As you work to change your lifestyle and some lifelong habits, one of the most important predictors of success relates to your inner motivation and self-discipline. Defining the reason why you want to change is key when you are striving to achieve a specific health or fitness goal.
Finding Your Why
This post is all about helping you define your reasons why to help you stay motivated as you work towards your health goal. I will give you some common examples, hopefully inspiring you to define exactly why you want to achieve your health and fitness goals. You may also want to read How to Stay Motivated When Losing Weight and How to Stick to a Workout Routine: 2 Life-Changing Tips!.
1- Envisioning Your End Result
Envisioning your result can become a powerful why particularly when you attach an emotional value to your results. For example, if your goal is to lose weight and get toned, thinking about what you would like to look like and feeling the pride of achieving your desired outcome can be helpful.
2- Maintaining Your Progress
I find this why particularly effective when it comes to working out and losing weight. Your workout routine will yield results in how you look and feel. You will improve your performance and acquire new skills. As you get stronger and better, not wanting to regress and waste your time in training can motivate you to keep going.
3- Deciding to Try Something New
Some people need a light approach when making lifestyle changes. They try something new with a “we will see what happens” attitude. That can be enough. You don’t necessarily need to find a profound reason. Learning is fun and can motivate you to keep going.
When I started doing yoga, I didn’t think I would pursue this goal to the extent that I would want to become a yoga teacher. I just thought some of the moves were cool, and I wanted to see if I could manage to learn them. I thought: “let’s see what happens,” and ended up sticking to it. Remember that I was already working out regularly but with strength training and HIIT.
4- Improving Yourself
Improving yourself is not about losing weight or looking a certain way. Achieving your health goals is effective for self-development in many ways:
- More energy to achieve more
- Increasing your self-discipline with practice
- Improving your self-confidence
- Being there for those you love
Living life means growing as a person. This growth can be a powerful motivator for achieving your health and fitness goals.
5- Respecting Your Body
Taking care of your body is a form of self-respect. There is a bit of a dichotomy when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape. On one hand, you are trying to change how your body looks. On the other hand, you do not want to hate your body. Your body is a miracle, no matter its shape and size. Try to act from a place of self-respect rather than self-hatred. Being overweight and out of shape is not healthy. It diminishes your quality of life as well as your longevity. Once you focus on loving yourself enough to do what is best for your body, you are on the right track to achieve your health and fitness goals.
How to Achieve Your Health Goals
Once you define your reason why to get healthy and fit, you need to have a concrete plan of action. You must set some measurable and achievable goals and follow a step-by-step protocol. Fasting is my favorite method to achieve most health goals (if you know me, it shouldn’t surprise you!).
Why Fasting Works
Fasting is extremely powerful for achieving any health goal because:
- It triggers a powerful repair mechanism within your body called autophagy.
- It doesn’t require only temporary deprivation, which is helpful to sustain long-term as a lifestyle practice.
- It helps dismantle common food associations that may be working against you (to understand what I mean, read Abstinence Vs. Moderation: How To Make Better Food Choices).
How to Achieve Your Health Goals Through Fasting
I like to recommend a three-step approach to fasting for health and weight loss:
- Start with a modified fast.
- Experiment with longer intermittent fasting windows.
- Pick an effective and enjoyable workout regimen.
Modified fasting is based on the Fasting Mimicking Diet, which aims at healing your body and regulating your hormones through a prolonged fast that is accomplished by severely restricting calorie intake (you consume about 700 calories a day) and achieving a specific macronutrient ratio (about 45% carbs and fast and 10% protein.
By the way, I created a private Facebook community where you can access the following:
- Soup Meal Plan and Recipes
- Preparatory Video
- Prep Day Checklist
- 7 Tips to Deal With Hunger
- Ongoing support and community
The best part is you can receive free access to this Facebook community through my Intermittent Fasting Program.
Longer Intermittent Fasting Window
When I tried intermittent fasting in my thirties, I used the 16:8 method. Why not? Everyone else does that, and I thought intermittent fasting was about. After all, you have probably seen this or something similar:
But intermittent fasting is so much more! There are many approaches, and you can find the right one for your body when you understand them. I have found that most women thrive with a longer fasting window done less frequently. For example, you could fast 20 hours a day, five days a week, or do OMAD (one meal daily) every second day. Read my post How to Decide Which Intermittent Fasting Method Is Best for You.
Effective Workout Regimen
What is an effective workout regiment, exactly? Well, for a long time, I would have said that strength training and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts are the way to go. I still stand by that because building muscles will help your overall health, raise your metabolism, and improve your body composition. Moreover, HIIT workouts also raise your metabolism and help you improve your performance faster than steady cardio.
That being said, I have been doing none of that for the last year. Instead, I have been doing yoga or pilates-style training. And guess what? My arms and stomach look more defined than ever. The bottom line is: do what you enjoy as long as you stay active!