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“It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.”
There’s a well known saying that goes “motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.” There is truth to the fact that something repeated, such as eating healthy, for 21 days will create a habit. Once a habit is formed, it becomes a part of the daily routine. We no longer fight the disempowering thoughts that creep in saying “I don’t want to eat healthy today” and instead it becomes natural to reach for the healthier options and say no to the foods that we know are going to be a detriment to our health. I’d also like to challenge this statement and say that there is something deeper than habit that keeps us going when times get rough. When we want to make choices that are going to take us off the path of reaching our goals, there must be something more than a habit that gets us back in line with what we are out to accomplish. This is where our WHY comes in to action.
You might ask, what do you mean by “our WHY”? Our WHY is the deep reason behind why we do anything, from working, to practicing, or following a new healthy way of living. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning, fired up and ready to take on the day. Our why is what drives us to do whatever it takes to reach a goal, or make an impact in the world. Our why is what we turn to when we feel like watching TV and eating ice cream, instead of going to another practice.
In my previous career as a nurse, I would often get asked why I became a nurse. I never had a solid answer and I would respond with “I thought it would be interesting.” Since there was no real reason behind why I was doing what I was doing, it became difficult to enjoy going to work. I looked forward to my days off, more than my days at the hospital. There was nothing there that deeply moved me to get out of bed in the morning and get to work. When I transitioned into the health and fitness field, I gained an understanding of why I was working so hard and loving it every single day. I realized that I had been given a gift through health and fitness. I was introduced to fitness and it took me from a calorie counting, self-destructive, unconfident girl to a woman who felt for the first time what it was like to be strong and passionate. I wake up eager to work every day knowing that there are countless young women who are in the same situation I was in and that I have the opportunity to change their life. If there is ever a morning that I want to stay in bed and not get work done, my mind automatically goes to my WHY and I remember that I am getting out of bed to make a difference in the lives of other people, and giving them the same gift I was given.
Often times if we look deep enough, we discover that our WHY goes deeper than we think. In a recent interview with Adam Folker, he was asked why he loves basketball and what makes him work hard day in and day out. The initial answer I received was that he loves competition and his parents played so he developed a love for basketball as a kid. After asking a few more questions, we moved to a deeper reason why, which became knowing that he has the opportunity to be a part of a team where others are counting on him to show up and that he gets to inspire a massive crowd of people with the skills he displays on the basketball court. THAT is what is going to get you out of bed in the morning, lacing up those shoes and running out the door. Even if it’s early. Even if it’s cold. And even if all of your friends were out late the night before and still sleeping. There is nothing like the feeling of knowing that you make a difference, that people are looking to you for inspiration and that someone’s life is going to change because they get to witness the love and passion you have for what you do.
What’s your WHY?