Dr. Kristen Mitteness
Find Your Why
The internet is full of all of the information you could ever ask for. We are more connected than we have ever been in the history of humankind. I think we can all understand the pros and cons of having access to this information as well as everyone having the ability to add their own two cents, like I am here.
But, even if you have all of the correct information, change is hard, until you truly find your why.
What is a habit you have been trying to change? For many of us, it is our dietary habits. Maybe you want to eat more vegetables or you want to stop eating sugar. Ask yourself, why am I making this change? Maybe your answer is because you want to be healthier. Why do you want to be healthier? Oh, this is a bit tougher. Why do I want to be healthier? Maybe it is so I can feel better. Why do you want to feel better? Maybe you want to feel better so you can be more productive at work, so you have a bit more energy to play with your children, so you can finally find the motivation to get to the yoga class. Ask yourself why 5 times. Then, you may finally have a reason to make that change.
When we really step back and ask ourselves why, we can truly understand our needs or wants for nearly everything. We have a deep inclination toward avoiding asking questions. Me especially! (If you are familiar with Gretchen Rubin's Four Tendencies, you'll understand this even further) Not everyone is comfortable with asking why of themselves or others others for fear of rejection, maybe not getting the answer we want or thinking we may look defiant. But, really, what is the worst that can happen? Most of the time, the worst case scenario won't happen. And often a simple "no" is not as bad as you think it will be.
So, once you determine your why, write it all down. Then think about it and repeat it in your head 15 times per day. We're trying to drill your true why into your subconscious and being until it simply becomes part of you. Focus on just one why for one to six months.
Remember, change is hard and takes time. Often more time than we think it should. We want everything now. We live in a fast paced world where we think we can accomplish our goals quickly even though it might be a habit that is completely different than what you've been doing for the past 10, 20, 30, 40 years. Be patient and kind to yourself just as you would be to a friend.
Remember, your health is a journey not a destination. We're all headed to the same place. Choose progress over perfection.