There was a picture floating around the social media world with the question, “What’s your excuse?” posed to the reader.
The photo was of a mom and her kiddos and, in essence, the picture stated she was a busy, working mom but was still able to build and maintain a great looking body.
“What’s your excuse?” was being asked to those who can’t, or haven’t, been able to do what she has done. She works, takes care of her children, doesn’t get a ton of sleep, but still looks great. So, why don’t you is the question she asks.
But here’s the problem: asking “What’s your excuse?” is the wrong question. While it motivated some people to start a health and fitness regimen, it came off very negative and shaming to others.
Personally, I think we’re bombarded with the wrong questions, and we need to ask ourselves ones that can actually motivate us instead of shaming us into action. We should ask ourselves questions that lead to fruitful answers that can help us achieve our goals.
Simply saying, “Well, she’s incredibly busy and still looks great, so I should do it, too” does not provide lasting motivation. Sure, it may shame you into making some changes to your nutrition and workouts, but it’s unlikely they’ll develop lasting, sustainable habits.
Asking What’s your excuse? is all wrong.
The answer lies in finding your Why.
- Why do you want to [insert the goal you want to achieve]?
- Why do you want to eat healthy, satisfying meals?
- Why do you work out, or want to work out, consistently?
- Why do you go to the gym?
Take the time to truthfully answer these questions, and the responses are likely to help you take the necessary actions to get closer to your goals. Come up with a Why that’s motivating and seeded deep enough, and you’ll not only be significantly more likely to achieve your goals, but you’ll actually enjoy the journey.
Here’s an example from a recent conversation I had with a client who’s main goal was fat loss.
I asked her:
Why do you want to lose fat?
Because I want to like how I look in a swim suit this summer.
Why do you want to look good in a swimsuit?
Because I’m not confident to wear one right now because of how I look.
Why do you want to be more confident?
So I can improve the quality of my life, take more risks, and live my life fully without being intimidated.
Now that’s a real Why. It’s a deeper why, and it will provide long-term motivation.
So, now, let me ask you: Why?
- Why do you want to eat healthy meals?
- Why do you work out the way you do?
- Why do you want to achieve the goals you’ve set?
Ponder these questions. Go deeper into your responses.
Keep asking Why? until you come to the true, deeper, underlying reason.
When you can transition from a shallow and typical “because I want to lose fat” answer to a more powerful and motivating “because I’m strong and want to see what else I’m capable of achieving” answer, then that’s when the magic happens.
So — What’s your Why?