People often ask me how I manage to stay so focussed? Why do I never give up even if I am struggling to get certain results? Where do I find the discipline and the commitment? Today I will talk about my secret. The one thing that changed everything. My anchor.
It has been over 4 years since I decided I wanted to live my healthiest life possible. To feel fantastic, to function as I should, to have energy, to be strong, capable and active. In the beginning health was not my focus. My journey started from a point of vanity. I disliked what I saw in the mirror. But as I began to feel better about all aspects of my life as a result of making better choices in nutrition and fitness I came to realise health is the ultimate reason.
For those of you that that have followed my journey closely, you will know that I have had my ups and downs as far as aesthetic results are concerned. It has been a struggle. It continues to be a struggle. I have battled my body. But the one thing you can know about me is that I have never abandoned my health goals. Many people would have quit long ago. So what has kept me fighting?
It is very simple. I want to be healthy. I want to live an amazing life. I understand and have seen what health can do for a person. I decided it is worth the effort.
In short. I deeply VALUE my health. That is my secret right there.
I believe that if you chose to value your health you will never give up and have the power to build long term success.
It is one of my key priorities. It is something I chose to be integral to my identity. It is the compass that always keeps me on the path. If I lose the path it brings me back there very quickly.
Your Values are what you believe to be important in your life. The easiest way to identify your Values is to think about what you prioritise. What are the things you allocate time and energy to? Your family, your job, your spirituality?
Your health? How much of your time, energy and budget is spent investing in your health and making better decisions?
The first step is to say that you value your health. That feels empowering. Repeat it over and over again. Create mantras. Say it daily. Start to believe it. I say that I value my health but sometimes my actions do not always reflect that. Gandhi very wisely said that ‘your actions express your priorities’. Nobody is perfect. Nobody can get it right 100% of the time. If I had a chocolate on the weekend it does not mean I suddenly do not value my health. I take a holistic view on all the bits and pieces of my life and add it all together. If my actions – in general – were to make unhealthy choices then me saying I value my health would just be empty words. A wish or a dream. The great majority of my actions need to reflect and support that day in and day out for it to be true.
Reveal your true values
Use this powerful 2-step process to reveal your true values
When it comes to the topic of values I am a huge fan of the teaching of human behavioural specialist and global personality Dr Demartini. Here is a very powerful 2-Step tool he created for you to reveal what your values truly are. I strongly recommend taking 15mins to do this valuable task. You may find what you believed to be true of your values or what you say about them is different to what you thought.
13 questions you can ask yourself to reveal what your values are:
In each case write down THREE things for each question.
- How do you fill your space? What does your life demonstrate through your space? When you look around your home or office, do you see family photos, sports trophies, business awards, books?
- How do you spend your time? Something you can count on: people always make time for things that are really important to them and run out of time for things that aren’t.
- How do you spend your energy? You always have energy for things that inspire you – the things you value most. You run out of energy for things that don’t.
- How do you spend your money? Again, you always find money for things that are valuable to you, but you never want to part with your money for things that are not important to you.
- Where are you most organized? We tend to bring order and organization to things that are important to us and to allow chaos and disorder with things that are low on our values.
- Where are you most reliable? You never have to be reminded from the outside to do the things that you value the most.
- What dominates your thoughts? We not talking about the negative self-thought or the things that distract you. I’m not talking about the fantasies, “shoulds,” or “oughts.” We talking about your most common thoughts about how you want your life – thoughts that you show slow or steady evidence of actually bringing to fruition.
- What do you visualize most? What you visualize for your life that is slowly but surely coming true.
- What do you most often talk to yourself about? What do you keep talking to yourself about the most?
- What do you most often talk to others about? What are the topics that you keep wanting to bring into the conversation that nobody has to remind you to talk about? What subjects turn you into an instant extrovert?
- What inspires you? What inspires you now? What has inspired you in the past? What is common to the people who inspire you? Figuring out what inspires you most reveals what you value most
- What goals stand out in your life and have stood the test of time? What are the three long-term goals that you have focused on that you are bringing into reality?
- What do you love to learn or read about most? What are the three most common topics you love learning or reading about most? What three topics can you stay focused on and love learning about without distraction.
Identify the Answers That Repeat Most Often Once you’ve written down three answers for each of the 13 questions, you’ll see that among your 39 answers, there is a certain amount of repetition – perhaps even a lot of repetition. You may be expressing the same kinds of value in different ways – for example, “spending time with people I like,” “having a drink with the folks from work,” “going out to eat with my friends” – but if you look closely, you can see some patterns begin to emerge.
So look at the answer that is most often repeated and write beside it the number of how often it repeats. Then find the second most frequent answer, then the third, and so on, until you have ranked every single answer. This gives you a good primary indicator of what your highest values are currently.
