Find Your Why

Last Updated on December 23, 2022 by Kayla

Peter Attia, MD is a well-known longevity expert and one of my all-time favorite physicians. I recently heard him relate eating healthy to saving for retirement.

While the two don’t seem to have much in common, they both rely on short-term sacrifice to achieve long-term gratification.

Dr. Attia suggests his patients write down their answer to, “Why do you want to be a healthy 90-year old?” or age of choice depending on the individual. Essentially, WHY do you want to eat and move more healthfully today in order to create a better tomorrow?

Comparing eating healthy to saving for retirement, Peter emphasizes that saving money today comes at a cost to saving for the future. Similarly, choosing broccoli over pizza for lunch is less pleasurable today but pays off down the road.

So how do we tie our real-time behavior to benefits we don’t experience immediately?

Dr. Attia emphasizes that our brains aren’t wired this way, so we must get specific on the WHY

Why do you want to [insert behavior change here]? Then ask yourself why 2-3 more times… Why? Why? Why?

Let’s tease this out with an example…

“I want to lose weight.”


“To be more healthy.”

WHY do you want to be more healthy?

“So I am not tired and depressed all the time.”

WHY do you want to change being tired and depressed all the time?

“So I have more energy to make it through the day and be the outgoing mom I want to be.”

There we go. We could break this down even further, but I think you understand.

So what’s your “anchor”? What is the future thing that matters so much to you that you are willing to sacrifice some gratification today?

Maybe it’s feeling confident in a swimsuit for an upcoming trip? Being able to climb a flight of stairs without feeling winded? Drop a diabetes medication? 

What is your WHY for making a change TODAY?

Words from the Wise

“… be the architect of your habits and not the victim of them.” 

-James Clear

If you’ve known me for a while now, then there is a chance you know my fascination with the book Atomic Habits. Written by James Clear, this is a read that ANYONE can benefit from.

I recently fan-girled because two of my favorite personalities, Peter Attia and James Clear, joined forces for one of the best podcasts I have ever heard. They review Clear’s book Atomic Habits on a high level.

You’ll hear so many great tips, and I promise, it’s worth the 2-hour listen and maybe even a repeat!

Yours truly,

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