The Inner Path to Success
THE GOLDEN RULE : MAKE IT PERSONAL!
There is a saying that goes,
“If you are clear on your ‘why’, you can bear almost any ‘how’ ”
In other words, being clear on your ‘why’ and finding a personal conviction can really help you stay motivated through even the toughest of life’s challenges — keeping you on track to accomplishing your end goal(s).
So, if maintaining a consistent and healthy exercise routine has been a struggle for you in the first few months of 2019, maybe it’s time you realign more deeply to your exercise “why”.
Devin, first off, what is a ‘why’ and what makes it so important in the first place?
A ‘why’ can be defined as the source, motive, cause, or purpose for setting out to achieve a specific aim, task, or goal. It is a deeply held reason for accomplishing something, better known as a ‘why’.
Finding your ‘why’ is important because it not only can uncover and give great access to a very powerful force within, but it can also help sustain your intention and commitment to your goals even through the toughest times and the most challenging obstacles life can throw at you. Want to know why New Year’s resolutions usually don’t work? Well, it’s because those resolutions are not backed by a deep seated and personally convicted ‘why’. Connected, your why provides a never-ending and truly unshakeable limitless reservoir of energy and vitality within..
The true power of a ‘why’ however, can be seen when it is battle tested. It can be one of the toughest and strongest combatants to facing unforeseen obstacles and life setbacks. For example, without first having understood your ‘why’, you might make headway on your goals and pursuits temporarily, but over time, it is inevitable that you will backslide, lose momentum, and or may even quit entirely. Nevertheless, having your ‘why’ near and dear, something to emotionally fall back on, will help you stand back up time and time again — helping move you forward no matter what! It’s the motivational whisper over your shoulder pushing you forward to achieve your highest life pursuits.
Okay, I get the importance of a why but what does that have to do with exercise?
As with the ‘why’ in life, exercise is no different. Your exercise ‘why’ is your motivation for maintaining your health and wellness routines when no one is watching, and especially when no one is watching. The days when it’s rainy, snowy, sleety or you’re functioning on merely a few hours of sleep, these are the days you need your exercise ‘why’ to muster up the willpower to honor your health and wellness routines. Like anything in life, making progress, always requires consistent effort and when you really know your ‘why‘, and you are firm on it, your health habits aren’t just a casual commitment, they truly are non negotiable.
Having this be firm, then makes you future self available and your ideal results inevitable. When you know your ‘why’, you will push you to meet these new goals even through all of life’s changes and demands ( school, kids, moving, new job etc). Those that find their ‘why’ will be truly inspired and motivated to increase healthier habits and make positive body improvements. Those that don’t, won’t.
Here are a few exercise ‘why’ examples;
– I exercise to be a healthiest fittest version of myself.
– I want to be an inspiration to myself and forever be desired by my husband.
– I want to be a role model for my two growing daughters as to what healthy, body positive habits look like.
– I exercise to show my son that nothing matters more than your health and vitality.
– Health is always life’s #1 priority. There is no amount of wealth that is worth compromising my health
– I exercise to have enough energy to play with my grandkids and pick them up while at the park.
– I exercise to constantly beat my personal best, year after year. (I’ve ran 5 marathons in 2 years and each time I beat my time. I love seeing my progress)
If you don’t know your exercise ‘why’ not to worry. Finding your ‘why’ is a process and one that can oftentimes be very challenging. But hopefully after today, you can create some momentum around this.
To begin, start simply by creating the opportunity to think freely about your ‘why’. Find a quiet space to think, allowing yourself to connect more directly to yourself and to the reasons for making exercise a “MUST” and forever a habit. When looking within, be forewarned, you might also be met by the ‘not so fun’ parts of yourself, the parts we all face daily: the fears, doubts, insecurities, and inner conflicts sitting just below the surface – our biggest barriers to progressing with our intentions.
These barriers are part of being human and are truly unavoidable. However, if you find yourself struggling, get in action. Immediately. Do what you need to do to shift your mindset into a different more positive state. If you can’t, seek additional support from a performance coach like me, one that understands how to support you in a process such as this keeping you connected you to your ‘why’ and empowered in your journey.
Finding a deeply held personal ‘why’ is your golden ticket to changing. Yet, still we sometimes find ourselves losing sight of it. If we aren’t mindful, life’s demands and conflicting priorities surely will steal away all our motivation and progress. That’s why it’s so necessary to keep it in the forefront of your mind.Your ‘why’ will always be there when needed to move you past any emotional and mental block into a space of greater self mastery.
Here are a few questions to help you find and connect more deeply to your exercise ‘why’;
– Who do I want to be physically, mentally, and emotionally a year from now?
– What is my 1 year, 3 year or 5 year future vision for myself?
– What exactly is my ‘why’ for exercise, and have I knowingly or unknowingly been holding myself back?
