What is your Why?

By Paul Hunter

I have been working in the fitness industry for 27 years now and a few years ago was interviewed by a person who was instructed to get some questions answered from a “seasoned” trainer.  There were some obvious questions such as, “Why did you get involved in the fitness industry?” and “Do you feel a college degree made a difference?”  One question stuck out, however, and my answer could have gone in a few different directions: “What is your favorite type of client to work with?” Without hesitation, I replied, “The one who is willing.”  I shocked myself with what I thought was such a simple answer. 

Over the years, I have pondered my answer and thought, although the answer is simple, whether the person is or is not willing may not be that simple.  People come to me and other trainers because they want to make a change. One thing I have grown to accept is that whether it be in the fitness realm or looking into other parts of life, change is not easy for everyone.  

Why?  What are great questions to ask of someone requesting change?  A conversation can go like this:

Trainer:  So, what brought you in here today?

Client:  I want to get healthy.

Trainer:  Why do you want to get healthy?

Client:  I have gained some unwanted pounds over the years and I want to feel better.

Trainer:  This may be a silly question, but why do you want to feel better?

Client:  Well, my daughter is coming into town this summer with my grandson and I want to be able to get on the floor and play with him.  

Trainer:   Ah, now we are getting somewhere.  

Getting to the “Why?” as it relates to motivation and change is significant because it can bring along with it the willingness to change.  In the above example, it became not just about being healthy but having a relationship that became important.  The ease of mobility that coincides with getting stronger, becoming more cardiovascularly fit and losing some weight now seems a little more important and creates a willingness to work through things when they become uncomfortable, because they will at times.  

I have seen it written that life begins outside your comfort zone.  If you think about it, your comfort zone got you to where you are now.  You stopped doing certain things because they might have been too difficult to sustain on your own.  That alone can be difficult to think about, but if you’re missing out on goals you had set in the past, think about it.  Was your “Why?” big enough? 

Below are some questions you can ask yourself when you are ready to make some changes in your life.  Remember, you are not a tree, you do not have to stay where you are. 

  1. What is your goal?

  2. Why is that goal important? (You may have to ask yourself this a few times to uncover the real “Why?”)

  3. What will getting out of your comfort zone look like?

  4. Are you willing to listen and gain wisdom to grow?

  5. What habits will you need to change?

  6. Are you willing to be consistent?

  7. Are you willing to be consistent long enough to allow your work to have the effect that you choose?

This becomes a good exercise to do with an accountability partner, whether it be your spouse, a friend or even your family.  There is nothing like going through something challenging when you have a strong support system behind you and encouraging you.  

Make it a Great Day!