Change is not easy. Doing something differently after years of doing the same thing over and over is a difficult challenge. Some of us may have been told by a loved one or friend or even a health care practitioner that we need to make lifestyle changes to prevent serious illness. What may not appear clear is thatusually if not always, no one wants to make the change more than the person who needs to make the change. No one wants to lose weight more than a person who is overweight. No one wants to stop smoking more than the person who smokes. No one wants to feel less stressed than a person who is stressed. No one wants to be in a happy relationship more than a person who is in a troubled relationship. No one wants a fulfilled life morethan a person who lives without purpose. No one wants to feel better more than the person who feels bad. No one wants to be healthy more than the person who is unhealthy. 

Making a lifestyle change is a Hero’s journey. How can we stop doing something that we know is unhealthy and at the same time implement a healthy lifestyle change. Many of us have been told what we need to do. When we look inside, we know what we need to do. We know the changes we need to make. We know the behaviors we need to stop doing and those behaviors we need to start living. The struggle is that often we are bombarded with “whats” when perhaps where we need to start is with a “Why.”

Why do you want to make a lifestyle change? Why do you want to be healthy or healthier? What matters most to you in life and how would you like to live that out in your life? What is your purpose in life? What would living a meaningful life look like for you? How do you align your mission in life with what you deeply value? Why do you want to take care of yourself?

Do you want to be healthy so that you can maximize the enjoyment of what really matters to you? Is family one of the things that matters most to you? So do you want to be healthy so that you can fully be there for them in every possible way? One of my coaching clients told me she wanted to be healthy so she could stay engaged in activities with her children and grandchildren and not become a burden to them which she thought was the best gift she could give to her family.

Life is so beautiful and precious. Every breath counts. It is full of opportunities to experience joy and wonder. Why do you want to healthy? Why not set off on a Hero’s journey? If you do you just might find Your Holy Grail.

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Paul Bokker Ph.D., LPC/S, NCC, BCC, NBC-HWC, BC-TMH