Motivate: (verb) to provide someone with a reason for doing something.
These days, when we hear the word “motivation” we think of motivational speakers, motivational videos, and the feeling we get when we are exposed to these. That feeling like you could conquer the world and not look back. But, as with all other things, that feeling fades, and so does your motivation. So what do you do when it’s 5 am and your alarm is screaming at you to get out of bed, or when you’re on mile 4 of a 12 mile ruck and your shins and knees are telling you that it would really be okay if you slowed down a little? At these moments, when there’s no one else there with you and it’s you against yourself, you need to have a good “why”.
Why have a why?
Before you embark on any endeavor, you need to have a reason why. Everyone has a reason they want to do something, but how often do you think about it? And is it powerful enough to dynamite you out of bed on that cold rainy morning when you’re staring a 5 mile run in the face? As a college student, I would go to the gym and see my buddies doing endless bicep curls day after day while I was getting after it on the squat rack or fighting to hit a new deadlift PR. Now I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with doing bicep curls, because they absolutely have their place, but as aspiring military officers, should they have been focusing on having bulging biceps? That’s debatable. One day, after seeing a guy on the chest press machine for the third day in a row, I went over and asked him what his goals were, and why he was getting after it every day on chest press machine every day. “Bro, spring break is in two months and I gotta have the perfect spring break bod”. I didn’t push the issue, but is that a good reason why? Would having the perfect spring break body get you out of bed in the morning, or give you a reason to keep pushing when it’s just you? Maybe, but probably not. That’s a great goal, there’s a difference between a goal and a why.
Define your why
So what would be a good reason why? That’s up to you to decide, but I can help point you in the right direction. The first step is determining what is important to you in your life. Is it your family? Your career? Your health? Next, how does your goal apply to that aspect of your life? For example, in the instance of your family, how will getting in better shape impact your relationship with your family? How about the ability to play with your kids longer than you could before, or keep up with your significant other on those long walks on the beach. Or maybe it could be that a healthy lifestyle would improve your longevity, allowing you to spend more time on Earth with your family. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide, but these are the things you should consider when you’re coming up with your “why”. So how will you know you found the right why? It may seem simple, but ask yourself why you’re doing something. Then ask yourself why you answered the way you did. Then you ask yourself why you answered that question the way you did. Keep asking yourself why until you can’t answer anymore, and then you will have reached your core “why”.
The Power of the Why
Having the right “why” is paramount to success. If you will recall from my earlier blog post, I talked about the power of consistency. Having a solid “why” will give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning. It will give you the motivation to push out that last rep, or the power to keep running when your legs are screaming and your lungs are burning. Powered with the right motivation, you will be unstoppable.
My goal is to build a community of like minded individuals who want to get after it every day become the best versions of ourselves. If that sounds appealing to you, or if you’re looking for a place to start on your fitness journey, contact me at email@example.com.