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The Power of Finding Your “Why” on the Path to Wellness

A woman plays with her children


Want to reach a certain weight? Run a marathon? Age more gracefully? To reach your goal, you must first find your “why.”

According to Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, “Regardless of WHAT we do in our lives, our WHY—our driving purpose, cause or belief—never changes.” Your “why" is the core reason, purpose, or motivation that underpins any goal you have in life—whether that’s a career goal, a relationship goal, or your health and wellness goals. It's the answer to the question, "Why do you want to make these changes in your life?" 

Finding your “why” on your path to wellness is essential for lasting transformation. But where does this “why” come from, and how can you leverage it to live a longer, healthier life?

Why Finding Your “Why” Matters for Wellness 

External motivations (like pressure from society or short-term rewards) can get us started toward our wellness goals, but they won’t inspire us for long. 

For example, an upcoming beach vacation might push you to start jogging and cut back on sugary treats until you fit into your swimsuit. But after that vacation passes, so does the pressure and motivation to eat well and exercise

It is a deeper, more personal “why” that fuels the internal fire necessary for meaningful and sustainable progress. Here’s how your “why” acts as a guiding light on your path to wellness: 

  • Keeps You on Track
    When you have a strong and genuine reason behind your wellness goals, staying on track is simply easier. Your “why” acts as a coach inside your head, reminding you of the bigger purpose behind each habit or challenge you take on.

  • Offers Unwavering Motivation
    Temporary motivation, like the initial rush of a New Year's resolution, will fade. But your “why” transcends momentary enthusiasm because it taps into your purpose, beliefs, and vision for the future. That type of motivation lasts, even when the going gets tough.

  • Builds Resilience in the Face of Setbacks
    Wellness journeys are almost never linear. There will be ups and downs, days when progress seems slow, and setbacks that could derail all your efforts—if you let them. Thankfully, when you have a “why," you also have a stronger sense of resilience and determination that helps you bounce back from setbacks as you focus on the bigger picture.

  • Creates Lasting Habits
    It’s no secret that healthy habits form the foundation of wellness. But establishing new habits and breaking old ones requires consistent daily effort. When your habits are aligned with your “why," they become more than just routine actions. Instead, they become meaningful rituals that contribute to your overall well-being. And you might even begin to look forward to them! 

3 Questions to Ask to Uncover Your Wellness “Why”  

Having a personal “why” clearly helps you stay on your path to wellness. But how do you know what your “why” really is? 

Finding your “why" is a process of introspection and self-discovery. Here are three powerful questions to help you uncover your motivation on your path to wellness:

  • What matters most to you?
    Consider what aspects of your life bring you the most joy and fulfillment. What values, passions, and priorities are most important to you? How can you tie your wellness goals to something you deeply believe in?

  • Where do you see your best self in the future?
    Envision your ideal future—how you want to look, act, think, and feel. How does achieving your wellness goals make that future possible?

  • What energizes and excites you?
    Think about the activities, experiences, or outcomes that ignite a sense of excitement within you. Whether it's having more energy to play with your children or feeling confident in your own skin, these sources of enthusiasm can offer valuable insights into your deeper “why.”

As Friedrich Nietzsche put it, “He who has a why can endure any how.” No healthy habit, exercise, self-care practice, or meal plan is a chore when you have a “why.” By finding your “why,” reaching your wellness goals not only becomes more achievable, but more enjoyable, too. 

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