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Why are you doing this?
We probably ask ourselves this question on a fairly regular basis, particularly when we are challenging ourselves to achieve something, or meet a goal. The real answer to that question is the key to our success. However, we don’t just want the short superficial answer, we need to get to the real, deep-rooted reason of why you get out of bed in a morning. And this is what we call ‘Your purpose’!
Why do we focus on your purpose?
Your purpose is the reason you do everything in life, your reason for being and importantly what keeps you going when times get tough. Your purpose is present in everything you do. It’s why you go to work. It’s why you do the activities you do. It’s why you behave the way you behave.
When you do realise what your purpose is, it’s like a light bulb moment. It is the moment in time when it suddenly all becomes clear. This is the one thing that above everything else is so important to you, and means you will sacrifice practically anything to be it. It can come like a bolt out of the blue, or it can be something that you find after doing some soul searching.
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, be the best Mum that I can be, ensure the kids grow up strong and healthy, with a healthy body image. I wasn’t particularly conscious of it until I started Be Strong with Rick and really started to soul search about why I got fitter and healthier and lost weight. It was totally subconscious. But now I have recognised my purpose and defined it, it absolutely drives me forward in everything I do. I think now that I have identified it, it has given me more strength to keep going, doing what I am doing, because everything I do l can link back. It drives me to be the best version of myself, as much as I possibly can. That’s not to say I don’t fall down occasionally, because I do, we all do, we are human – but it absolutely gives me the drive to get back up again.
Connecting to your true purpose will give you your most powerful source of motivation and the strength to carry on when times are hard. Most importantly it will be the reason to get back up when you fall off the wagon.
Why should I find my purpose for lifestyle change?
Your purpose is more than a goal. It is a deep rooted emotionally driven motive. Finding your purpose and keeping that in mind helps you to stay focused and 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.
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.
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.
Turn a negative into a positive
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. When 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.
Write your purpose down and display it somewhere that you look at every day. Whether that’s a message in the steam on the bathroom mirror, or your screen saver on your phone or computer at work – a regular reminder will give you the focus you need to keep going.
This week we want you to take that time for yourself and get to know what really drives you to make these changes. When you have discovered what your purpose is (if you don’t already know), we want you to tell us.
Tell us in the comments what your true purpose is in life and how you can link this to your current goals.