– What am I doing this all for? Am I doing this for myself or do I see a bigger purpose?
– What excuses do I make around reaching my exercise goals?
– What do I need to change in my life to make exercise a consistent routine and forever a habit?
– How can I sustain momentum when confronted by my own inner limits and when stretching to the next level with my exercise goals?
– Is there a specific picture, quote, ritual, routine or mantra I can create to remind myself of my exercise ‘why’?
What would it look like to set myself up for success with exercise? Is there any strategic prep work I can do on a weekly/daily basis to sustain my exercise habits and support my health journey?
Take 10-15 minutes to write out the above questions. If you do, in no time you will be making exercise a FOREVER habit!
1) Build a Better You
——> Research shows that people who exercise regularly rate higher in confidence and self esteem. Remember, you don’t need to be the CEO to look and lead like one!
2) Overall Mental Health & Mood
——> Daily exercise releases chemicals into the brain, better known as endorphins, which reduces anxiety – leaving you feeling happier and improving your ability to handle daily work-life stress. We all could use a little less stress and little more success and happiness am-I-right?
3) Mental Toughness
——> During a hard workout, the same endorphins that are released to alleviate anxiety and stress also regulate pain and stress to the physical body. Thus, creating the famous and euphoric runners high. Similar to morphine, it is rumored to act as an analgesic and sedative – psychologically diminishing your perception of pain, and increasing your tolerance levels and mental toughness.
4) Emotional Clarity
——> Exercise is shown to improve emotional clarity. After a good workout, you should be less stressed, helping you think more clearly, and enabling you to more easily prioritize tasks at hand. Feeling the wrath of a micro managing boss, pesky co-worker, or ever increasing pressure of others? Instead of blowing your top, think about using exercise as a good way to keep yourself emotionally grounded, centered, and calm.
5) Stay Cognitively Sharp
——> Along with endorphins, exercise is known to releases proteins into the brain, improving it’s structure and overall cognition ability – keeping ones thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp. Research also shows that even regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and sweat glands pumping appears to also boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involve in verbal memory and learning. So the next time you need to take an important call, write a critical email, or have a high level meeting – be sure to make time for a good sweat.
6) Get Better Sleep
——> Having trouble sleeping? Fall asleep faster by exercising 60 minutes per day! Good workouts are known to help boost energy usage.The next time you find yourself unable to sleep, try getting in a good workout in to roll into bed with your energetic life tank on E.
Is there any correlation between a good sweat and greater work life success?
When thinking about the value of exercise we tend to focus on the physical benefits: lower blood pressure, a healthier heart, or a more attractive physique, but what about our overall work life performance? According to the New York Times, the ideal daily dose of exercise as per current government and health organizations calls for about 150 mins (2.5hrs) of moderate exercise per week. Those that meet this guideline enjoy a list of life enhancing and longevity benefits as well as meet the criteria for being 39% less at risk of dying prematurely than those who never exercise.
Unlike medicine, exercise does not come with dosing instructions.So what is the recommended amount?How much should one exercise to live an optimally performing life? Well, the same researchers also pin pointed the sweet spot for health benefits to be found with those who tripled the recommended dose of weekly exercise from 150 minutes up to 450 mins/week (7.5hrs).
Now, it is important to say that it is possible to over exercise, so make sure not to over do it. Do plan to incorporate adequate rest and recovery into your weekly habits to keep your mind, body, spirit feeling and performing optimally!
Read the full New York Times article—-> HERE
Even machines break down without the proper maintenance. The mind, body and spirit are the same. To live an optimally performing life, it’s important that we recognize the importance of rest, recovery and reflection in our weekly routine. Like machines we can’t operate 24/7 without the proper maintenance.
The same can be said about the human body to avoid break down and maintain peak performance levels. Greater success in any area comes from frequent and reflective idle time to improve processes.
It’s very important to ask the body and give it what it needs to recalibrate it’s internal system. We must give it what it needs to help it upgrade it system to a higher level and or maintain the levels you already demand from it.
The weekends are a perfect time to do this practice. Instead of rushing out the door to do that chore or make those brunch plans you’d rather not go to, stop for a second. Ask yourself what do you need to do today to honor your body, mind, and spirit? How can you support it to find balance this weekend to help it avoid breakdown and inefficiencies in the coming week?
Are you prioritizing your growth? As an executive and founder, I know the road to success is as equally rewarding as it is emotionally, physically, and intellectually taxing. Often times, as a result we (knowingly) neglect our wellbeing and/or close off certain areas of our life in last minute sprints to “stay focused” to meet pressured timelines and or demands. This, all in the name of maximizing business growth and to produce desired results for our bottom line. But what happens when these short term habits are multiplied and maintained long term? To what end and at what costs do these short term survival habits have on us?