Health Resolutions, Live Consciously

How Digging Deep Into What Motivates You Can Help You Live Healthier


Natalie Jill is a super influential sports nutritionist known for her online food and fitness programs (and is a good friend of the Nutritious Life team!). But the core of her advice is that to get healthy, the right mindset is more important than any meal plan, shopping list, or workout video. Her new book, Aging in Reverse: The Easy 10-Day Plan to Change Your State, Plan Your Plate, Love Your Weight hones in on this idea. “Changing your state is that missing link that makes transformation possible,” she says. To do so, she lays out ten steps. Here, she shares one of the ten that can help you get to the crux of what personally drives and motivates you.

Find Your Driving Core Motivator

By Natalie Jill

Your driving core motivator, or DCM, is your “why,” taken a few steps deeper. It’s the real, soul-searching reason you want to make change. It’s why you get up every day, and it’s what makes all the work you do to get there worth it. You can go ten levels deep to get at your why, but your DCM will be found as the feeling behind that why. Once you’ve found your DCM, declare it. Let it become you. It’s what’s going to define how you act in the world as you work your way toward realizing your goals.

Your DCM is something bigger than you. Maybe you want to reclaim your energy. You want to get out of bed without dreading getting dressed. You want to be out of pain. Or you want to be a role model to your kids. Your DCM is usually connected to something you really care about. It will change depending on where you are at in your life and what your current goals are. Mine has changed many times throughout my life.

My first DCM emerged more than twenty years ago when I lost my father. I was very close to my dad. He was my everything, my sense of worth in the world, and he was the person I went to for approval and validation. When he died of a heart attack at the young age of forty-nine, it shook my world. He didn’t smoke or drink, and he wasn’t overweight. How could someone so healthy just die? But when I learned about hidden factors, such as clogged arteries and visceral fat (fat around the organs), I got a different perspective on fitness, diet, and health. People might have thought I was working out because I wanted to look and feel a certain way. Of course, that was true, but my DCM became deep health and not repeating my dad’s cycle.

Natalie Jill

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Years later, after having my daughter, I went through a divorce. I fell into a depression, gained weight, and felt stuck. Just telling myself I should lose weight wasn’t enough to motivate me. But I wanted to have energy to play with my daughter, watch her grow up, and give her the confidence to be her best self. I wanted to be the healthiest role model for her possible. And I didn’t want her to go through the same type of loss that I experienced. That was when being there for my daughter became my DCM. Focusing on my daughter as my DCM is what has allowed me to keep going for the past decade. Deciding to lose the fat allowed me to gain energy and increase my self-esteem. I had a new passion, which led me to build a business and a new career helping people.

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Through that new career, I’ve added someone else to my DCM: you. If I don’t eat an unprocessed diet and stay in shape, I let you down. I need to look, feel, and be the part so I can stay true to my words. My motivation is to motivate you to find your DCM and realize your goals!

Now is the time to dig deep. So many of us want to feel better, but is the way we are currently feeling serving a purpose? What would it take to take your health back? What would happen if you realized all your goals? What is holding you back? Get curious, like a child, and ask yourself lots of questions. What really drives you? That is your DCM.

Aging in Reverse

Exercise: Finding Your Driving Core Motivator

Take the time, space, and focus to identify your why. Then, go several levels deeper to reach your DCM.

For example:

How do you want to feel?

I want to get my energy back and feel motivated.

Why is having energy and feeling motivated important?

Because I want to be social and have fun again and be excited about my day.

Why is that important to you?

Because right now I feel lonely and sad.

What happens then?

I get depressed and isolated.

There it is: The DCM is I want to feel connected.

This exercise can be applied to any goal or vision you have, whether it’s a personal goal or a physical one. Only when you get to your DCM will you see long-lasting change. It may take some time, but stay with it.

This article has been adapted from Natalie Jill’s new book, Aging in Reverse: The Easy 10-Day Plan to Change Your State, Plan Your Plate, Love Your Weight  (Da Capo Lifelong). Copyright © 2019 by Natalie Jill.

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