Finding your ‘why’ to help you get healthy
If you’re keen to improve your health, it pays to have a powerful reason. Simply deciding to change something about yourself is rarely enough to make it so. NADIA naturopath and medical herbalist Annaliese Jones says a truly motivating ‘why’ makes all the difference – plus a slow and steady approach.
Find your ‘why’
If you’re confused about where to start when it comes to your health, I recommend reverse-engineering your health goals by thinking about how you want to feel. Do you want to feel fit, strong and full of boundless energy? Do you need more focus and calm in your life? Or do you want to feel content and happy as opposed to flat and anxious? Once you’ve discovered what you want to experience more of, work backwards from there. Make a list of the steps you need to take to get to that end point. For example:
Goal: Reduce my anxiety in order to feel calmer and more content
Why: Anxiety is affecting my relationships and my work
How: Replace coffee with herbal tea, never skip a meal and work on my confidence.
Then get really specific
What herbal tea will you drink? What will you say to your workmate when she automatically brings a flat white to your desk? On what day will you plan your meals and do your food shopping? Who can you ask to recommend a counsellor, and what day can you book an appointment? Write all these specifics down and schedule them in your diary. Taking action is the most important part.
Choose your journey
Another exercise I find helpful when thinking about health goals is to step back and discover how you don’t want to feel. Maybe you saw your mother suffer through diabetes towards the end of her life or perhaps your father had a heart attack before his time. Your family health history is an important factor in your own health but it needn’t be the only predictor of what’s in store for you. That power lies with you. Which path will you take?
Commit to it
I know it’s not that easy, and life gets in the way. But you don’t have to do it perfectly the first time, or ever. Perfection is not the point. The point is to be working towards, not away from, your health goals. The power of small successes will perpetuate the motivation you need to carry on. Remember to revisit your ‘why’ often and combine that inspiration with action, without rushing it. As they say, it’s the tortoise, not the hare, who wins the race.
NADIA celebrates living a ‘well-thy’ life. The magazine’s back-to-basics approach champions food, family, community, wellness, travel, entrepreneurship and what it means to be a New Zealander today.