these people, the “seed” had already been planted. While I didn’t see the connection, in the midst of things, I did go on to work on my own issues — my own health, and mindset — and got to a place where I was ready to seek out those who could push me. Now, instead of being repelled, I was being drawn to those who were working on bettering themselves because they inspired me to want more for myself.

In April 2016, I’d done a lot of work on renewing my mindset, and was ready to get my body healthy, too. So, I signed myself up for a gym membership. I told myself, “Enough is enough” — I was done being a “victim” in my life, and was ready to become the strong, confident, healthy woman I knew I was created to be.

At the same time, an acquaintance of mine –Sarah– had also been struggling to get healthy, and had made the decision to do something about it. She shared on Facebook about how she’d chosen to sign up as a health coach, so that she’d have the built-in accountability of being an example to others, and to have the possibility of making a bit of side income while doing so.

Over the course of the following year, I continued to go to the gym 2x/week to work on building up my strength, and Sarah worked out at home, using her online fitness workouts. I didn’t lose much weight (since I was still overeating how I’d always done), and Sarah was steadily dropping pounds and inches (since she’d also started clean eating, along with her workouts).

As of April 2017, Sarah had built a team of others who were now also working out and eating better consistently, and she was earning a decent amount of income from this part-time business (despite the fact that she’s a mom of 3 who was working full-time, and going to school full-time, all while managing her household!). She’d dropped 30+ pounds, too! I couldn’t just sit by any longer. If she could do it, so could I… so I became a coach, too!

Sarah’s transformation

Honestly, I’m two months in, as of this writing, but I love it! The other coaches are all so positive and upbeat, and the company’s leaders are heart-centered business people, focused on ending the trend of obesity, through helping people live healthier, more fulfilling lives. There’s a service mindset that runs throughout the entire organization, and I am proud to be a part of this.

Wanna know something funny, though? Sarah likes to tell the story of how she, herself, at one point, had unfollowed her friend, Rosa — who later became the person that inspired Sarah to become a coach! It took three years of following (and unfollowing) Rosa, for Sarah to finally be ready to make the decision to invest in her health. The seed had been planted, though.

I believe we all have to go through our own process of working on our mindset and the other inner demons that hold us back. We all have the ability to transform our lives… but we have to believe that it’s possible, and we have to find the method that works best for us.

I thought I could do it on my own. I was wrong. I needed the accountability, just as much as anyone else.

Now I’m working on paying it forward, while I continue to work on myself.

And you can do the same!

The Best Version of You

What would the best version of you — and your life — look like? Have you ever given that any serious thought?

Becoming the Best Version of You | Life, Unleashed

Most of us have at least one area of our lives that we would like to change (if not many). Consider the following areas:

  1. health
  2. relationships (love)
  3. work
  4. spirituality
  5. finances
  6. leisure
  7. shelter
  8. friends/family

What is ONE thing you’d like to change (or, upgrade) in just one of those areas? Better yet, what is one change you’d like to make in each of those areas, in order to get you closer to what you feel is the “best version” of yourself and your life?

My own list looks something like this:

  • Health: Delete 70 lbs (’cause I don’t plan on getting those excess pounds back!)
  • Relationship: Have more patience
  • Work: Be more consistent
  • Spirituality: Take time out, daily, to chat with the Lord
  • Finances: Build up savings, so that we have security
  • Leisure: Travel, and go out on dates more often
  • Shelter: Move to a bigger house (we’ve outgrown this one)
  • Friends/Family: Reach out, keep in touch more, be more involved

Does thinking about all of those changes make you feel overwhelmed? It does for me! Thankfully, though, I’m learning that it is actually better not to make all of those changes all at once! Sure, I’d love to change it all in one go so that I can more quickly attain that “best me”. The problem is, when we try to do too much at once, we overwhelm ourselves, and we give up. Then we stew over it for a while, before deciding we still really want to change… and the cycle repeats.

There’s a better way.

Think about which area of your life, if you were to change it, would have the greatest impact on your well-being, overall… taking care of this one thing would make it easier, later on, to handle the changes in the other areas of your life.

For example, let’s say you choose health. Now, what is one tiny change you could make in your health — something so small that you’d barely notice the change — that you could do consistently? Maybe it’s doing some stretches every morning while waiting for your coffee to brew. You add that in, and practice it for a month. At the end of the month, you just stretch every morning, without even thinking about it — it has become part of your routine. BUT… you also start to notice that you’ve felt a bit more flexible, and have a tiny bit less pain… which, in turn, has enabled you to get a little more done most days than you used to. Hmm… And, all because you made one teensy, positive change to your health!

Darren Hardy calls this “The Compound Effect” (it’s also known as “kaizen” — practicing small, consistent efforts, over time, to get big results).

To continue our example: Now it’s month two… you pick a second area, or thing, to work on… maybe it’s your work. Again, you’re going to find one tiny, almost unnoticeable thing that you can change that –with consistent practice, over time– could produce some big results. Maybe you choose to, every morning, decide on the top three things that will have the best results for the day, and you focus on getting just those three things done. You write them down, determined to keep it to just three things — the most critical things. Then you work at those things first, before anything else you do that day, and without distraction.

At the end of month two, you’re thriving in your work, having accomplished more in the past four weeks than you did in the past year overall, and you’re still feeling good at the end of each work day, because you’re still stretching every morning (your habit from month one). And, you’re not as overwhelmed by all the undone tasks that used to loom over you from your habit of putting more on your to-do list than was realistically possible.

Now you’re on a roll!

Hunter S Thompson quote | Life, UnleashedSo, in month three, you pick another tiny change to focus on. And, at the end of the year, you have built 12 new, positive habits, your life looks radically different than it did 12 months ago, and your spirits are lifted because you are finally making progress in your life (toward living your ideal/best life) instead of constantly self-sabotaging, and getting stuck in a cycle of frustration and overwhelm. Whoohoo!

See, it is completely possible to change your life — just not all at once.

And, of course, it always helps to have someone who can hold you accountable to these changes you’re making… someone to turn to when you’re having a rough day, and finding it tempting to revert back to your old patterns. An accountability partner can encourage you, and remind you of why you wanted to make these changes in the first place. They can help you see past the bad day, and shine a light through the darkness.

Part of what I do, as a healthy living coach and mentor, is provide you with that accountability. I can email you once a week (or, on whatever schedule works best for you), to ask how things are going, and help you to keep moving forward. If that sounds like something you need, shoot me an email, and we’ll go over the details.

Life is too short for us to put off living our BEST life. It’s never too late to start making changes… you just have to be willing to take that first step. And I can help. ;)