TOOLKIT: You can also download and print the original worksheet in PDF format over here
Did your health feature strongly? I would love to know what you found in the comments below thanks!
It is an interesting exercise. Have you noticed how some people can find time for meal prep and others cannot? People who have seemingly similar lives. So what is the difference? How can some single moms manage to train regularly, work in a pressured job, successfully raise their kids making healthy choices while others believe they simply cannot. Some people who complain that have no time to exercise watch TV every night. The difference is priority of values.
The cool thing about Valuing your health means there is no end result or timeline in mind such as to lose 10kgs by December. If you did not achieve that goal by December you feel like you are a failure. When you commit to valuing your health you can never be a failure. The end result is to live a healthy happy life and be as capable as I possibly can be to enjoy it for as long as possible. Values can of course change. We have all witnessed that. For better or for worse. The proof is in the actions. That is what you have to keep fighting for.
As I have mentioned there are still days that I am unhappy because I have not yet achieved the physique I desire but then I quickly remind myself of what valuing my health has given me in life on a non-aesthetic basis:
- Old Elan chain-smoked a pack and a half of cigarettes a day for 16 years. New Elan stopped 4 years ago and knows he will never smoke again.
- Old Elan used to live on 5 hrs sleep a night if he was lucky. New Elan sleeps 7-8 hrs most nights.
- Old Elan hardly ate vegetable. New Elan eats vegetables 1-2 times daily.
- Old Elan would drink alcohol every weekend. New Elan drinks a few times a year.
- Old Elan used to get take-aways 2-3 times a week. New Elan gets takeaways a few times a year.
- Old Elan spent all his time on the couch. New Elan is active daily.
- Old Elan was weak. New Elan is stronger.
- Old Elan watched TV whenever he was not working. New Elan does not have TV and watches series every now and then on his laptop.
- Old Elan used to work every night and on weekends. New Elan does not work after hours.
- Old Elan woke up on the weekend late with a hangover. New Elan wakes up early, gets active and makes the most of the beautiful day.
- Old Elan was stressed. New Elan has started to meditate daily.
- Old Elan never used to spend money on his health. New Elan loves to spend money on health related products and services.
- Old Elan hates his body. New Elan is slowly learning to love his.
- Old Elan had no libido or sexual confidence. New Elan is just fine
I could go on and on about the benefits a life of health is giving me. It is worth it.
Reading this article can you see how it does not benefit you in the long run to focus on diets and unsustainable practices? Most of which are bad for your health anyway and driven purely by wanting to look good.
I recently asked on the Sleekgeek Facebook group about what products people have wasted their money on… Over 120 people responded. You can check out the post over here – you can see drugs, fat burners, crash diets amongst others. Everything you can imagine in an aid to shed unwanted Kgs. Some people went to the lengths of having their jaws wired.
The fact is societal pressures and concepts of beauty has made modern humans absolutely desperate to be thin. We do this at the expense of our health.
If you valued your health would you take a dangerous drug? Would you starve yourself continually to the point of fainting? Would you take steroids and performance enhancing drugs to look better for the beach? I doubt it.
Everyone wants to look great naked. Everyone wants to be attractive to the opposite sex. I want everyone to have that too. The thing I do see however is that if this is your ONLY goal then it is much easier to give up when you are not seeing results.
If you set out to lose weight and you do not it is easy to say you failed and give up. If you set out to live a healthy life and value your health it is very hard to give up on that because then you are literally giving up on yourself. It is a powerful nuance.
Now people can also debate the question of what is health. I used to think it was simply how a person feels. Then Dr Greg Venning pointed out to me that it is also very much about how you function. For example you may feel great but have early stage Cancer. Your gut may not work as well as it should. Your mobility may not be great. So now I consider it how I am feeling and functioning.
What is a healthy choice is minefield these days. Different experts will argue the same thing healthy and another will say it is unhealthy leaving a consumer very confused. For the purpose of this topic try not to get caught up in that. Value your health and do the things you believe after your research etc to be healthy. For me it may be only eating real food. For you it may be being a vegetarian.
Say a daily mantra
I will leave you with another powerful tool. Mantras are powerful and affirming. Each day when you wake up say something like.
“My name is XXXXX and I value my health. I want to be healthy by making the healthiest choices today.”
Feel free to personalise it and make it sexier. But say it every day until you truly believe that is who you want to be.
Create an identity around health
Very closely related to this topic is the idea of creating an identity for yourself associated to health and the identity-based goals and habits we form as a result.
Eric wrote 2 powerful articles on the topic. Very worth reading:
- A simple technique for making your healthy goals and habits part of your identity
- How to set healthy goals that stick
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.