Finding Your Why and Why it Matters
Finding your “why” is an essential part of finding your intrinsic motivation for many journeys, but it is especially important for maintaining a very long journey like discovering and maintaining your optimal level of physical health and performance. We are often very good at defining a “what” and a “how,” but a “why” digs a little deeper into an individual’s own resilience and motivation. Keep reading to learn how to do some introspective work to find your why!
The Power of Why
As mentioned above, it is easy to define a “what” and a “how”. For example, when you are on a journey for weight loss your what is losing weight and your how is a consistent, clean diet and regular gym time. This is a pretty standard recommended formula for weight loss and will probably look the same for many people on paper, but the “why” can vary for each person. Is your why because of your upcoming wedding? Or maybe it is for increased overall health for your kids? The “why” has to be truly personal and adapted to you to be successful.
A once had a friend who had expressed a small interest in joining a gym and started coming to CrossFit classes with me. About a week in to her attending the classes she said, “I don’t think I like this fitness life; you have to eat for it, dress for it, sweat for it, shower for it, pay for it, and be sore for it.” Anyone who attends the gym regularly knows all things. Things are totally true but having a why makes them totally worth it. Having a specific, meaningful purpose may help to increase commitment and be that key component needed to maintain your motivation. If you are not sure WHY you are putting the effort into improving your physical health, it is more likely that you will have a hard time prioritizing it when other opportunities come along (such as happy hour with friends instead of the gym).
How to Find Your Why and Next Steps
There is no magic formula for finding your why, it just takes some self-reflection and time to think on it. Some key questions to ask yourself during this time are:
- What makes you feel passionate? How does the gym fit into this?
- What matters most in your life and how does improved physical health extend this?
- What will optimal physical health bring to my life or the lives of others I am involved in?
Once you have discovered your why, you can turn this why into a why statement. Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, recommends using the following format for your why statement: to _________ so that _________________. The first blank should be your contribution and the second blank should be the impact of your contribution. Once you create your why statement write it down in a spot you can see it every day, remind yourself of your why often, and especially visit it on those days when you are feeling less than motivated to go to the gym.