Each Wednesday,  over on The Daily Nag the conversation turns to health.

This week I’m talking about rethinking how you approach goals to your health and well being. If you want to make your goals matter enough to really reach them you need to take a little time and ask a few very important questions. In just a moment, I will walk you through how to ask yourself these questions and get you on your way to achieving your health goals.

Earlier today, I asked on The Daily Nag, “What health or fitness goals do you have or want to make?”

Here are a couple of the answers I heard:

P: “Keeping my blood sugar on track!”

M: “I would like to play basketball again and get back into shape like I was 10 years ago.”

N: “I want to get back into the habit of regular workouts for strength flexibility and balance. For me variety is the key to keeping enthusiasm: weight training, cycling, walking, yoga.”

These are all great health goals. It is so important to monitor blood sugar, get back into shape and keeping fitness fun with variety.

The following strategy may be just what you need to attain your health and fitness goals.

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Finding “Your Motivating Factor.”

Mike, (name and sensitive details altered to honor clients privacy) an author and illustrator of children’s books, came to me to work on some deadline challenges. On his second nag call, he mentioned that he wanted to quit smoking and wondered if nagging could help with that. I said it could. This is what I suggested to Mike and what I will suggest you try if you want to change some health or physical aspect in your life.

Step one :

Ask yourself “WHY do I want this change?”

I asked Mike, “why do you want to quite smoking?”

He answered, “well, it’s bad for me, and I don’t want to die from lung cancer.”

Step Two:

Ask “why” again.

That sounds reasonable, I said to Mike, “why don’t you want to die from lung cancer?”

He was quiet for a few beats, probably wondering what kind of nutter he was working with, then said “I don’t know, I don’t want to die yet.”

Step Three:

Question your answer…

Why don’t you want to die yet, Mike?”

I have stuff I still want to do.”

Step Four:

Keep asking!

I asked Mike, “what kinds of stuff do you still want to do?”

We kept peeling the onion until we got to something very interesting. Mike, I learned, has had a life long dream of turning his stories into shorts. He wants to do every aspect of producing short videos of the stories he’s written. He’s especially attracted to claymation for this end. Death is clearly a detriment to dreams.

I suggested that for the next week, each time he felt like smoking, he instead played with some clay, looked at one of the claymation websites I suggested, like  http://library.thinkquest.org/22316/home.html or start a storyboard for his first short.

The experiment worked better than either of us could have guessed. His smoking is down by nearly 3/4th and he has set a date to stop smoking all together. He said to me that he really loves having this interest take shape without smoke permeating the activity. That the work has been smoke free from the start, Mike said, “I feel really proud of myself.”  My bet is Mike will be an ex-smoker by the time his first short is on its first edit. Go Mike!

Now you give it a try.