By Guest Blogger Danielle Pastula
If you’re in the business world, you’ve probably heard of Simon Sinek and his powerful TED talk, “How great leaders inspire action,” which centers around the principle of his book, Start With Why.
In a nutshell, his stance is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. He explains that the reason people don’t connect with the what of your business is because it’s boring, it’s facts, and it’s rarely unique, all things that generally make something non-interesting to most people.
But the why, the why is where emotions come in to the picture, the why is what we viscerally connect with, and why inspires and drives us to take action.
And this principle doesn’t have to solely apply to business, in fact, it’s a great principle to apply to your workout routine because it isn’t the what that’s going to keep you consistent for the long haul, it’s your why. Here’s how to find it:
So much of what society tells us about working out is about appearances.
Get back to your post-baby weight, get that perfect bikini body, here’s a workout that will help you look like a supermodel, those are all headlines that have been beaten to death and I think most people can agree that we’re tired of hearing about how our bodies aren’t good enough.
And the reason we’re tired of hearing it is because all of these things center around the whats of working out, like getting a six-pack or reaching a certain number on the scale. Those things may keep you plugging away at your workout routine for awhile, but what happens when you no longer care about a six-pack or the number on the scale can’t be reached because it’s unhealthy?
When you look further in to your own priorities and focus on a workout why with a deeper personal meaning, that’s a motivator that won’t waver with societal body trends or depend on a milestone that may not be reached.
Use Your Bucket List
Most people have a bucket list of some kind, whether it’s one you’ve had written out for years, or if it’s an inspiration board in your office, but if you don’t have one, put pen to paper for a few minutes and jot out your biggest goals and don’t focus on how “realistic” they seem, if it’s on your mind, write it down.
Now look at each item on your bucket list. Ask yourself, “Is this goal something I would be able to achieve no matter how poor my health is?”
Chances are there’s a few items you could say yes to, but I bet there’s a good proportion of items that wouldn’t be physically achievable if you weren’t in good health.
Of course, you can’t predict the future and you never know what curveball life might throw your way, but using your bucket list items as motivators are some of the best whys you can muster when it comes to the aspects of your health you can control through staying active and eating healthfully.
What’s more important to you, completing an incredible backpacking tour through Europe with stamina and energy, or fitting in to a size 4?
Don’t Be Afraid of Shifting Your Why
Just like our bodies change with age, so do the things that are most important to us, and thus, our whys.
For example, in college I experienced the loss of a few close family members in a short period of time and suddenly working out wasn’t just a way to look good, my main why for working out became purely stress and anxiety relief. I was juggling a busy schedule and trying to remain professional at work in addition to grieving, and exercising was the one thing I could control when it came to improving my overall outlook and mental well-being.
Now that time has passed, my why for working out is completely different, but it still gives me the same kind of inspiration I need to get through the hardest step, which is putting on my workout clothes and getting out the door.
No matter what your why is now, know that it might look different a year, or even a week from now. Embrace what matters to you in this moment and let it be your main motivator for living your healthiest life because the present is the only thing we’re in control of right this second.