Do you workout because you want to or because you have to?
This is an important question to consider because it can make a huge difference in your outcome.
In my experience I’ve seen a lot of people working out because they have to. They come to my gym or contact me online to start a workout program because it’s something that needs to be done. Either they are fed up with how they feel or look, or worst case scenario there’s been a health scare and their doctor basically demands it. In both cases they are doing it because they no longer want to be in their current position.
They’re doing it because they have to and in a way, it’s not really their choice.
This option does work for a while because anger, frustration, and fear are all great motivators. We’re angry at our bad habits or poor condition so it’s time to change. We’re scared of the health risks so it’s time to change. Our current situation has to be different, so we HAVE to change.
But being healthy because you have to creates resistance. Every time you take action you’re pushing against your own desires. You’re not happy with what you’re doing, you’d rather be doing something else, and you need an incredible amount of will power to overcome that resistance. Eventually we run out of will power. Eventually we question why we’re even doing this. Eventually we realize that it’s not something we actually want so why are we putting in so much effort to take away from what we do want. In the end we just do what we want!
However, when you workout because you want to things are often very different. Your perspective changes.
You start to see what you’ll get from the exercise, not what you’ll lose. You’ll see achievement and progress, not failure and disappointment. You see where you want to go, not the bad situation that you have to get away from. You see what you want to become instead of trying to escape who you’ve been.
When you’re working out because you want to, you are never fighting against yourself. It doesn’t take incredible will power to take action because it’s not interfering with your life, it is your life.
Knowing the difference between these two options is important because one has a much higher success rate than the other. I’m confident you can guess which one that is.
It’s my opinion, and I’m actually about to start a project to truly test this theory, that people only see results and truly reach their goals when they workout because they want to. Short term results may be had with forcing and willing yourself into healthier choices, but long term success only comes when you really want it.
Technically you can start your fitness journey from the have to place, but to reach your goals you will need to transition to working out because you want to.
So how do we get to this place of doing it because we want to?
In full honesty I have no idea. For each person it’s going to be different. Some will find it quickly, some will take years, and others may never find it. However I don’t think it’s some magical thing that come to us in our dreams or we trip over in the street. I think it’s something we can discover and develop through effort and trial and error.
If you know for yourself that health is important, but you just don’t enjoy working out or counting calories at every meal, then it’s a matter of trying and testing. You need to try many different programs and approaches to figure out what you enjoy. Tons of people workout for years but when they finally find running they never look back. Others run for miles and miles every week but when they finally find free weights and power lifting their life changes.
Finding a way to workout because you want to IS possible and in my option it’s the only way to achieve results that last.