Wow! Here we are, 52 weeks and a full year later, wrapping up our More Than Healthy Full Year of Resolutions! Every week this year, we have provided a video and blog post sharing an important health tip, something you can incorporate into your routine to improve your health, and improve your life.
I can hardly believe that the year is over! But here we are, talking about Tip #52, which is Start With WHY. We chose to end the year with this incredibly important tip, because it’s a great time to do some reflecting on how we’ve done the last year. It’s also the time when we typically start thinking about how we want our next year to go.
Start 2023 off right…start with WHY
As 2022 wraps up and we look forward to a new year, it’s a great time to think about your WHY. Was it strong enough this last year to keep you motivated? Were you able to make some significant changes on your journey to reclaim your health? Your WHY has to be strong enough to withstand setbacks, challenges, and temptations. Your WHY is the foundation of it all. It all starts with WHY.
Think for a moment: What is the hardest thing you have ever done or experienced in your life? Mine was going through chemotherapy for my bladder cancer. The fear I had about facing the possible horrible side effects of chemo was indescribable, but I chose to do it anyway. I found the strength to face these fears and take on chemo because of my WHY. If my WHY hadn’t been strong enough, there is no way I could have done it. Because I knew my WHY, enduring chemotherapy was worth it to me, and I am so incredibly grateful to now be living cancer-free.
Changing your life and reclaiming your health requires commitment
Carla and I are so glad you’re here; that for whatever reason, you’ve chosen to start your journey to restore your health. I’m thrilled for you because I’ve seen for myself the massive impact this can have. Healing your gut health and reducing your inflammation will help you achieve optimal health, and that can truly change your life—just like it has mine.
But, this is no small commitment. And it takes hard work. You need to figure out WHY you want this. It is nearly impossible to make the commitment required to heal your gut and restore your health without a strong WHY. I know this firsthand, because I’ve experienced it. I had to find a really strong WHY in order to succeed in this long and difficult health journey.
The fact is that the brain requires a mental picture of WHY a bad habit needs to change. People who can vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to accomplish them. You can know WHAT you need to do and HOW to do it, but until your WHY is crystal clear, you will never accomplish your goal.
The What, The How, and The Why
Let’s borrow from the brilliance of Simon Sinek and use his Golden Circle to map out your what, how, and why. <Insert pic here>
For example, the what might be that you know you need to stop eating gluten and sugar in order to eliminate inflammation (i.e. pain) from your body. The how would be to make a change to your diet. And the why is at the center of it all, and affects your ability to achieve these steps.
We’ve created a worksheet you can find in your membership portal that will walk you through the process of finding your own why.
Finding your WHY starts with your feelings
One of the most effective ways to find your why is to start with an emotion you’re feeling. First, identify what the emotion is. Then examine this emotion and where it is coming from until your why comes clearly into focus.
For example, six years ago, I was emotionally discouraged and debilitated by daily pain. I wanted to be pain-free. My greatest desire is to be healthy enough to dance with my beautiful wife when I’m 95 on our 50th wedding anniversary. This became my why. I felt so strongly that I no longer wanted to live with this pain and wanted to reach this goal that I was able to stick with the ‘whats’ and ‘hows’ required to be rid of it.
So, I came up with three ‘whats’ and one ‘how’ to accomplish my goal of no daily pain, but it was my ‘why’ that sustained me through the process. Had I continued to eat the gluten and the sugar, I would have continued to live with daily pain as a result.
Instead, I found a why that was so motivating to me that it provided the stamina and energy I needed to eliminate gluten and sugar from my diet. If my why had not been strong enough, I might have caved. In fact, my why is still a part of my dietary choices six years later.
A clear why keeps me going!
Today, if someone is eating a toasted coconut donut and offers me one, I could give in. My taste buds really love a good donut! However, I continue to keep a clear view of my why, providing the strength to say “No thanks!” to that temporary donut pleasure.
You will find that day after day we will either quit, or we will be forced to strengthen our why. My why continues to be strengthened, and it continues to be important to achieving my individual optimal health. The ‘why’ is what makes your ‘what’ and ‘how’ personal.
The 5 Steps to Creating Your WHY
- Take a self-inventory.
Here are some great self-inventory questions that can help you get started and to create your own WHY statement. First, ask yourself:
- Why do I want this?
- What does it mean for my life?
- How would my life change by accomplishing this?
- Why do I want this so badly?
- Do you want optimal health so that you can enjoy spending time and playing with your kids?
- Would optimal health mean traveling with your spouse like you’ve always planned?
- Could your why simply be to feel rested and rejuvenated with clarity of mind each day?
Whatever your why, make sure it is clear and of utmost importance to YOU.
