Every new year comes with new goals, and new plans to reach those goals. Fortunes are made selling new books and programs promising to be the magic bullet but I will give it to you here today for free.
No diet, no workout and no program is going to work for you unless you are crystal clear about WHY you are doing it.
I do a lot of talking about WHAT TO EAT to to be healthy and HOW TO EXERCISE for the best results but the most important question I ask is WHY?
It's the hardest question to answer because there's no right answer and it's very personal but unless you are clear about why you want to make a change, you will not have the sustained motivation to do it.
Some "whys" that I have seen motivate people to real change:
"I want my back pain to stop."
"I need to look good at my son's wedding."
"I want my grandchildren to know me."
"I'm tired of being sick and tired."
"I don't want to die of a heart attack."
"My self-respect depends on it."
"I don't want the cancer to come back."
Jack will be 10 in February. He's a sweet boy, an enthusiastic conversationalist and a master Lego builder. Jack spends a lot of his time with adults because he isn't invited to go hiking or skiing with the other kids. He doesn't have the stamina to keep up because he's a toewalker and it's exhausting to walk on your toes all day long, let alone play sports.
He's been to doctors, neurologists and therapists; he's worn orthopedic shoes and his legs have been braced. His mother massages him every night before bed and reminds him all day long to walk flat-footed. Because of her diligence, his muscles still allow him to. Walking on his feet flat requires the same concentration for him that walking on our toes does for us. How long could you hike or play sports on your toes?
I tell you his story because today Jack has agreed to try a new strategy to help him overcome toe-walking: Nutritional Therapy. His habit is neurological, his brain tells him to walk on his toes like yours tells you to walk on flat feet. There is strong reason to believe that his neurological condition will improve by reducing the systemic inflammation caused by gut-aggravating foods like grain and dairy. This is not a stretch. The GAPS protocol is currently the most effective means of intervention for kids on the Autism spectrum (1 in 10,000 in the 1970's and 1 in 50 now).
Jack already knows where real food comes from: the farm, the field and the forest. He knows that some foods are hard to stop eating once you start (sugar addiction) and he knows that others make you feel sick and sad after you eat them. Soda has become seltzer in his house and he refers to fast food restaurants as "the Dark Side" so he's off to a good start but he's still walking on his toes.
This next leg of Jack's journey will challenge him every day but he's well-supported and I think he's ready because he's very clear about his "WHY": he wants to play with other kids.
Ask yourself why you want to lose weight, exercise, get more sleep, break your addictions or change your habits. If you can define your "why" then the "what" and "how" will follow.
When your values are clear, your decisions are easy.
Watch Jack make a healthy snack in this corny video: