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Knowing Your Why to Effectively Implement Change in Your Life

Motivation for Habits

Having a good reason for what you do is important…and absolutely critical to your success. Yes, I am putting a lot emphasis on this point. You need a good motivator to stay on track. Studies show that if you have higher motivation – at both an intuitive and analytical level – you are more likely to succeed in adopting a new habit.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Value

Understanding your motivation is exceptionally powerful, especially as it pertains to personal success. Factors that fuel your success may be of intrinsic or extrinsic value. Intrinsic motivation means you do it because you enjoy doing it. For instance, I love doing anything active- running, biking, lifting, CrossFit. I’ve excelled at these things because I find joy in the activity itself.

Extrinsic motivation is different in that the motivation lies in the outcome. For example, I willed myself through medical school and residency because I dreamed of becoming a physician. While there were many times I dreaded my pager going off at 2am, I was motivated by my long-term career goals of being an anesthesiologist and pain doctor.

Be Clear on Your Why

Being clear on why you want to feel better, less fatigued and less overtrained will give you the motivation to make these new habits stick. Because, like it or not, there is no magic pill that will instantly transform your life. You didn’t get to where you are overnight. And while reclaiming your health might not happen overnight either, it’s very much attainable with a little dedication and the right motivation.

"It doesn't take big change to make a difference. It just requires small changes that are done consistently." - James Clear

As James Clear points out in his book, Atomic Habits, it doesn’t take big change to make a big difference. It just requires small changes that are done consistently. If you improve 1% every day for an entire year, by the end of the year, you are 37.78 times better (1.01365) by the of the year. The effect is similar to compounding interest.

There may be many ways to master a new habit, but maybe only one or two ways that work for you. Keep looking for what ways work for YOU. Maybe it’s a 30 day challenge or adding the activity to your morning or evening routine, or putting it on your calendar. If you know your why, you’ll find it even easier to figure out a way to make it happen.