2. Next, write it down. The science behind this simple step is kind of astounding, really. Study after study prove that just writing something down is strongly associated with goal success. Writing it down helps you to commit to it. It means you’re much more likely – like 1-2 times more likely – to remember and follow through if you make it official by writing it down.
3. Now you can focus on defining your how and what. The more specific you can be, the better. And there might be more than one of each line item. Consider this example, from when I was trying to get off of all NSAIDs (over-the-counter pain relievers) as part of healing my leaky gut:
The WHY-HOW-WHAT Worksheet:
|Behavior to modify or change:||I want to stop taking NSAIDs, like Advil, Naproxen, and Aleve.|
|WHY:||I want to heal my leaky gut so that I no longer experience excruciating pain.|
|HOW:||I will no longer take any form of NSAIDs.|
|WHAT:||Throw away all bottles of Advil, Naproxen, and Aleve that are in my house, sports bags, vehicles, etc.|
|WHAT:||Decrease sugar, breads, and pastries that cause inflammation, so that I don’t need NSAIDs.|
|WHAT:||When I’m in pain, instead of reaching for ibuprofen, I will distract myself by going for a walk, doing mindful meditation and visualization exercises, watching a movie, playing a game, listening to a book, etc, in order to change my focus.|
4. Persist and renew your commitment each and every day. I highly recommend you find a way to be accountable to someone (yourself or someone else you trust) every day. I kept a log on my phone, where I recorded how I did each day. Sometimes I used Carla as my accountability partner, reporting to her each day. This was fun as well as helpful, because she would celebrate each daily win along with me.
5. In the end, be patient. If you mess up, it’s not the end of the world. Think about your why, recommit, and keep going. As you remember your why, you can succeed as you work toward restoring your health.
The miracle of reclaiming my health
The change I have experienced in my own life feels nothing short of miraculous to both Carla and me. But it took work. And it’s still taking work. Every single day, I get up, think about my WHY, and then make choices all throughout the day that will help me get there.
Carla and I have incorporated many healthy habits into our everyday regimen. We’ve shared many of the things we do to be our healthiest, best selves in these 52 Tips of 2022, our Full Year of Resolutions. We’ve become the scientists for our own bodies. Figuring out what my body needs, and making sure to fuel it well while removing all of the foods I can’t eat has made such a difference. It’s been so worth it! And YOU can do it, too!
As you remove the foods that are causing your inflammation and incorporate other healthy lifestyle changes, you’ll start to see your health improve. You’ll have more energy and less pain! And, as you start to feel better and notice these positive effects, you’ll be even more motivated. I know this because it has worked for me and many of our clients, and I’m confident if you do this work it will have the same effect on you.
So, what’s your WHY? Let’s figure it out and do the work to achieve optimal health together!
Note: There is a full chapter dedicated to Finding Your Why in our book, Unlocking the Leaky Gut Code, which is about to be released in a new-and-improved second version.
Hair Analysis: A Game-Changing Tool in Your Health Journey
Next week, as our first post of 2023, we will be sharing all about the new and very exciting Hair Analysis we offer at More Than Healthy. If an elimination diet sounds too hard, you can now find out what you need in your diet (and what you should avoid) through hair analysis. With just a few strands of your hair, you receive a full report that looks at toxins, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, electromagnetic frequency exposure, chemicals, radiation, parasites, and immune factors, as well as specific food information for your body – and it all only takes about 15 minutes!
Watch for more information on this next week. You can also go to morethanhealthy.com to learn more and schedule your hair analysis today.
What’s happening in 2023
Looking forward, we have so many exciting things in the works! We will still be doing our weekly videos as we move into the new year, but with a few changes. We plan to cover new topics we’re working on, and we’ll expand on some topics where we’ve gained additional knowledge.
The first week of every month will be dedicated to helping you understand hair analysis. We’ll be taking a deeper dive into topics that will help you interpret your hair analysis and answer questions on how to improve your health based on your results. We are so excited about all that’s in store. It’s going to be a great year!
2023 is YOUR year for optimal health
Thanks for joining us here at More Than Healthy on our Full Year of Resolutions! If you missed any weeks, or just want to review any of the tips, all 52 videos and blog posts are available for you on our website. As always, we enjoy hearing from you. Did you have any favorite tips this past year? What did you do that made a difference with your health?
And remember, if you have health questions on anything we’ve discussed or really any issue you can go to our social media pages on Facebook or Instagram @morethanhealthyliving and ask them there. We try to respond to all questions.
We’d love to coach you on your journey to optimal health. The New Year is a great time to recommit to living your best, healthiest life.
Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you next week. Have a safe, healthy, and Happy New Year!