Fitness is a journey, not a destination. But without a clear purpose behind our actions, our motivation is bound to waver. How can you find your Big Why? What is your motivation for staying fit?
Your Big Why
Your health and fitness journey is yours alone. You can’t change for anyone else; your motivations need to come from deep within.
Without a clear “why,” you’re less likely to make and attain concrete goals. While goal-setting is an essential part of any fitness program, those goals mean nothing without motivation to see them through.
The first step to success is to clearly define your Big Why. Once you have your Big Why clearly in mind, everything else makes a little more sense, and those goals suddenly become much more manageable.
Discover Your Motivations
Everyone’s Big Why – the reason for doing what you do – is different. There is no right or wrong answer. Your Big Why might be completely different from your Swole Sister’s, and that’s perfectly okay. What matters most is that you identify and embrace the motivation for getting and staying healthy.
How do you find your Big Why? We thought you might want to know.
Understanding your big-picture motivator takes time. You probably won’t understand it or recognize it overnight. But there are a few questions you can ask yourself to help dig down to the core of why you want to get healthy, why you want to pursue those fitness goals, and why you want to keep pushing yourself to reach new PRs.
Ask yourself the following questions. Take some time to sit quietly with these questions and consider writing down the answers (we’re talking pen and paper, people). Over time, you’ll start to understand what drives you to make and achieve your goals – and THAT is when the real magic starts to happen.
Sit for a moment and get real. How do you feel about yourself and your body? We’re talking deep s*** here – drill down to your core and be honest with yourself. Do you love yourself just as you are? Are you happy with your body? What’s driving your need to change the way your physical body looks?
What emotions come up for you when you start thinking about your body, health, and fitness? Jot these down.
Be a toddler and ask “why” over and over again until you are on the brink of insanity. Start with your bigger goal (I want to compete in next year’s CrossFit Open). Then start with the incessant questions:
- Why do I want to do a CrossFit Open? Because I want to prove I am strong enough.
- Why? I like challenging myself to do hard things.
- Why? I want to know that I can continue being strong as I get older.
- Why? I want to be active and enjoy life as long as possible.
- Why? Because being active and embracing fitness makes me feel physically and emotionally well.
Get the point? When you start narrowing your focus, it leads you to the inner motivations that drive your goal-setting. This is your “Big Why,” the reason you challenge yourself to achieve your fitness goals.
Think about your current fitness routine. Do you enjoy the sports and activities you’re doing now? Or do you want to try something new? Is having fun important in your fitness journey, or do you just want to check the boxes and get those aerobic minutes in each day?
What do you hope others say about you? This is one of those tough questions that can reveal what we value most. Think about your kids, your significant other, or close family members and friends. What would they say is your best attribute? Is it honesty? Tenacity? Inner strength? Kindness? Use your answer to help define how your fitness journey meets these values.
Does my current fitness routine match what is most important to me? When you think about your life – and everything you consider most valuable – how does getting and staying healthy fit into that narrative? For instance, if your kids are most important, maybe fitness is one way to ensure you can have the energy to keep up with them outdoors. Or maybe you want to be a good role model for how to live a healthier lifestyle.
Using Your Why to Get You Moving
Once you have a clearer understanding of your Big Why, it’s time to apply your motivations to your fitness routine. Lay out some attainable, measurable fitness-related goals. They can be big or small (lose 10 pounds, reach a new deadlift PR, run a 5k, etc.). As you’re working towards those goals, keep your Big Why at the forefront of your mind.
There will be days when you just don’t wanna. We’ve all been there. The workout feels too hard, the weather is too hot, or the scale isn’t moving as much as we had hoped. On those days, it’s easy to throw in the towel and give up.
That’s when your Big Why shows up.
When you doubt yourself and your ability to reach the goals you’ve set, dig down deep. Remember your Big Why. Then, pick yourself up and keep going.
You’ve got this!