When someone starts their fitness journey it is usually to change something physical about themselves. Lose 10lbs, "fit" into a bikini, or feel a bit better in their clothes. Studies show, however, that people abandon their exercise routines within a WEEK of starting. ONE WEEK. Making a change requires effort, dedication, and time, but for the change to stick, you must know who you are and what you value.
Let's face it, many of us are not in tune with ourselves and are constantly searching for a way to make changes FAST. We usually cannot stick with these habits because they are not sustainable, so we abandon all efforts to change. We lose motivation, and go back to status-quo.
As adults, we need to know that the need for change is for a worthwhile reason. The need must come from something more than someone just telling us that we need to make changes. We need to KNOW why we need to change. We need to understand how and plot a course. That's why most of us go for easy, quick changes. Something that fits into our already busy lives. In doing so we often skip the most important catalyst for change.
What are values?
Simply defined, and after a quick Google search, values are individual beliefs that motivate people to act one way or another.
We can break them up further into:
Personal Values – that define who we are, what we want, and why we think the way we do.
Social Values – that govern our social connections and interpersonal bond with others.
Universal Values – that influence spiritual thought, cultural standards, and overall acceptance of life experiences.
But many of us are not sufficiently in tune with ourselves to find what our values are, let alone differentiate them between these three.
How do we do it? Let's get tuned in!
"How do we become "tuned" in though, Coach?"
Ah, there are several ways, but the simplest is journaling. Putting those thoughts to paper.
I know, you barely have time to pee, now I'm telling you to grab a notebook and write?
Grab a journal, make it pretty or leathery and musky. Whatever works.
Grab 5 minutes, at the start or end of the day and write. Free flow works, but always start with a thank you.
NO, that's not toxic positivity, that's practicing gratefulness (more on THAT later this year!)
If free flow writing isn't your cup of tea then you can start with questions like
"What really matters to you?"
"What is a non-negotiable in your life?"
"If you had to write your mission statement for this phase in your life, what would it be?"
Your responses to these could be something like
What matters to me most is, my family, my healty,my kids, growing emotionally, healing my anxiety.
Your non-negotiable are coffee every morning, meditation and listening to Joe Rogan.
Your mission statements can be; "I want to get stronger so my daughter can see how strong we really are" or" I will play on the floor with my grandkids" or " I will deadlift my husband by this summer"
They sound an awful lot like goals, but we will discuss the details I effectively setting goals later. We're framing them like mission statements here, because if we reverse engineer them, well, there is a "why" in there.
Let's look at our mission statement: " to get stronger so my daughter can see how strong women really are". Her values are shining brightly here. Her kids, strength and community.
Another mission statement can be "so I can play on the floor with my grandkids"; here we see family, health and longevity.
Lastly me (I'm not going to lie, it's ME!)
I will deadlift my husband. some of my values are strength, resilience and growth.
Now the one that's hard, as I said over on Insta, this one is a full introspection.
Are you currently LIVING like these are your values?
Are you living like family, health and longevity are what's most important?
What steps do you need to take to get there?
Can't do it? It is a lot!
Feeling stuck and overwhelmed? I call this Frozone. Also known as paralysis by analysis.
There are SOOO many things to change that we paralyze ourselves into doing nothing.
We stay, stagnant like a puddle of water.
Let's look at what you've accomplished thus far you took the first step. You read this, you are definitely thinking of changing some habits, it's important to acknowledge this and feel proud. You're reflecting on your behavior and know something has to give.
Remember, most of us fail to change because we are not truly in touch with who we are. Who we are is rooted in our values. Journaling will help you find what is important in your life? I know, I know stay in my lane, but as a personal trainer, I really need to get to the reason you are here. Reflect on these for a few days.
Why do you want to learn about wellness and fitness? Why do you want to start walking? Why do you want to invest in that gym membership?
Finding Your Why
Sometimes it's as easy as finding 5 simple words and analyzing them in relation to your life. Are you truly living in alignment with what you believe?
Finding our why gives us meaning and direction, it keeps us focused on the bigger picture.
The first step in this journey is for you to define your core values. What rings true to you from below simplified word list?
Being the best
Once you have identified a word that resonates, grab your journal and reflect on how you are currently living to hold this value true.
Feel weird? I'll start.
One of my values is balance. Balance in my life is necessary for my mental health and the mental health of my children. Spreading myself too thin often leads to anger and resentment. Throughout my years as a personal trainer, I have learned, that just as the body needs to strengthen the mind to muscle connections, so does your mind to spirit. Finding my values allowed me to reflect back on my behavior and analyze if I was living in harmony with them.Then I questioned myself.
How was I balanced, waking up in a panic to ensure the girls weren't late for school?
How was I balanced when all I thought about was how to get smaller so I can conform to society?
How was I living a balanced life when I was so tired from being on repetitive calls all day that I snapped at my children when they needed help?
I knew that things had to change.
Ok, now what?
Once you've determined the kinds of actions and habits that best support your chosen values you will be able to develop clear goals. You now know WHY you want to change.
For your mental health, for your physical health, to live long enough to see your grandkids, to play with them.
Having your values sorted will also provide something to fall back on when motivation or discipline wanes. By seeking out your purpose, tenets, and motivations—in short, your "why"—you've got the key ingredients for a recipe that will get any journey off on the right foot.
I can help you get started- Grab my 5 Words to Finding Your Why: A Simple Guide to When You Are Stuck here.
Feeling inspired to get your self discovery journey off the ground or want to learn more? Here are a few books and tools that have helped me throughout the years.
Please note, that as an Amazon affiliate, I make a small commission with anything you purchase with the links below.