It’s early. You wipe the sleep from your tired eyes in an attempt to bring yourself to life. “Why am I up this early?” whispers your brain, teasing you with how amazing going back to sleep would be. You look back at your disheveled bed and begin the internal struggle of whether it is all worth it. You are so tired, or at least you tell yourself. You know the bed feels amazing and the lure of warm snuggles beneath the sheets begins to draw you closer to giving in.
Sound familiar? I had been there a few times myself. Most mornings were a struggle at the start of my journey. But as each day brought about the morning fight to get up, so did the clarity of my why, and why I needed to keep going.
I would be lying if I said adopting a healthy lifestyle was going to be easy. The truth is, yes, it is going to be difficult. We’ve been raised in a world that tells us it’s okay to consume fast food, snack cakes and soft drinks. Everywhere you look there are sweets, junk food, or advertisements tempting you with the unhealthy variety.
We know that our bodies are designed to stay active, and we’ve all had that dream of having a slimmer waistline, ripped abs or cover model physique at some point in our lives. The only problem is, we’ve tried many times before but failed to stick with it. Deep down we want to eat healthier and feel better, but with our hectic daily lives, how do we achieve these goals?
Over the years, I’ve spoken to many people about their goals. Some have reached their health and fitness goals and others have not. In talking to those who had reached their goals, I noticed their passion for why it was so important they did so. In conversations with those who had struggled to keep going or quit, I saw that their motivation to be healthy was usually based on some generalized “look better naked” mentality and not really important to them. Although that can be a strong enough reason for a select few, for most it simply isn’t enough to keep them on track.
Finding your why doesn’t have to be trivial. Heck, it is usually standing right in front of you, simply masked in the blur of life’s daily to-dos. Taking a moment to step back and view your life from an outside perspective can be a pretty powerful means of revealing all the heart-tugging beauty around us. Our children, significant others, careers, or love for living in itself are some of the things we fear losing most. For those reasons, we sacrifice everything. So let us look within ourselves to hold onto those loves, and use that as our driving force to be the best we can be.
We all have within us this beautiful and inspiring strength, which can enable us to truly achieve pretty much anything we set our minds to. The only thing that stands in our way is when our minds lose sight of our why.
When I think of why I get up every morning at 4:45 a.m. to exercise my mind and body, it simply comes down to my family and the will to be better than I was the day before. Back when giving up was a perceived option, or more recently, whenever I felt like skipping a day, I would take a moment to think about why I even started.
Being a father to me means I have to set an example. I have to show them the way to being their best, which in turn means I have to be my best. I work every day toward becoming the man I want my son to grow up to be. I want to show my stepdaughter that with a little willpower and a healthy dose of knowledge, she too will take that first step toward achieving her goals.
Your why power is what will ultimately drive you right through life’s difficult challenges and setbacks, never slowing down until the day your goal becomes a living reality.
Think about this example for a minute.
If I hung a hundred-dollar bill from the branch of a medium-sized tree, gave you a ladder and said, “Climb that tree and the hundred-dollar bill is yours!” … what would you do? You probably wouldn’t hesitate much and would end up a hundred dollars richer.
Let’s say we moved that hundred-dollar bill to a tree that had grown off the side of a massive cliff, protruding more horizontally than vertically. Would you still climb out to get that bill? I’m guessing the answer is “No!” – and why wouldn’t it be?
Now, on that same tree, take that hundred-dollar bill and replace it with your child or loved one. They are hanging on for dear life. Would you climb out onto that tree now? Of course, without a doubt!
So what changed? The only thing that changed in these scenarios was your driving motivation, or why it needed to be done. That’s what it’s all about: setting a goal you wish to achieve, then finding your reason for removing all doubt and never giving up. As I mentioned earlier, we all have the possibility within us to succeed. We just have to be willing to let our why guide us through our journeys.
I leave you with this task.
Take today to step back and look at your life and all the blessings it holds. Look deeply and ask yourself to find your why, so that today will be the day YOU take that first step toward living a healthy lifestyle.