What inspires change? Think about it – What do you think it is that inspires some people to muster up the motivation to eat a certain way or get their but to the gym to attend that 6am crossfit class or attend yoga at 7pm on a Friday eve. And others – not so much. Have you ever asked yourself… why?
In Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why he describes a business model on how great leaders inspire everyone to take action.
It has worked wonders in the corporate sector but it can easily be paralleled with making shifts in our lifestyle habits as well.
These great leaders don’t focus on the “what”, as in what they do, what services they offer, and then the “how”, as in how they will get you these great products and services and then the “why”, as in why you should purchase these products or work for this company. Instead they work in the exact opposite order.
They focus on the “why” and then work through the how and what. We all have an idea what we should be doing and even in many cases how to do it.
But when it comes to the why — that’s the tricky one. Have you ever tried to convince someone to stop smoking because it “wasn’t good for them”?
Or to eat better because you know they need to lose a little weight. This doesn’t cut it with inspiring any sort of change. “Not good for you” isn’t a good enough why. The why has to get to a deeper, more personal belief. It can’t be someone else’s why.
The what is to live a healthier lifestyle. The how is to go to the gym, stop toxifying your body with whatever it is you are stifling down your throat, whether it be alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, pop, or junk food. But what’s your why? And it has to be a very personal why to only you. Maybe “having more energy” isn’t enough for you. Maybe having more energy to play with your kids is a better why?
Perhaps you want to feel better in your own skin. Maybe you have lost someone you loved due to an illness related to poor lifestyle habits or see the youth growing up making similar mistakes you have made in your past and you want to start showing a better image of yourself for them.
Sometimes it’s easier to do for others than it is for ourselves. My dad smoked for over 30 years. Trying to quit on many occasions because he “should”. The day his dad passed away from emphysema he quit cold turkey and hasn’t touched a cigarette since. His body didn’t all of a sudden become less addicted, he just found his personal why.
I believe that everything you put in your body is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. And when you start focusing on your why, you can make a big difference in your own life and even inspire others to do the same.
It can be as simple as putting away those cigarettes or choosing to sit down and do a meal plan for the week. But first…. What’s your why?
“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” – Anonymous
Kristin Fraser, BSc, is a holistic nutritionist and local freelance writer. Her column appears every second Wednesday. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.