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The Most Important Word for Making Healthy Change Stick

Updated: May 6, 2020

If you're struggling to maintain your exercise routine, eat healthier, or get rest, it's time to take a hard look at your deep internal motivation. Getting to the heart of that comes down to just one little word:


The other day, a client came in, and she was super excited. She told me she'd had a real "aha" moment. The heat had gone out at one of her friend's homes, so she was going to loan them her portable radiators. These things were pretty heavy and filled with oil. One was in her basement and the other was on the second floor. She carried them out to her car, drove them to her friends', then put them on the main floor and the upstairs. Of course she felt good, coming to the aid of her friends. But even more than that, she did this on her own, without hurting herself or feeling especially taxed. She felt STRONG! She drew a connection between how she lifted and carried them, using what she learned from lifting heavy things in the weight room. She was so pleased that she can easily do this and other physically demanding activities, independently. She is in her mid 70s, so she fully realizes that many of her contemporaries are not able to do these kinds of daily tasks. We talked about the feeling that this kind of physical freedom generates, and how powerful that is. She told me that in the past, she often viewed fitness through the vanity lens. But, after this experience, she truly appreciates that getting strong is so useful in her day to day life, and that is what's really driving her now - holding on to that strength and self reliance. We high-fived and she moved and finished her exercises, then walked out into the world with a big smile. She is dialed into her WHY.

Contrary to popular culture, as a trainer & coach, I'm not here to make you thinner or smaller. My job is to help guide you on your path to better health, whatever that means to you. Yes, I can tell you which exercises help you have a stronger back, and how to eat if you want to get leaner, or want to improve your cholesterol. It's not the knowing, it's the doing that's the trick. This is the gap that you must bridge, and the way you do that is by really knowing your "Why". Write it down, repeat it to yourself, and keep exploring it. What is so important about your reason(s) for change and why do they matter to you?

Change is hard. If you want to make it happen, and stick, you need to really go deep into your reasons for wanting to live healthier. I'm not gonna lie, vanity often plays a role. We're human, after all, so no need to judge, just acknowledge it. But don't stop there. Go deeper and see what's beyond the surface. I love that we're beginning to move away from diet and exercise as a means of making ourselves smaller and towards more acceptance of women's bodies. But no matter your goal, you must find your most meaningful reasons. Finding it is a work in progress, so keep asking.

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