There are those facing a variety of challenging issues, desperate people, who know they need to make changes, but to pay the price they have to want to change their lives. People tell them, they tell themselves, “I need to ….., but I think the action, take control word is “I want to”
Recently I woke up to the reality that I had hit a wall in my fitness goals. I wasn’t moving forward. After a year of fully committing to fitness goals which saw me run three 10k races, achieve below 30mins for 5k, consistently eat healthy, learn to make healthy meals and lose weight. Here I was after bouts of ill health, injuries, lots of weight gain and very little excercise, feeling desperate and discouraged. I knew I had to do something and make some changes. Each time I woke up Monday morning determined but by Friday, the will was gone. The spirit seemed willing but the flesh just grew weaker. It doesn’t help when you see others seemly staying committed, with relative ease.
But last week I had a Eureka moment. “Just because I Need to do something doesn’t mean I have to do it. I have to Want to do it to get it done”. Not only that, I realised I have to change the inner voice in my head from “you need to……, to you want to ………” I also realised that having a need does not necessarily motivate or drive passion in me. But taking control and saying to myself “you want to”, also being firm on myself and saying “you have to do it now, you might as well start and get on with on with it”, is key. Self talk (inner voice) is powerful, we do it all the time. It is what shapes our actions, it determines our motives, you can talk yourself into doing anything you want to do or talk yourself out of doing something you should do.I also realise that for each stage you get to in life, to move forward or continue on the path you have carved, you have to keep revisiting your strategy. What worked for you six months ago may become redundant because your circumstances may have changed, I think this is part of growth. But, most of us try to use the same process, same strategy to deal with a new phase in life. It’s a little like excercise. Once it becomes effective by building the muscle you need, to keep the muscle or challenge it to develop further, you may need to change and mix up the type of exercise.In short, wanting to is more empowering than needing to.
So, the next time you and I catch ourselves saying I need to, lets quickly say, I want to. I am one week into this self talk, so far it has got, me reading, swimming, running and choosing to eat less at a Buffett. Let’s see how far I go. Let me know how it goes for you.