We all have some kind of opinion on what we look like, what we want to change, and what goals we should have.  However, people often wait for January 1st to then say, “This is the year that I’m going to ____.”  First of all, stop waiting for the right moment.  There is no right moment.  There is no such thing as waiting until you feel motivated.  There’s no such thing as the perfect diet.  Now that we have that out of the way, I work with a lot of clients for both fitness and nutrition goals and plans.  Many of my nutrition clients need accountability for their decision making, and a lot of my fitness clients need direction.  At the first conversation I have with them during their free consultation, I ask one major question…”Why do you want to change?”  You would be shocked at how many “I don’t know’s” or “People tell me I need to’s” I get!  That’s my big secret to reach and maintain your health and wellness goals….figure out your why.

Some of us are overweight, some of us know we need to eat better, some of us compare ourselves to the size 2’s we see at the gym, and some us have deep emotional roots that tie us to an unhealthy lifestyle.  If we can start to ask and answer the question “why” through our fitness journeys, then we start to hold ourselves accountable.  Here’s a few examples that I coach my clients through.

Coach: Why do you want to make the change to start eating better?

Client: I don’t know, I guess I want to be healthy…

Coach: But why do you want to be healthy? Who cares?

Client: Well, I want to be a good role model for my kids, and be there for them when they have kids.

Ah ha!  That’s the leverage I need.  No, I’m not going to hold it over their head if they have a slip up, but instead use it to build a fire within them to sustain their new lifestyle.  Notice how I didn’t say diet.  It’s a lifestyle and positive habit routine that I build with my clients.  Do I give some tough love sometimes?  Of course, I do, but I know what my clients are capable of and I push them to see that same thing in themselves.  Here’s another example, that even I have to face sometimes.

Coach:  Tell me about the day.  What did we eat?  Did we exercise?

Client:  Uhhh, well I was busy this morning, so I didn’t work out. And I was stressed, so I went through a drive through for lunch.  I know I messed up, you don’t have to tell me.

Coach: It’s all good.  Tell me why you really didn’t work out though, and tell me the why you went to get fast-food?

Client:  Well I was tired this morning and I didn’t feel like it to be honest, and what I had for lunch didn’t sound good and a burger was convenient.

Coach: Remember, most of the time we’re never going to feel like going to the gym, especially if it’s early, and of course junk food is convenient, but the true things worth having in life are rarely convenient.  Don’t forget, you’re not just doing this for a better and healthier life for you, you said you wanted to do this for your kids.  So, work out tonight (no excuses), and have a healthy dinner, and move on.

Here I acknowledge their slip up, I got to the bottom by asking “why”, and then I gave a new plan to work out later in the day and to course correct by having a healthy dinner.  I’ll tell myself all the time, “man, a pizza sounds so good”.  And I’ll ask myself “why” I want it.  Is it my cheat day? No.  Is it damn good? Yes.  Am I going to feel guilty for eating it, and have to work harder tomorrow because of it? Yes.  Do I really need it even though I want it? No.  It’s about compromise.  We gotta live a little from time to time, but we also have to discipline ourselves a bit without beating ourselves up.

Asking the “why” questions and dissecting our decision-making habits is the best way to get down to the source of the issue.  Having accountability helps a ton, having a co-pilot going through it with us helps even more.  You never know who is watching the decisions you make, and setting the tone for generations to come by leading by example is such a powerful tool when sticking with a new lifestyle plan.  They say it takes 90 days to break a habit, and when we get to the psychology behind the choices we make – that, my friends, is the game changer! 

As an educator, certified nutritionist and trainer, certified yoga instructor, certified life and mindfulness coach, and author of the children’s book – The Grandpa Jack Series, I’d be happy to discuss your “why”, help design a nutrition and fitness plan for you, and walk with you on your journey to a new you!  Jump over to my website www.thelegacyofjack.com or email me at [email protected] today to learn more about what services I offer!

Photo Credit: The Chicago Sun-Times