Why Why Why
Last week I posted a blog on working out your why and just why that act of contemplation can be so useful (and difficult!). So this week we are going to push on a little further into the mental game and see where we end up! If you need to catch up on last weeks blog first, have a quick read of it here.
Typically when we set ourselves goals it’s because we want something in our current situation to change. What we fail to do is work out how we got into our current situation. What are we doing that lead us down this path to this spot right now? It’s really easy sometimes to blame our circumstances on external factors. I was born with this condition. I blew my knee out on the rugby field. I have small children that take up all my time. I’m getting older. My parents suffered this too. I can’t afford A B or C. And sometimes these can be short term legitimate reasons that we can’t do an activity or pass time that we want to do. Sometimes knees do blow out and there’s a 6 month rehab plan that involves no high intensity weight bearing. Or you have a new baby and you have to physically recover and adjust to new schedules (or adjust to having no set schedule at all!). Sometimes we have to adjust our activity as we age – most of us can’t go back to a sport we used to play at the same level and intensity that we used to play it after having a prolonged break. And all of these can be frustrating and make us more likely to throw in the towel and give up, writing our goals off as impossible along the way.
So let’s be brutally honest. Even if your current situation started as one of these unavoidable and legitimate circumstances, what is going on NOW? Our circumstances are so often the reflection of our perspective ad what we tell ourselves. “I can’t weight-bear” becomes “I can’t go to the gym”. “I have small children” becomes “I have no time to do anything”. Trust me. I’ve been there. At least 3 days a week I’m still there and I have to pull myself out of that thought process. The key thing to recognise is that what we tell ourselves will determine our actions, and our repeated actions determine our current situation. This being the case, we need to really work out our motivation, our why, in order to change what we tell ourselves, which will then change our actions. If you tell yourself (as I sometimes do) that you have no time, then you will have no time. If you instead tell yourself that you can make time or that it’s a priority, then time appears and it becomes a priority.
Assuming that you have worked out your why from last week, this week it’s time to sit down and take notice of what you are telling yourself. Keep a journal for one day and write down the things you tell yourself. Does your internal voice match up with your current life situation or is it more in tune with your goals and your whys? My hope will be that after working out your goals and whys last week, your inner voice will be starting to move towards the new possibilities. Once your ‘Why’ is rock solid, your inner voice and your actions as a result of the story you tell yourself will begin to change. Will it be perfect overnight? Not likely. But it will be different. And after a week of paying attention to your inner voice, it will suddenly become easier to call yourself out on the negative comments you make. So this week, find a notebook and write down all the things you say inside. We will talk more about what you found next week!