Finding your purpose

We talk a lot about ‘Purpose’ at Be Strong.  But what is it?

Purpose is the reason you do this, your reason for being, and what keeps you going when times get tough and the fridge is calling you to eat it’s contents.

Finding your purpose can be tricky for some.  For others, it’s like a light bulb moment, the moment in time when it suddenly all becomes clear.  This is the one thing that above everything else is so important to you, that it means you will sacrifice anything to achieve it.

The benefit of identifying your purpose is that you have something to latch onto when the going gets tough. If that purpose comes from a positive emotional place, it is more deeply ingrained than a superficial goal and you are therefore more likely to find the strength to carry on.  However that’s not to say that what might start out as a ‘superficial’ purpose, won’t have some deep rooted emotional connection, you just need to dig a little deeper to get to the real reason that you want to do this.

I have written this so many times before, but my purpose is always to be a good role model for my children, and to ensure they grow up with a healthy body image.  This is based on experiences that I had growing up, that I never want my children to face. Sounds dramatic, I know, but it is enough to drive me to be the best version of myself, the majority of the time. That’s not to say I don’t fall down occasionally, because I do, but it absolutely gives me the drive to get back up again.

Connecting to your true purpose gives you your most powerful source of motivation.  It gives you your reason to wake up every day. It gives you strength when times are hard and it gives you the reason to get back up when you fall off the wagon.

Why should I find my purpose?

Your purpose is more than a goal. It is a deep rooted emotionally driven motive. It is absolutely a reason for being.  Finding your purpose keeps you committed to achieving your goals.

Identifying your purpose motivates you to give up parts of the old lifestyle, that you know you need to stop, but don’t really want to. Identifying your purpose will give you the impetus to stop buying rubbish from the supermarket ‘for the kids/guests/husband/dog/neighbours’ aunties’ sister-in-law’ when really it is you that wants it. It makes the new lifestyle more appealing than the old lifestyle. It makes you want to do this, enough to give up those old damaging behaviours, in order to get to where you want to be.

Identifying your purpose, could be an absolute game-changer for you.  It could be the line in the sand, that defines the end of the old and the beginning of the new. When you identify your purpose, it gives you the impetus and motivation to take action, and to keep on taking action forever. Because this will be forever, it won’t be till you hit a particular number on the scales, or you summit that mountain, or lose those crutches, because this continues until our dying day, because if we don’t continue we just go back to where we were. 

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fireJennifer Lee, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney Studios

How can I find my purpose?

To find your purpose, you need to set some time aside – probably about 10 – 15 minutes without any distractions, then you can really think clearly and focus on what you really want.

First of all, you need to know what your interim goal is. It would be better if that goal is something specific, then you can measure your progress from where you are now to where you want to finish. So that might be: ‘I want to be 11 stones’.

Then you need to ask yourself why you want to be 11 stones – and for every answer you give yourself, ask why that is. The more why’s you ask, the deeper you get into your psyche and the closer to your purpose you get.  It can get quite uncomfortable when we keep asking ourselves these questions, but don’t be afraid of the answers, because when you find the answers, that is when the magic can start to happen.

Your goal might not be weight loss related, it might be more about what your body can achieve, for example ‘I want to climb the highest mountain in England.’ or, ‘I want to be able to walk unaided’ But still the path is the same, ask yourself why, until you get to that deep, emotional reason, and that is your purpose.

Finding your purpose can mean that you need to do some real soul searching, and deep thinking, which you might not have had time to do before, or you might not have felt comfortable doing. But once you unlock your purpose, that is when the magic will start to happen.  Your purpose will give you the reason to stay on track, or to get back up quick, once you fall off the wagon.

If the answers to your questions are negative, or centre on negative feelings, flip it on its head. For example if you have reached the answer ‘I don’t want to be the person that doesn’t achieve things anymore’, flip it round – ‘I want to be the person that everyone thinks will achieve what they say they will. I want to be the person that everyone believes in.’  That is much more powerful and uplifting when you need to revert back to it, to give yourself a reason to keep going or get going again. If you focus on a negative purpose, when you fall down, you will just give in and your purpose becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. However if your purpose is positive, just thinking about that positivity will give you a boost, and that mental strength to get back up and carry on.

If you write your purpose down and display it somewhere you see every day, whether that’s a message in the steam on the bathroom mirror, or your screen saver on your computer at work – a regular reminder will give you the focus you need to keep going. You could print a photo or picture off, of something that represents your purpose an display that, to keep it in mind.

Fulfilling your purpose

To fulfil your purpose, you then need a plan. Your purpose becomes the over-riding ethos of how you will live your life – above all else you will become your purpose!

To get us on the right path, we then need to think about how we will become this.  This is when goals come into play.

Go back to your original goal, that started the soul searching to find your purpose, and come up with three or four steps of how you will achieve it.

To be successful in achieving your goal, it should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.

Eg. Goal – I want to be 11 stones, by Easter. (Current weight 12 stone 3)

Step 1 – I will eat to my calories every day. I will ensure this by planning and tracking my food.  My calories are 1300 for the day, which means I need to eat 260 for breakfast, 390 for lunch and tea, and 260 for all my snacks.

Step 2 – I will ensure that I manage my calories to include social activities such as nights/meals out.

Step 3 – I will attend Be Strong on a Wednesday each week, weigh to measure my progress and take part in the HIIT session.

Eg. Goal – I want to climb the highest mountain in England on 1st July 2019

Step 1 – I will attend Be Strong each Tuesday and take part in the HIIT Session, to improve my cardio vascular fitness.

Step 2 –  I will walk three times a week – 3 miles on a Monday, 3 miles on a Thursday, and then I will climb a hill at pace, on a weekend e.g Pendle hill, Darwen Tower, Rivington Pike.

Step 3 – I will eat a healthy balanced diet, to ensure that my body is well fuelled for my training and event day. This means I must eat carbohydrate, protein, fruit and vegetables at every meal occasion, and eat sensible snacks, within my calorie allowance.

Take action – Tell us what your purpose is!

We really want to hear from you on this one!

If you haven’t already done so, you can tell us what your purpose is here! We will really look forward to reading them, and sharing them, if you allow, so that you can inspire others.

Download our motivational word art and display it somewhere that you will see every day – Why not make your own with your purpose included?

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