The Importance of Who, What, and Why

Who, What, WhyWe are entering that time of year where many people are embarking on New Year’s resolutions and plans to do things differently in the New Year.  For many people, the number one resolution is to lose weight and/or to improve their overall health.  While both of these are extremely important and wonderful goals to strive for, it’s important to think about the motivation behind these resolutions.

It took me a lot of years to understand the importance of the who, what, and why behind my weight loss goals.  I did not achieve any type of success until I had a good understanding of these things and how critical they are to any goal.

September 2011 was not the first, second, or third time I had joined Weight Watchers.  In fact, I think it was actually the fifth time I had joined.  One very important difference between those times and this time was “who” I was trying to lose weight for.  In the past, I was trying to lose weight because it was what other people wanted.  I would feel pressure from family members and friends, with both good and bad intentions, and I would get frustrated at the first set-back I experienced and give up.  One person in particular would make berating comments if I did not lose weight on a particular week and I allowed those comments to defeat me as they were one of the people I was trying to lose weight for and if I had “failed them,” why bother continuing to try.  Looking back on it now, I realize it was not logical thinking, but at the time, it made perfect sense.  Once I set out to lose weight because it was truly what I wanted and because I wanted to improve my overall health, I had the resolve to stick with it and persevere regardless of any set-back I experienced, and believe me, there have been several over the course of twenty-seven months.  In order to achieve lasting weight loss success, I believe YOU need to be the number 1 person you want to lose the weight for.  It’s nice to please your family and friends but ultimately, it has to be for you!!!

What are you trying to achieve with your weight loss?  Do you want or need to improve your overall health and looks, are you in the position I was in battling diseases that can be “cured” by simply losing weight, or are you looking to improve your self-esteem?  I think it is critical to identify “what” you are trying to achieve with your weight loss (and there can be multiple things) as maintaining a clear picture of what your goals are will help you maintain the focus that is so critical to lasting success.

Why are you trying to lose weight?  There are likely multiple answers to this question and that is certainly ok.  What I have found is that if the “why” is a temporary reason, lasting success is not likely.  For example, when people are losing for a wedding, graduation, or class reunion, they typically get through the event and wear the outfit they want to wear, and go right back to their old ways.  I believe you need to identify a lasting “why” to base your goals on.  Looking good for a particular event is definitely a nice perk, but a lasting “why” that will keep you motivated to maintain your weight loss would be to rid yourself of a weight related disease.  Can you see the difference?

Remember, a temporary “diet” will yield temporary results.  Lifestyle changes will yield permanent life changes.  Whether you have 10 lbs or 100 lbs to lose, its hard work and you want your results to be lasting rather than fleeting.  To maintain the lasting results of all your hard work, remember that you have to be the number one “who” you are doing the work for, you must clearly identify “what” your want to achieve, and you need a lasting reason “why” to ground yourself in.  It may help you to put these things in writing so that you can refer back to them throughout your journey.  Are you ready to get started?

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