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When you begin your fitness journey, you will hear many versions of the same question:

What’s your goal?

What will motivate you?

What’s your WHY?

Well? What is it?
Well? What is it?

It’s likely that if you and I were sitting down together for the first time in the gym, I would ask you the same thing. When I began my own health journey,I was also asked this question.

What’s your WHY?

Many people talk about setting SMART goals. You know SMART goals, right? Right, we’ve all heard these: Specific/ Measurable/ Attainable/ Relevant/ Time-Bound. Occasionally, I see the R listed as meaning, “Realistic,” as well, but for today I want to focus on RELEVANT.

When you sit down to set your goals (and you definitely should! We’ll talk more about that another time), you need to focus on each aspect of a SMART goal, but if your goal isn’t relevant to what you REALLY want, it’s of no use to you.

Here’s what happens without a real WHY. Let’s say you and I are meeting for an initial consultation. We talk about your goals, and I ask you your why. You say, “Because I want to be healthier.”

Um, who is actually truly motivated by that? I mean, really? We all want to be healthier, BUT we also all have those days where we want to say, “Screw it” to our health and have a beer with a cupcake. Maybe a beer-flavored cupcake. With cake and candy on top.

Instead, what if you tell me this, “I want to fit into a nice dress for my upcoming reunion,” or “I want to be able to play ball with my kids without getting winded.” Now, THOSE are relevant WHYs. Those are the things that will keep you away from that cake-and-beer-cupcake after a bad day at work. Those are the things that will motivate you to get to your workout, even when you’re tired.

Do you know your true WHY? Sit down and think seriously about this one. Your WHY can be completely selfish. It doesn’t have to be about your kids, your family, or anyone other than you.

What’s your WHY? How can I help you get there?

Images from Katie Sayer & Tsahi Levent-Levi / Flickr

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