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What is Your "Why"?

Taking time to reflect on the motivation for meeting goals can help you to be successful in reaching them!

Recently, I have made a point of asking clients to share their “why” with me. Whether they come in for a BodPod test or an hour consult, I like to find out what is driving them, what is motivating them to even come into my office at all.

Your “why” is more than simply your goal. If you are familiar with motivational interviewing, this is not new to you. Your “why” is the root of your goal. If I ask a client what their goal is, they will likely tell me something like “to lose 10 pounds”.

So I ask, “Why do you want to lose 10 pounds?” At this point they might tell me because that is how much they have gained over the last year during the ups and downs of the pandemic. Understandable. But why did you gain the weight? What would it mean to lose the 10 pounds? Do you see where I am going here? Now the seemingly simple (not necessarily easy) goal of losing 10 pounds has meaning. We start to discover the why, which the client may not be aware of themselves.

Perhaps in this instance, losing 10 pounds would mean that they are putting the ups and downs of the pandemic behind them. They are back to where they started, so to speak. Maybe losing 10 pounds would mean they fit back into the clothes that have been sitting on the treadmill since they have been zooming in sweats for 2 years. Discovering your “why” is a great way to hold yourself accountable because it makes the goal of “losing 10 pounds” more meaningful. It now holds more value than simply the number on the scale because you have assigned meaning and emotion to it!

My clients write their “why” on an index card and hang it on a wall in my office. I use this as a tool for motivation. It is motivation for them knowing that it has been written down (remember the writing goals down is important to being successful in achieving them) and it also serves to motivate others. Honestly, many of the goals are similar—I love to see that! It helps others to know they aren’t alone. Their struggles with overcoming something are similar to someone else’s!

Here are a few of the “whys” written on cards on my office wall:

  • “I want to BE healthy. I want my clothes to feel good and not tight. I want to be proactive in taking care of my body as I age.”

  • “I want to feel great, feel strong and change my generational line.”

  • “To track my progress with CrossFit.”

  • “To gain muscle and be stronger for track season.”

  • “I want to get a baseline to monitor progress towards getting back to my pre-pandemic weight.”

  • “Accountability!!!”

  • “I want to have monthly check-ins to keep myself accountable and get feedback.”

Do you identify with any of these? Have they got you thinking about your own “why”? Write it down, reflect on it and fill up a page to find your true why—keep thinking “what else?” to get to that ultimate “why”!

All content of this blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this blog.

Kelly Sherman, MS, NC, CGP, CPT, is a holistic sports nutritionist specializing in athletes transitioning from high school athletics to college athletics. She has a master’s degree in nutrition and is degreed in exercise science as well as a certified personal trainer. With over 20 years of experience in the field, she combines the best of both nutrition and sports sciences to best help her clients reach their potential. To nourish is to flourish!


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