What's Your Why?

Finding Your Why in 2020

January 23, 2020

By Jenny Kemper


As we approach the end of January, I’m wondering, how’s it going so far?

New Year’s Resolutions are usually given up within the first month or so.  While people see the new year as a new shot, a fresh opportunity for change – 90% of them fail.

As you contemplate the year ahead and the changes you’ve resolved to make, might I suggest another type of list?  In 2020, consider the changes you would like to make, and put some energy into the question, “What is my Why?”

Getting to the meaning behind a goal is the key to making last change – it’s what drives behavior.  If you want to change behavior, you need to change the meaning or the Why behind the behavior.

Perhaps you are interested in losing 20 pounds.  WHY?  Is it to be healthier? Sure – but Why?

The Why is the #1 key to changing your behaviors and your life. It determines how you feel, how you behave, how motivated you are, and whether you are going to stick to something for the long-run or not. Effective Whys empower, energize and motivate you, while ineffective Whys leave you feeling depleted, unmotivated, and powerless.

Pick an effective Why and changing your behavior becomes almost effortless. Whether it’s exercising regularly, meditating daily, or practicing the piano more often… pick the right Why and you’ll make it happen.

Here’s a few tips on how to think differently about those resolutions, and framing your Why:

How will your Why benefit you today?  Now’s your chance to really be honest with yourself.  So back to losing 20 pounds.  Perhaps you want to be around for the grandkids’ high school graduation, or you simply want to look good in a bathing suit.  Both are good reasons.  We live in an instant gratification society.  Define how it will benefit you TODAY to make the change.

Here’s some examples for how to frame your WHY in the present:

  • Exercising because it makes me feel strong and have better clarity right now
  • Eating healthy because it gives me more energy and clear mental focus today
  • Meditating to feel grounded, less stressed, and more present right now

Make your Why meaningful to you.  Pick some internal reasons for making a change – things that are meaningful to YOU.  What fuels your core needs and desires?  How does it speak to your passions, interests or values?  It’s helpful to frame your WHY as self-chosen.  Skips the “shoulds” and “have to’s” – they are on top of the abandoned heap of resolutions on February 1!

  • “I choose to address my sleep apnea because it will make me cognitively sharper overnight.” (Quite literally!)
  • “I choose to incorporate vigorous exercise because it will enhance my focus and memory today.”
  • “I choose to skip the cookie or the sweet because I want to optimize my mind today – and sugar dulls my brain.”

Perhaps the time is NOW to invest in YOU.  For yourself, for your family, for your legacy.

Get really clear on your WHY today – and every day.  And know that you are human, and you will probably slip up.  But don’t let it be the end of your efforts to make positive change.  When you fall down, get up and start over. That’s what it really takes to make a positive change: Keep starting again.

Are you ready to book your Discovery Protocol for optimizing cognitive health?  Call us to schedule your appointment at 216/337-1400.  Dr. Bergman is seeing clients in Rocky River, Strongsville and Highland Heights.

Do you need support in carrying out your New Year’s Resolution(s)?  A health coach is your guide on the side, your accountability buddy, your excuse-buster, your cheerleader.  Alison is helping clients identify goals and take steps toward meaningful lasting change.  How can she help you reach your health goals in 2020?

Perhaps you are ready to shore up your diet.  Our Nutritionist helps you find a meal plan that works for YOU.  Based on your goals, your schedule and your preferences, Nikki meets you where you are and collaborates on changes that will really work for you, not against you.  What nutrition and health goals are your ready to tackle with food?

Rome wasn’t built in a day.  And health isn’t restored overnight.  But it’s possible.  Kemper Cognitive Wellness is on your team in 2020.  Let’s win together!