Yesterday I was talking with someone who wanted me to give them some advice on how to get back to the gym, how to get back into working out, maybe even an exercise routine. I could have answered him with the usual list of reasons why it’s important to exercise and take care of ourselves, but the truth be told, I think we already know those reasons. Instead, I turned the question back around and asked him why he wants to get back into the gym, back into a routine of working out. If slim summer bodies and six-pack abs were really what inspired people to workout, we would be some of the fittest people on the planet. It’s pretty much guaranteed that every month, every fitness magazine on the stands promises us the newest (not to mention easiest way to get cut, ripped, jacked, and sculpted) but it turns out that getting cut, ripped, jacked, and sculpted are horrible, extrinsic motivators. Soon after we realize our genes weren’t sewn together by supermodels, and that in the real world we can’t be constantly airbrushed within an inch of our life, we give up on the whole “working out” thing because it’s too hard and we’ve already set ourselves up for failure by making unrealistic expectations our only goal for doing it.
If you scratch below the surface and go a little deeper though, that’s where you will begin to find the why, the real reasons to workout, to eat better, and to take better care of yourself. When you connect with your why, you begin to discover that you don’t have to force yourself to do things like go for a run, hit the gym or make something healthy for dinner instead of picking up a bucket of fried chicken on the way home. If your why is, you want to feel better, and you notice that taking better care of yourself makes you feel better, the likelihood of you sticking to your new routine is significantly improved. If your why is, you want to be able to be active… to be able to go skiing in the winter, hiking or whatever activities you enjoy, you just took your motivation to a whole other level. If your goal was to have that sizzling summer bikini beach body, and summer is almost over and you still don’t have it, I am willing to bet your gym days are numbered.
Your job is to dare to be brave enough to figure out the real reasons you want to get in better shape, to be healthier, to find your why. You can think of this in terms of exercise only, or you can expand it and apply it to your whole life as well. Whichever you choose, once you connect with your “why” you’ll start to see that every choice you make with will either bring you closer to or further away from it. Find your passion, find your why. Find yourself!