#12: Know Your Why

“If you haven’t satisfied your why, then starting a challenge is inevitably likely going to fail for you. And people blame themselves or they blame the challenge and I think it’s both. I think sometimes it’s just… you’ve chosen something that doesn’t really match up with your real goal…At the end of the day you can’t spend 3 weeks or a month or 3 months committed to a program if you don’t really have some reason why you’re doing it in your gut.” – Diane Sanfilippo

“The Know Your Why Initiavtive” is something that came to me when I read the above quote. Diane was speaking about why people don’t finish a lifestyle challenge. She concludes that people either start for the wrong reason or forget why they started. Unless we work from why we started then we will ultimately fail. Meaning, if you start a diet challenge because it is just that time again then you will not be as successful as you otherwise could be.  If I tell you to start a diet challenge to reach a specific goal and that is why YOU want to do it then you have a greater chance at long term and sustainable success.

Often times folks will start at the gym with tons of energy and goals. Somewhere along the way one of several things happens. They start hitting their goals. Things are going well so they bump up to 4 or 5 times per week. They start using heavier weights and lose focus on form. Then they get injured or burnt out and forget why they started. They started so they can move better and have more energy. Know your why.

Another thing I see is a person will start because they want something more challenging. They get into the groove and are really excelling. Far exceeding anything they thought was possible of their body. They hit many peaks but when the valley comes they forget about all they have accomplished. They forget all of the challenges they have overcome and goals they have reached. They get down on themselves. They forget why they started. Know your why.

We have a wide variety of skill levels in our community. That is the beauty of the program. It can be scaled for anyone. One thing this dynamic creates is a bit of envy. Say a person starts because they want to get stronger. They are getting stronger but another person that started at the same time as them is progressing more rapidly. Maybe because of effort or maybe just because of genetics. The person who is progressing slower gets frustrated and quits. They forgot why they started. Know your why.

We are always so focused on needing to do more that we need to be reminded of what Art Williams said. He said, “All you can do is all you can do but make sure all you can do is enough.” It is good to be able to be in a place where you can be the last one finishing a work out but content in knowing that you gave it your all. And honestly, the community around you is impressed. Impressed by your work ethic and impressed by your resolve to not quit.

If you don’t know your why and you aren’t having fun then that is something that I have failed you in. I take it personally and want to fix it. My why as a gym owner is to give each person that walks through the door the best hour of their day. If I am not doing that then I need to work on me to figure out how to do that better. But I know my why so I just need to get the tools in line to reach that purpose.

So, the know your why initiative is to get us thinking about why we started this journey. Last year we wrote some goals on a new years board. Many were achieved but most were forgotten about.

This year I want to write down why we started (and I want to start this before we get into the holiday rut). Maybe you started because a friend forced us on you. But I want you to dig deeper and find something that is real. You might have truly only started because a friend made you and if so your why will either change or you might end up quitting. Or, perhaps, the friend pushed you over the edge but your why is that you want to be able to play with your grandkids without getting fatigued. Or maybe you why is simply to get a good work out and have fun with friends. Whatever it is, remember it and hold onto it.

To have a long sustainable life you have to make healthy decisions. And I firmly believe that the best, most satisfying and most fun way to do that is right here at 410.