When considering any life change, whether it be buying a couch or taking on an entirely new eating plan, it is important to consider the reasons behind the decision. Do you need a new couch because the old one looks bad, or because there are springs poking you in the behind? Is the couch you are considering comfortable or does it just look good in a living room, and what do you plan to use it for? Will it rarely be used or will the family spend lots of time on it talking, playing games, watching movies and otherwise relating to one another? Purchasing furniture might seem simple, but understanding your values and the WHY behind choices can make a huge impact on the final decision.
The same holds for health-based changes, such as beginning a new eating plan. Are you doing it because you want to lose weight, feel better when you wake up, play with your kids/grand kids more easily, or to attenuate the effects of an illness or looming potential disease? Maybe a new mom is looking to get the pre-baby body back, or an elderly person is trying to prevent hip fractures; the point is, these kinds of motivators must be internalized and understood in order to not only choose the best path, but also to stick with that path in the long run.
Whether we know it consciously or not, our underlying values drive our ability to make and stick with both (seemingly) less important decisions like purchasing a couch, and more important decisions around making fundamental healthy living improvements. If we spend some time thinking about the drivers behind why we want what we want, the chance for long-term sustainable change and incorporation of new lifestyle habits becomes second nature.
The next time you have a sizable decision to make (we are not talking about broccoli vs. asparagus), take the time to align your personal WHY with the choices you have in front of you. Pick the option that best represents your belief system, then sit back (on the couch) and reap the benefits of such a thoughtful investment!