By Gavin Buehler
At the beginning of every New Year aspirations for many goals are high, but fitness and health goals especially so. This will be the year that it all falls into place. But how will it fall into place? What will keep you motivated?
Motivation for “fitness” is ever changing, and believe me, it doesn’t come easy even for the seemingly fit. Everyone goes through ups and downs. When I started lifting weights in high school it wasn’t because I wanted to be healthy. It was because I was a depressed insecure adolescent that needed to get jacked. At that time in my life, it was an escape and there was a deep seeded purpose that drove me to keep at it. Having been a competitive athlete I learned from a very early age that pushing my physical boundaries allowed me to access areas of my mental capacity that I may not have otherwise been able to reach. It was a form of therapy that helped me to later reflect and understand my feelings, how to cope and how to manage them. I was very fortunate to have found that outlet early, even though I didn’t fully understand it at the time. There’s a popular quote that circulates in the fitness world that says, “Train like your life depends on it, because it does!” I trained that way because it did.
I’ve never gone to the gym because I like it. I like the results that I get from going to the gym, but it has always been a tool for something else. To use that tool there needs to be a purpose. I’ve most definitely been lost on a few occasions, and I can tell you that during those times I was certainly not going to the gym. Fortunately, in my case I have a lot of reserve funds banked to help see me through the dark periods making it easier to regain my footing.
Now I train for many reasons. My body has certainly seen better days. Old injuries always cause something to ache, so exercise helps keep the hurt at bay, but I can live with pain. My occupation requires a certain level of physical ability, plus what I
learn from training permeates into my practice offering deeper insights and knowledge to pass on. But there’s a lot of people that do what I do and don’t train, so that’s not what drags me out into the garage at -20 degrees. I keep sharpening my tool now because I’ve learned when I am physically healthy, I am mentally healthy, and I need to maintain a level of health that will allow me the fullest experience of life, and all the gifts within it. So, I train like my life depends on it, because it does.
Of course, there’s still planning involved even with purpose. It just becomes easier. If you can dig deep enough to find the true purpose for whatever goal you set, you will find the motivation to keep working toward that goal through all the ups and downs. Over time the purpose will change and that’s okay. Take the time to reflect, recalibrate and regain your footing.
If health is your goal, find a way to tie it into the big picture so that it takes precedence. When I see the cloud from my breath as I exhale while gripping an uncomfortably cold bar in my hands, I tell myself that I need to be healthy to function optimally for everyone and everything else in my life to get the best of me. I reinforce the purpose to keep my health the top priority.
Find your purpose to stay motivated and “move with purpose” for everything to fall into place.
Hopefully these shared thoughts help you on your journey. I wish you all the very best for 2022!