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Staying Motivated

Motivation is a tricky beast. As powerful as it can be, it can also be fleeting and fickle. The key to staying motivated, and perhaps more importantly, training yourself to keep going without it, may lie in your answer to this one question: What is your why?

The Why is the purpose, cause or belief that drives every one of us.

It’s your deep reason that creates the will to keep going when the going gets tough.

Your Why is the reason behind the reason…behind the reason…behind the surface reason to make a change in your life.

Finding your Why is a shortcut to finding your pain.

For as Tony Robbins says, “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”

Or, as Steven Pressfield said in The War of Art, “At some point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it.

That’s the essence of motivation, and that’s the power of knowing your Why. When you do, it is easier to bear the inconvenience of action than the pain of remaining the same.

How do you discover deep reason – the Why that drives change?

An exercise called the 5 Whys can help kickstart the process.

Here’s how it works: Take your initial reason for wanting to make changes to your nutrition, workout routine, or lifestyle, and use that as a starting point.

Maybe you want to get fit. Now ask yourself “why?”

Keep asking—remember, it’s called the 5 Whys—until you feel like you’ve identified the real reason you want to change.

Here’s an example:

Why do I want to change my eating and exercise habits?

  • Because I want to lose weight.

Why do I want to lose weight?

  • Because I want my clothes to fit better.

Why do I want my clothes to fit better?

  • Because I want to feel proud of who I am.

Why do I want to feel proud of who I am?

  • Living in a way that makes me proud to be me means living a long, healthy life.

Why is it important to me to live a long, healthy life?

  • There’s more I want to accomplish. And I’m scared I won’t be around for my kids when they need me the most.

So…what’s your Why?

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