Published on January 15, 2022
Image by Gordon Johnson – Pixabay
So many people say they don’t have the discipline to make big changes in their lives and, as you can imagine, I meet new clients all the time who tell me they don’t have the “will”power to stick to new lifestyle changes. From hands-on experience with clients over 20 years, what I’ve learned is that it’s not just about being strong willed. It’s about WHY you want to change something. That’s the sweet spot.
Willpower is the unreliable friend we can’t always count on. Sometimes it shows up, sometimes it doesn’t, which means it alone is not enough to create lasting change.
Fortunately, we have access to something much better than willpower:
WHYpower is what happens when our 𝘸𝘩𝘺 to change becomes bigger than our why to stay as we are.
Whether a client has a little to lose or a lot to lose, all clients from time to time find themselves slipping a rung or two down the motivation ladder. The #1 tip that I give them to stay motivated on their weight loss journey is simply this: I ask them, “What was the catalyst to begin in the first place? Ask yourself WHY you began? Then, answer that question out loud, ‘I began my weight loss journey because _________________.’”
✅ You are tired of feeling ashamed or embarrassed of how you look?
✅ You don’t like to go out and, therefore, feel socially isolated?
✅ You hate going shopping being able to only buy clothes that cover you up instead of clothes you’d like to wear?
✅ You have problems in intimacy with a spouse or partner?
✅ You want to set an example for your children who are also overweight, and you want to instill some new habits in the household?
✅ You refuse to be in photographs because you hate the way you look and there are special events coming up—a wedding, a prom, a milestone birthday, etc.—and you won’t be able to avoid being in photos?
✅ You were diagnosed with diabetes?
✅ You had a bout with cancer?
✅ You started to snore and must wear a CPAP?
✅ You’re having problems with infertility?
✅ A lack of mobility prevents you from playing with grandchildren? From traveling? From enjoying activities you used to be able to do?
. . . and on and on.
Most clients answer “yes” to many of these questions.
I’ll then hand them one two 4×6 lined index cards and encourage them to write down, in no particular order, all the reasons to my initial WHY question; to keep that it in their wallet, adding to it when necessary; and to look at it whenever they feel they’re about to go off track, however often that might be.
I suggest you do the same.
Weight loss motivation is about whypower, not willpower.