As you work to change your lifestyle and some lifelong habits, one of the most important predictors for success relates to your inner motivation and self-discipline. Defining the reason why you want to change is key when you are striving to achieve a specific health or fitness goal.
Finding Your Why
This post is all about helping you define your reason why to help you stay motivated as your work towards your health goal. I am going to give you some common examples, which hopefully will inspire you to define exactly why you want to achieve your health and fitness goals.
1- Envisioning Your End Result
Envisioning your end result can become a powerful why. Particularly when you attach an emotional value to your results. For example, if your goal is to lose weight and get toned, thinking about what you would like to look like and feeling the pride that will come with achieving your desired outcome can be helpful.
2- Maintaining Your Progress
I find this why particularly effective when it comes to working out. Your workout routine will yield results that you will see in the way you look and the way you feel. You will improve your performance, acquire new skills. As you get stronger and better, not wanting to regress and waste all that time you put into training already can motivate you to keep going.
3- Deciding to Try Something New
Some people just need to have a light approach when they make lifestyle changes. They simply decide that they are trying something new and “we will see what happens”. That can be enough. You don’t necessarily need to find a profound reason. Learning is fun and can motivate you to keep going.
When I started doing yoga, I didn’t think I would pursue this goal to the extent that I would want to become a yoga teacher. I just thought some of the moves were cool and I wanted to see if I could manage to learn them. I thought: “let’s see what happens” and ended up sticking to it. Keep in mind that I was already working out regularly but with strength training and HIIT.
4- Improving Yourself
Improving yourself is not about losing weight or looking a certain way. Achieving your health goals is effective for self-development in many ways:
- More energy to achieve more
- Increasing your self-discipline with practice
- Improving your self confidence
- Being there for those you love
Living life means growing as a person. This kind of growth can be a powerful motivator when it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals.
5- Respecting Your Body
Taking care of your body is a form of self-respect. When it comes to losing weight and getting in shape, there is a bit of a dichotomy. On one hand, you are trying to change the way your body looks. On the other hand, you do not want to hate your body. Your body is a miracle no matter its shape and size. Try to act from a place of self-respect rather than self-hatred. Being overweight and out of shape is not healthy. It diminishes your quality of life as well as your longevity. Once you focus on loving yourself enough to do what is best for your body, you are on the right track to achieve your health and fitness goals.
How to Achieve Your Health Goals
Once you define your reason why to get healthy and fit, you need to have a concrete plan of action. You will need to set some measurable and achievable goals and follow a step-by-step protocol. Fasting is my personal favorite method to achieve most health goals (if you know me, it shouldn’t surprise you!).
Why Fasting Works
Fasting is extremely powerful to achieve any health goal because:
- It triggers a powerful repair mechanism within your body called autophagy.
- It doesn’t requires only temporary deprivation, which is helpful to sustain long term as a lifestyle practice.
- It helps dismantle common food associations that may be working against you (to understand what I mean read Abstinence Vs. Moderation: How To Make Better Food Choices).
How to Achieve your Health Goals Through Fasting
I like to recommend a three-step approach to fasting for health and weight loss:
- Start with a modified fast.
- Experiment with longer intermittent fasting windows.
- Pick an effective and enjoyable workout regiment.
Modified fasting is based on the Fasting Mimicking Diet, which aims at healing your body and regulating yoru hormones through a prolong fast that is accomplished by severely restricting calorie intake (you consume about 700 calories a day) and achieving a specific macronutrient ratio (about 45% carbs and fast and 10% protein.
By the way, I created a private Facebook community where you can access the following:
- Soup Meal Plan and Recipes
- Preparatory Video
- Prep Day Checklist
- 7 Tips to Deal With Hunger
- Ongoing support and community
The best part is, you can receive free access to this Facebook community through my Intermittent Fasting Program.
Longer Intermittent Fasting Window
When I tried intermittent fasting in my thirties, I went for the 16:8 method. Why not? That’s what everyone else does and that’s what I thought intermittent fasting was about. After all, you have probably seen this or something similar:
But intermittent fasting is so much more! There are many approaches and when you understand them, you can find the right one for your body. I have found that most women thrive with a longer fasting window done less frequently. For example, you could fast 20 hours a day 5 days a week or do OMAD (one meal a day) every second day. Read my post How to Decide Which Intermittent Fasting Method Is Best for You.
Effective Workout Regimen
What is an effective workout regiment, exactly? Well, for a long time I would have said that strength training and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts are the way to go. I still stand by that in the sense that building muscles will help your overall health, raise your metabolism, and improve your body composition. Moreover, HIIT workouts also raise your metabolism and help you improve your performance faster than steady cardio.
That being said, I have been doing none of that for the last year. Instead, I have been doing yoga or pilate-style training. And guess what? My arms and stomach look more defined than ever. The bottom line is: do what you enjoy, as long as you stay active!