My Journey To A Healthier Ever After – Do I Want This Bad Enough?

If you're just joining me on my journey to a happier ever after, you may want to peek at the first three posts of the journey:

Health and Wellness Awareness

There is a big push going on in the US to raise awareness in the area of health and wellness. While I do believe there are plenty of people out there completely unaware of what consitutes a healthy lifestyle – and while I think raising awareness is a noble task – I think the true problem lies somewhere else. I don't think awareness is the issue – I think the true problem lies in the motivation to change. While most of us aren't experts in nutrition and exercise science – most of us know which foods are good and which foods are bad. Most of us know that it's about eating better and moving more. Most of us know that eating an entire bag of Cheetos in one sitting is probably not the best thing for us.The problem is that most of us don't care.

We know what to do – we simply don't want to do it.

I can hear the concerned wellness advocates saying, "Well then let's motivate them!"

Despite the fact that I'm a motivational speaker, or maybe because I am a motivational speaker, I know that you can't motivate others to change their lives.

indignant-babyForcing someone to buy a smaller sized soda is not motivating them to make a lifestyle change – it's just telling them what to do. And if you want to see someone run from your way of thinking – force it down their throat. The first step to stopping an unhealthy habit is to take accountability. Just ask someone in AA. The program can not start until you admit you have a problem. I don't think AA would work as well if you cut down the size of the bottle their Vodka comes in.


Motivation has to come from within.


As much as I like to think motivational speakers change the world – we really don't. We just give you the courage to change your world.

So that's why I was stuck in an unhealthy lifestyle – not because I didn't know, but because I didn't care.  Well, now I care. Now I have finally realized that this current path is unacceptable. But I'm still faced with the same question:

Do I want this bad enough?


I'm honest enough to know that while I am committed (once I say I'm going to do something, by golly, I do it!)  I haven't tapped into that place inside myself that makes me desperately want this. That same place that makes me desperately want to write a book – land a big gig – have bigger hair. I want to be as motivated about my health as I am motivated about my career.

I am going to make myself want it bad enough.

Yes, you heard me right. I'm going to make myself care. Sounds weird. And you can't do it for me. I HAVE to do it for myself. And the way I figure it, I can do one of two things – maybe even both.

I can lie to myself.

I can tell myself "I want this" over and over and over and over until I believe it. The mind has amazing power and this will probably work. So I think I will try it. Later I'll work on my lying habit.

I can tie this goal I know I should want, to a different bigger goal I really want.

Okay, so over here on the left there's this new healthy living goal that I know I need to create.  And over here on the right is this super burning all-consuming desire to write the best darned one-woman show the world has ever seen.  (Okay, so it's a bit dramatic – but you get my point.)  I don't need to motivate myself for the one on the right – it burns from within me. So now I'm going to take that lukewarm goal on the left and tie it into the one on the right – and it doesn't even require a super amount of flexibility to do it.

In other more simpler words – I need to figure out how a healthy lifestyle fits into having that awesome one-woman show. I'm going to think of every single possible thing that could make the left relate to the right. (Insert Wheel of Fortune music as I pause to think.)

Okay, here's what I've got:

  • A healthy lifestyle will mean I will look incredible in my show costume (you knew I would head for the outfit factor first).
  • I think living healthy is good for the hair – so my hair will be incredibly thick and shiny.
  • I'm pretty sure it's good for my skin too – so goodbye blemishes – my skin will absolutely radiate.
  • I will have the energy to dance on stage without needing a  defibulator  defribulator   heart paddles.
  • My arms will probably be toned and buff so I can finally take off my jacket on stage.
  • I will have the energy I need to put on a show, sell product, and visit with the audience.
  • If I change my lifestyle I will have good material to motivate others. No better material than real life!
  • My butt will no longer look big in my fairy tale pants.
  • I will be much more comfortable in an airline seat.
  • I will have the energy for the long hours of travel, riding in the car, little sleep.
  • I will be able to book more shows! Maybe even twice as much!  Cha-ching!!!!! Now we're talking!
  • I will look good on stage when I receive my Emmy  Grammy Pulitzer  standing ovation.
  • It will give me an excuse to get more headshots made. And maybe it will be cheaper since I will now be smaller. (Hey, a girl can dream.)

I'm sure I could find even more things to add to this list, but this is enough. I get it. I have connected this goal to the other. And I think this will really help me want this bad enough. But I'm not done. Writing the list isn't enough.

I will post this list where I can read it every day. I might even create a vmotivational-speakers-kelly-swanson-wanting.jpgisual of these things – a picture of the new me perhaps.

And I will read this every day – over and over – and visualize how this goal relates to my even bigger goal.

I will tell myself I want this bad enough every day, until one day I wake up and find that I do want this….just because.



Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. Kelly you are on to something! When I took off those 50 lbs (even though I have 10 back on I want credit for the full 50!!) I made a similar list. Went up in the pantry because that was my go-to location for tasty treats. Those of you thinking, just remove the treats from the house, slow down. It wasn't that simple since I lived with a snack king who didn't share my beliefs. Which is why after 18 years, he's the Ex Snack King. But I digress…I made a committment to myself to re-read the list before my hand could enter the zone. Most times it worked. When it didn't, I simply recommitted to my goal and stopped beating myself up for the choice that was now history. Back to the present. The gift. Like your journey.

  2. Good for you Kelly. Good, good, GREAT for you! You are finding what motivates you from within. So I'm going to go write a blog post that might help you (and me and all of us) as well. It's funny, I think I've written it before, and I think you've read it. But (and here's a really important point) INFORMATION THAT CAN REALLY HELP US ACHIEVE SOME DESIRED THING WON'T EVEN REGISTER ON OUR RADAR SCREEN UNTIL WE HAVE SOME REASON TO NEED IT.  That's why I've heard something in the past and dismissed it with, "Yeah, that's cool That makes sense." without actually USING it!  Stay tuned.

  3. I believe in your list!  Your list is true and it's all going to happen for you!  Now back to me:  Hi, I'm Polly PItchford, a healthy lifestyle motivational speaker, and I've just been schooled.  Schooled by your honest look at yourself, Kelly, and sharing what everybody goes through to change out of any bad habit.  Your message will help me spread my message of health with a broader understanding of my audience and better tools to change.  Brilliant!  We are all learning about ourselves on your journey so a big THANK YOU and YOU'RE GOING TO ROCK THIS ONE!

  4. You're amazing , Amazing, AMAZING!  :)


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