No matter the time of year, starting a new habit and maintaining it is hard. Whether it is a new work process, a new diet, a new commute, a new skill, a new habit—sometimes just wishing it were a staple in your day is not enough to make it happen.
So, let’s take a few steps back here. Before you consider all the ways to stick to a new habit (we’ve done a survey of thousands of health and wellness coaches to help you with that too), why do you want to start something new?
With an increased focus on employee health and wellness this year, one of the most effective ways to support them in establishing healthy habits is to help them find their “why” or motivation to change.
Why find your “why?”
This hearkens back to the self-determination continuum. This theory says focuses on whether our motivation is internally or externally based on a scale. It starts with amotivation—a habit that has no relevance for you, you don’t care. Next up is external regulation where the only reason for doing something is external like an award. After that, is the stage that focuses on “should” reasons (i.e. I should exercise more). The scale tips at the end with internal motivation where someone does something because they want to, and they like it.
What does this mean for you and your employees? Studies have shown that folks who start with “should” reasons struggle to stick with it. However, those who focus on other internal goals—a true and personal motivation—achieve long-term habit change.
Establishing personal motivations, the “why” behind the change, can be more effective at accomplishing the peripheral goals.
How to find your motivation
Before getting too ambitious with goals, or if you already have a health habit, take a step back and think about why. Get a little personal here and think about the real why behind whatever your new habit might be to help you reach your goals.
Sure, losing weight can be a healthy goal but is it because you want to be able to dance at your kid’s wedding? Perhaps meditating is so that you can be a kinder, more gracious roommate who can focus on the present.
To help inspire you, we asked our Burnalong staff why they are focusing on health habits this year. We hope this serves as a launchpad to think of your own motivation.
- I want to lift my kid over my head injury-free as he keeps growing.
- I am motivated to stay healthy so that I can continue to be active with my teenage grandchildren. Playing sports with them and being competitive.
- I want to live a long healthy life and have the ability to grow my family with my wife!
- I am motivated to stay healthy so that I am able to explore and experience new things with people that I love. A healthy mind and body allows me to spend time making the most out of life.
- I want to be able to be active with, and healthy for, my kids.
- I want to stay healthy and active to keep up with my kids.
- I never want to miss out on an experience because I am physically incapable.
- This year I’m putting my health at the top of the list to maintain a healthy immune system, ensuring a strong defense against viruses.
- I’m making healthy choices like stretching first thing in the morning because it connects me to vitality and brightens/regulates my mood/mindset.
- I simply want to feel better about myself on a daily basis.
- I am going on a beach vacation this year and I want to look my best.
- I feel so stressed out and I would like to be able to breathe again.
- So I can set a good example for my kids. I focus on being strong, not skinny. I focus on health, to stay well.
Your turn to find your motivation
Whether you are personally looking to reach a goal this year or supporting others who are charging ahead, it is important to start with your “why.”
Your why might look different than our team and that is still great. Once you find your why, put it in places that will remind you of it. Perhaps make it your phone background, set a reminder so every day, you get a ping with your motivation—write it down so you see it every time you are at your desk.
Let your motivation become your mantra as you make progress towards your goals. Remember, you can do this and you aren’t alone.
Burnalong is here to support you with classes, programs, instructors, and communities. You also have our full team here to cheer you on and celebrate your wins. Take a minute and start thinking about why. It isn’t too late to start something new.
If you want to learn more about how Burnalong can help you and your employees with healthy habits this year, schedule a quick call with us. If you want to join our amazing team of motivated individuals, make sure to check out our open positions. Let’s thrive together.