Most people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions. Whether you call them resolutions or goals, you set yourself up to fail if you do not know the why behind them. For such a small word, “why” has a big punch. It can be the difference between huge success and utter failure. Without understanding our motivation, we easily get sidetracked, frustrated, discouraged and ultimately “fall off the wagon.”
Motivation is the Key
We are more educated about a healthy lifestyle than ever before, yet our waistlines are growing. That is because knowing something isn’t good for us isn’t enough. All the information in the world won’t make a difference without having a purpose.
If losing weight was enough of a motivator, we would all be a size two. Although fitting into size two jeans can be a goal, it isn’t a motivator. In order to obtain a long-term healthy lifestyle, we must figure out what will keep us focused and on task. What really matters? For me, it is being fit over 50. I even wrote a book about it because I really wanted to make it past 50. My parents and all their siblings died so young that we don’t even know what runs in our family. No one lived long enough to find out; cancer has taken them all. That is my motivator— I want to beat the odds. On days when I am absolutely not in the mood to exercise, I do anyway. What is your “why?”
Do you want to see your grandkids grow up and get married? Do you want to overcome a health issue or eliminate pain? Do you want to inspire a family member to lose weight? What is at the core of your desire to be healthy? The stronger the emotional connection to your why, the greater the likelihood you will stick with it. Whatever your answer, remember it on those tough days when you could easily get off track.
Put reminders on your desk, refrigerator, in your car or wherever you spend a majority of your day. Your “why” needs to be in your face all day long to keep your motivation high. Tell a trusted friend, loved one or personal trainer your “why” for accountability.
Clinging to your “why” is what will help you fulfill your resolutions and obtain your goals. More importantly, your “why” will ensure you improve your health! And that is why I do what I do. This year can be different, and you can be a new you!
I started playing tennis right out of high school. I was jealous of my two best friends spending time together where I couldn’t participate. Although my motive was a bit immature, I did fall in love with the game and have been playing ever since! And, tennis is something we can play through our mature years, so I plan to continue playing.
Whether or not you play the game, you have most likely at least seen it on television or in a movie. Man, was the French Open amazing this year! And like any sport, you can appreciate and respect the physical activity required to achieving success, not to mention the mental concentration. Tennis is a game that can teach all of us some incredible principles about life and health. I’d like to share a few with you that I have learned over the years:
- Expect Great Things – Watch any professional tennis player, and you will see a bit of arrogance on the court. When they run for a shot, they have no doubt that they WILL get the shot. When they get it, they aren’t surprised. We could all benefit from a bit of positive thinking. Want to lose weight? Want to tone up? Expect that you will do it without any doubt. Period.
- Put Your Heart in It – Tennis players don’t show up half-heartedly. When I watch young up and coming players trying to beat their opponent, I see heart. If something is worth claiming as a goal, then put your heart into it! Mean it and want it! Then make it happen.
- Focus Forward – Tennis players will see the exact stroke and shot they should produce in their head well before they swing their racquets. The professionals make it look easy, but even they don’t properly execute 100 percent of what they see in their heads. What do they do when they make an error? Determine what they need to do better next time and move on! Don’t get stuck beating yourself up over a mistake or falling off the diet wagon. Simply evaluate what you can correct, and make the necessary changes for next time.
- Never Give Up! – Winners in tennis run after everything. Watch Nadal some time, and you will be amazed at how much court he covers. He never gives up. You’ve heard the saying that “showing up is key to success.” We must be active participates in our own lives. We need to make a commitment to ourselves each and every morning that we will go after our health, fitness and life goals with zest and determination…that we will never give up because it is for us and those we love!
Did you know that 70 percent of all illness and injuries in America can be prevented?
Health insurance and worker’s compensation costs are skyrocketing, with no indication of them slowing down any time in the near future. Across the nation, health care, sick leave and disability insurance are costing businesses $12.7 billion annually, according to a recent study by the American Journal of Health. These costs will continue to attack company’s bottom lines unless a different approach is taken.
In the past, companies may not have believed an employee’s personal life impacted the workplace, but today more and more companies are realizing healthy employees equal a healthy bottom line. By incorporating wellness initiatives into the workplace, companies can protect their investments and increase their profit margin. Because employees are truly a company’s greatest asset, ensuring they’re not only equipped with the right tools to get the job done, but that they are also healthy enough to perform it effectively only makes sense.
Your employee’s health does impact the health of your company. What is poor health costing your company? A good wellness program starts off with education. Although the thought is admirable, companies that purchase fitness equipment or memberships to health clubs without first educating their employees on how to actually use the equipment are throwing their money away. It’s a Band-Aid that won’t stick.
Employees must first understand the consequences of poor health and learn what a healthier lifestyle will do for them personally and professionally. As they embrace these new concepts and make it a lifestyle, they soon will be ready to use tools to stay on this healthy path. Get your employees on the healthy path today with workshops, trainings, books and other educational resources. I guarantee you will see work performance improve tomorrow!
When your employees are healthy, so is your company. And when your company is healthy, we all win!
Whether at the workplace or your own personal goals, a great resource is my book Finally FIT because it helps you discover your unique Fitness Individuality Trait (FIT) so you can customize a program that works for you, not against you. It will also challenge you to hone in on your why so you get the results you seek.