What's Your "Why?" - Erin's Inside Job

What’s Your “Why?”

I train a lot of different types of clients.

Some are there for overall wellness, some need a trainer for accountability reasons, some just need a jump start after falling off track, and some have very specific goals. This latter group is often the most frustrating to work with, not because they have goals, but because probably 8 times out of 10 they are unrealistic and set up to fail.

Just living day to day makes it quite apparent that we are busy, busy people. We enjoy quick fixes and immediate gratification. The problem arises when we get into the gym or start any new fitness routine. We want it QUICK and we want it NOW. Many of the reasons why people stop an exercise routine has to do with the fact that they don’t see results fast enough.

Let me tell you — it’s much easier to put on weight than it is to take it off. It requires WORK and persistence. In a society where we now have a Starbucks app to order ahead because LINES ARE UNACCEPTABLE, it’s no wonder that the time it takes to see results can dissuade a lot of people who have gotten used to that convenience.

Results take time and work. Before starting an exercise regimen (or even during), take some time to really look at your decision and figure out what’s your why:

Ask yourself these questions before (or during) starting a new fitness routine. They may help you figure out why you haven't been able to stick to your commitments! What's your why?

Why are you doing it at all?

This is the most important question to ask yourself. If it’s for anyone else besides yourself, you’re not likely to maintain the routine. True, some people who start out for other reasons may eventually start enjoying it and the focus may shift to themselves, but this isn’t always the case.

My main motivation for working out for a majority ofย my 20s was because I felt that the key to universal acceptance and love was how I looked. Spoiler alert: not true. I felt like the lower my body fat went, the longer someone would stay in a relationship with me. The more friends I would have. That I’d actually have some worth. I had no idea how to operate in a world where I wasn’t constantly striving for perfection. I think we all know how that story played out.

If you’re doing it for a partner, a friend, or — God forbid — society, take some time to really think about your feelings on it. I’m certainly not telling everyone to stop working out (great business model), but if you’re healthy and truly happy the way that you are, don’t force yourself to do something that you are doing for someone else.

Why are you unable to make an extended commitment?

As I mentioned in the beginning, long lasting change takes TIME. You will often start to feel better before you look better. What is it about working to better your health and strive to reach goals that may seem daunting to you? As soon as clients realize that it’s not an overnight fix, they either back up or push ahead. Which one will are you?

Related: 5 Misconceptions About Working Out

Why do you do the types of workouts you do?

Do you enjoy them? Are they the new “hit thing?” Do you leave feeling energized and accomplished? I continued running for a long time even though I wasn’t loving it as much anymore. I had to take a step back and ask myself why I was continuing to push myself even though I wasn’t feeling as invigorated asย I used to. I still think it has its place, but right now it’s just not in the forefront.

Think about what you want to get out of an exercise routine and pick workouts that get you closer to those goals and leave you feeling positive when they’re over.

Related: Not Sure Which Workout Format Is Best For You?


  • Do you ever take time to think about your motivations behind exercise?
  • What’s your favorite type of workout?

16 comments on “What’s Your “Why?”

  1. I’m so glad you wrote this – hmm, we must be related or something! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve always lost weight or started a fitness routine for “someone else” because I never considered myself a good enough reason. Even when I felt great and looked the best I had in years…well, you know how that turned out. As I get older, I know the results I desire will take longer to achieve, but if I don’t start somewhere, I’ll never get anywhere…baby steps.

  2. My motivation was once negative (looks and acceptance) but now I have many reasons to work out: stress relief (for realz), because I want my son to be active, and , this is a big one, I’ve seen (through my parents) what chronic pain and not taking care of your body can do to your quality of life.
    I reeeaaalllly want to hire a trainer but $$$ is out of the question right now. And I think that’s actually a good thing because I’m not certain my desire is in line with my aforementioned “why.”
    Catherine @ foodiecology recently posted…First Haircuts + Taking ChancesMy Profile

    1. That’s good you have more positive reasons now! Have you tried group fitness classes? Less expensive than a trainer…

  3. This is great–I think people often want the quick fix. Thats why all of those crazy cleanses and crash diets get so much money. Theyre quick and easy! Healthy? No! But easy! It took me a long time to find what works for me with exercise and I think it was because I didnt want to look at it as a way of life…it was just something i HAD to do. Like a chore. Now its something in my routine that I enjoy and (most of the time) look forward to.

    I love strength and cardio mixed together. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…Looking UpMy Profile

  4. This is such an important question! It took me a while to find a workout regime that challenges and excites me. It’s hard work on my mat, at the gym, and wherever I choose to sweat, but I do it for my own sanity. It really does keep me balanced. Thanks for this great post! It’s chock full of wisdom. I’ll bet you’re an awesome trainer!
    Rica@Yoga Mat Monkey recently posted…Dear Penis Poster: Get a ClueMy Profile

  5. WHY: because hot damn if I didn’t….. I would NOT be the person I am today! Exercise/Fitness keeps me SANE and it honestly keeps me pretty laid back and I don’t sweat the small stuff. I let it all just roll off the back because I am totally at ease and riding my endorphins wave! ๐Ÿ™‚

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