Find Your Real, Deep Down "Why"

What's My Motivation?

In our last post, we talked about how important it is to Begin With The End In Mind.  Having a clear, strong picture of where you're going on your nutrition/lifestyle journey can be a powerful motivator in itself, and for some people, that vision is all they need to see it through to the end.  They can see the potential reward of better health, improved sports performance, or just looking better naked, and that carrot is enough to keep them going.

Most people, however, need to dig a little deeper to find something more internal and emotional to drive them forward when times get tough.  This is kind of like that "emotional breakthrough moment" you see on those weight loss shows on TV, where the contestant breaks down and shouts at/cries with their trainer over something deep inside that has been holding them back.

While we don't necessarily need you to do that (but hey - if you need to, we're here to listen!), we do need you to take things to a more emotional level so that you have something really meaningful to you to help you push through the rough times.

To help you discover your true, deep down motivation for your nutrition/lifestyle journey, we're going to use a process similar to that used by organizations like NASA and manufacturers like Toyota to identify reasons for equipment/product failure, and by hospitals and government organizations in tracing back the source of infections or financial crises.  In those organizations, this process is sometimes referred to as "Root Cause Analysis", where they work backwards from a problem that has occurred and keep asking "Why?"  Why did something happen?  What caused it?  They keep asking why until the originating source of the issue has been identified.

For us, we're going to work backwards from your initial answer to the following question:

"Why do you want to do this?  I.E. Why are you on this nutrition/lifestyle journey?"

Once you've answered that question, we're going to ask why again...and again...and again...and again.  We're going to go ask why a total of five times, to try and get to the real, deep driving factors for you.

As a very personal example, here are my 5 Why's for starting my own journey back in 2005:

  1. I want to get in shape and lose weight.
  2. Because my wife is expecting our first child, and I don't want to be one of those dads who can't play with his kids because he is too tired and out of shape.
  3. Because I want to be actively involved in my kids' fun times, not just be a "grumpy dad" who they always got in trouble with.
  4. Because I want to set a good example for my family and be someone they look up to.
  5. Because I want to be loved (and remembered when I am gone) not just because I am the "dad" or "husband", but because of the kind of person I am.

Now, it may be that more than one of your answers really speaks to you and resonates within you.  For me, my answers 3, 4 and 5 above have never changed since that day many years ago because they are really meaningful and important, and they drive me not just in terms of my physical fitness, but in every area of my life.

That is the kind of meaning that we are looking for in your answers when you go through the 5 Why's exercise.


The 5 Why's Exercise

As you go through the exercise below, try to answer the why's intuitively, without over-thinking them.  If you spend too much time thinking about it, you may end up answering based on what you think other people (society, friends, family) would say, rather than your own internal reasons.  If you can't answer within about 10 seconds to a minute, walk away, clear your head, and come back to the exercise.

Write your answers down on a piece of paper, in your own journal, or somewhere you can refer back to them when the going gets tough.

  1. Why are you doing this - I.E. Why are you on this fitness/nutrition/lifestyle journey?  (You can answer here with either the first thing that comes to mind, or maybe with something from your "End Game" you set out in the exercise from our last post)
  2. Why? (Without over-thinking it, answer why that answer above is important to you. Spend no more than a minute or so thinking about it, as over-analysis can result in a less true, less emotionally-resonant answer.)
  3. Why? (Without over-thinking it, answer why that answer above is important to you. Spend no more than a minute or so thinking about it, as over-analysis can result in a less true, less emotionally-resonant answer.)
  4. Why? (Without over-thinking it, answer why that answer above is important to you. Spend no more than a minute or so thinking about it, as over-analysis can result in a less true, less emotionally-resonant answer.)
  5. Why? (Without over-thinking it, answer why that answer above is important to you. Spend no more than a minute or so thinking about it, as over-analysis can result in a less true, less emotionally-resonant answer.)

If you need help going through this exercise, feel like working with a coach can help you reach your goals (HINT: It Can!), or just have a question about training or nutrition, feel free to Contact Us - we'd love to talk to you.


We hope that we've given you some valuable info to help you on your journey, or at the very least given you something to think about!  If you like what you see, please let us know and help spread the word by liking and/or following us on Facebook and sharing this with your friends.  Thanks!  ---Coach JP