It’s essential to find your why to live a healthy lifestyle. Why?
Because fitness and nutrition require hard work, consistency, and discipline. These things go against human nature.
With intrinsic motivation and a meaningful “why,” the odds of developing and sustaining a healthy lifestyle are massively increased.
Identifying your why to live healthy will make motivation and consistent progress the new norm. Here is the 5-step process.
find your why to live a healthy lifestyle
Let me introduce you to Jeremy Jost. I read his story in The Big Picture: 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life by Tony Horton.
Jeremy was a 370-pound, once all-star athlete, wrestling coach, and dad. One day, he was driving with the head wrestling coach to a tournament to cheer on his two young boys.
In the car, the head coach told him, “I buried a friend last week. He was 40 years old, just like you. If you don’t do something about your health, you’ll be in the same place.
He had young kids like you too. Kids young, wife young… Are you confident that the next guy who comes along is going to take care of them as well as you do?”
At that moment, Jeremy found his why: his family.
In the following years, he transformed his life, lost hundreds of pounds, and was a better father and husband. The work came to him easily because it was aligned with his why.
For Alex and I, eating right and exercising are tools that we use every day to create a better life for ourselves.
We eat right 80% of the week and do at-home workouts for 20-30 minutes, 5 days a week. Additionally, we’re active day-to-day, mainly walking to the grocery store and then hiking on the weekends.
We have been following this plan for nearly 5 years. Therefore, this lifestyle is now ingrained in us because we’re addicted to how it…
- Improves our mood
- Gives us energy to pursue new opportunities
- Positively influences those close to us
- Maximizes our physical capabilities so we can derive more fulfillment from our adventures
- Prepares us to raise a healthy family.
Raising a healthy and active family is our purpose and motivation.
In the next section, the five steps to finding your why will help identify meaningful motivation.
Once you have identified this, the next step is to learn how to write goals that (according to science) are more achievable.
How to find your why
Intrinsic motivation is not based on ego or external (extrinsic) benefits, instead, it has deep emotional or internal importance. Think “I want to look good on the beach,” versus “I want to have more energy to keep up with my kids.”
1. Create a Pros and Cons List
Let’s use some of the most proven tools out there – a pen, paper, and a pros and cons chart.
This one is straight from Tony Horton himself. Title the chart “Living a healthy lifestyle.” Take plenty of time listing all your pros and cons of living a healthy lifestyle.
Find a quiet place and focus on this task only. Since finding your why to live a healthy lifestyle is clearly very important to you.
2. Label Any Excuses
Now that you have your list, use your pen to cross out any con (the con side is likely longer) that could be considered an excuse.
A rule of thumb is if you know of someone else managing it just fine, then it’s an excuse. I mean, are you actually busier than Marillyn Hewson, mother of two and CEO of Lockheed Martin?
This is a good time to pause and give yourself a confidence boost. You can accomplish way more than you think you can. Once you identify your why for focusing on health, fitness, and nutrition, those excuses won’t stand a chance.
3. Recognize Fear and Limitation
Now that the excuses are scratched off the list, cross out any cons that are based on fear or perceived limitations.
Just because you haven’t succeeded in the past doesn’t mean you can’t in the future. Plus, we have to recognize that we dislike the things we’re not good at and therefore actively avoid it.
For me, that means I would have given up on cooking. For Alex, she would have stopped practicing yoga years ago. However, we worked at it and now both of these things are part of our weekly routine.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people stop weight lifting or cardio because of some similar excuse. It all boiling down to the fact that they didn’t like it because they weren’t good at it.
To discover your why and let it propel you forward, you’ll need to change your mindset and accept that only practice makes perfect.
4. Be Honest About Your Priorities
Next, cross out any reason that is based on false priorities. In fact, we can’t think of one thing that should take priority over your health.
Your health is even more of a priority than the needs of your children. Why? Because, if you’re not healthy, the family can’t be healthy.
We all have 24-hours in a day. Instead of working against the clock, prioritization can make the clockwork for you. You can brush up on our top work-life balance tips here.
5. Use The Pros As Motivation
Finally, on the pro side of the list, cross out any extrinsic reasons to live a healthy lifestyle as those won’t motivate you long term.
The remaining reasons on the pro side make up your why for living a healthy lifestyle. Congrats! You have found your why.
These reasons have a great deal of emotional attachment. Share your why in the comments section below so we can hold you accountable.
Now that you have found your why, or whys, use them to outweigh any remaining cons. Forget the scale, forget the mistakes, forget comparing yourself to others, and now that you have found your why, focus on that.
Strengthen Your Why As A Duo
Congratulations. You have followed our 5-step process to find your why and are motivated (intrinsically) to live a healthy life. Developing a healthy lifestyle as a couple is a huge asset that will bolster your new-found why.
If one partner is healthy but the other isn’t, it makes the other feel insecure, overwhelmed, or jealous. On the other hand, the “healthier” partner may feel like their hard work isn’t appreciated or feel derailed if their partner is pushing poor choices on them.
At Ryan and Alex Duo Life, we know that fitness is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle together. But there is so much more to a Duo Life than just fitness.
Now that you have identified your why, we have the resources and programs that you need to live your best life together. Here are some tools the help inspire your Duo Life.
Enroll in our Just Duo It Program to strengthen your mind, body and marriage.
Place your bet and sign up for our Couple’s Clean Week program, that is free if you stay on track and finish successfully.
- Finding Purpose for a Good Life. But also a Healthy One – New York Times – “The key to a deeper, healthier life, it seems, isn’t knowing the meaning of life — it’s building meaning into your life.”
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Hey we're Ryan and Alex
The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”
After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.
The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship as a couple.
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