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.
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.
Do you know what you really want from life? I don’t just mean materially. I mean, do you know what you are working towards? Or, are you drifting through life, letting circumstances take you where they will?
Do you know that you have a choice in the matter?
It can be really frustrating to feel aimless and out of control. I think a lot of us tend to forget that we can choose our path.
Wouldn’t you rather know where you’d like to go, and then have a plan for getting there? I know I would.
Of course, this obviously doesn’t mean you can’t adjust things as you go along. Life is unpredictable, so we have to adjust, really. We have to remain flexible. And, feelings and preferences change over time, as well. So, where you end up may not be what you hope for, right now, in this season of life.
And yet, it is still worth creating a plan and being intentional about your direction in life. It helps you to feel more in control, and to find more fulfillment. Instead of drifting, now you are living with purpose to your days.
For myself, I would like to reach the following goals in my life:
- Shrink down to a healthier weight
- Live a more active and healthy lifestyle
- Earn enough money from self-employment to live financially secure
- Make an impact on others’ lives through my work
- Buy property & have my dream-house built (the one I designed, myself)
- Continue to grow, both spiritually and professionally
- Lead a teen girls’ Bible study group
- Travel… see more of the world
- Support my favorite charities (Kiva, Mercy House Global, Room to Read)
Having this list, and knowing what I would really love to accomplish, helps me to know what steps I need to take in order to achieve those goals.
For example, in my health pursuits, I already know –from trial & error– that intuitive eating is the best method for me. But, in addition to that, I’ve also come to realize that my dependence on processed foods is no longer working for me (if it ever did!), because I am developing more and more health issues. I’m beginning to see how much truth there is in what they say about your body needing nutrients, not just calories (in other words, our choice of food matters, even more than how often or how much we eat).
I was super excited, recently, to find a blog called, “Hello, Nutritarian!“, which is based off of the principles found in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s books (“Eat to Live; “The End of Dieting“).* This blog provides recipes and guidance on how to eat a cleaner, more whole-foods based diet. And that’s just what I know I need.
Also in regards to my health, I came across a gal, last week, who was once where I am at (size 18, currently), but who went on to win a figure competition (which is not something I am aiming for!), and to maintain a completely transformed lifestyle. She is now active every day, eating healthy/clean, and she’s changing others’ lives by paying-it-forward as a healthy living coach (same company I’m with).
This gal’s total life transformation really inspires me — especially since I’m currently at the same weight she started at. If she can do it, I know that I can achieve similar things. It takes a decision —that I am no longer willing to put up with my poor health habits– and making a full commitment to myself and to the better life that I know is possible!
The great thing about all of these health goals, for me, is that I am in a position to help others change their lives… just by being an example for them to follow. By committing to a healthier lifestyle for myself, I have a chance to allow others to watch me and to see that they, too, can have the success they seek (you can, as well!). We are all in it together! And, because this is my work, I earn my living from helping others transform their lives. So, that also ties into my goal of becoming financially secure.
Related: Kickstart Your Health sessions
I believe we all have what it takes to achieve our goals. But, we first need to be aware that we have a choice in the direction our lives are going to go, and then we have to know what it is we want so that we can make a plan, and make a decision to go after it. We need to commit to doing whatever is necessary. It won’t be easy — it’s going to demand hard work and sacrifices — but I know that it’ll be worth it.
Here’s to living your life on purpose!