I don’t eat gluten. I’ve learned—through trial, error, and educated guesses—that gluten makes my joints hurt.

But I live with people who do. Every morning, I see the toaster on the counter or smell the aroma of toast wafting in the air after they’ve made breakfast. Some mornings, it really calls to me, reminding me of those easy-breezy mornings when I used to pop a bagel or piece of bread into the toaster and slather it with cream cheese or butter when it was still warm.

So easy. So fast. So YUMMY.

Then I remember my “why.”

Having a “Why”

My “why” is a list of personal reasons why I’m not going to shove a delicious, fragrant piece of gluten deliciousness into my mouth. It keeps me centered.

Here’s mine: I don’t want to slow down. I want to live pain-free. I want to stay active with my kids (and someday) grandkids. I want to think clearly. I want to be around for a long time (I’ve got things to do)!

These are my reasons that keep me from eating the toast.

What’s YOUR “Why?”

Yours will look different from mine. Each person’s is as unique as they are.  Maybe you want to feel more comfortable in your skin. Maybe you want to have the stamina to climb the Appalachian Trail. Maybe you want to dance. Maybe you want your brain fog to go away. Perhaps you want clear skin.

Think about yours. Get really clear. Write it down, draw pictures, or sit quietly and meditate on it. You may not even know what it is right away, but with some attention, “why” will emerge and become clear. And once you have clarity, your “why” will help you stay grounded too.

After all, you can’t get to your destination if you don’t know where you’re going.