“What is your Why?” by Jesse Dietrick, CSCS
80% of new gym memberships are cancelled by February at the beginning of each New Year. 80%!! If you are like me, that number fires you up. It doesn’t come down to the fact that people can’t afford it, it doesn’t even come down to the fact that clients don’t have the time, it comes down to a lack of a simple three letter word: WHY.
While some fitness pros may know the “why” behind their training, it is even more important that clients know their “why” as well because most of them do not view fitness in the same way that their trainers do. The why for a fitness pro is not to pay the bills, that is an end result. Likewise, a why for a client is not to simply “lose weight,” that is an end result also.
Our WHY is what drives us and motivates us every single day. It is what gets a trainer out of bed at the crack of dawn and keeps them inspiring lives well past the time most people stop their work day. Our WHY as a client is what drives clients and members into the gym in the first place. We may say to “get fit,” or to “lose weight,” but it is MUCH deeper than that.
Here is a perfect “why” from a couple that I train: “We train to be not only each other’s husband and wife, we train so we can still be each other’s boyfriend and girlfriend. Working out together is like a date for us.“
BAAMMMM!!!! How motivated do you think that keeps this wonderful couple continually coming back to Fitness Quest 10?
Without a clear vision of “why”, motivation will fail. That is why 80% of new gym memberships are cancelled come February after New Years Resolutions at the beginning of every year. As trainers, we need to understand this fact and not blame it on our clients. We are very much at fault and while we can only lead a horse to water, we can also make our clients experience much more rewarding and help them find their own “why.”
So how do we find our WHY if we don’t have a clear vision of it now?
Here are three tips that I give both fit pros and clients, especially if either are facing burn out or are finding it hard to stay motivated:
1. Stay disciplined: I love a quote from the Navy Seals that says, “we can choose between two types of pain in life. The pain of discipline, or the pain of regret.” There is no sugar coating this one. One thing that I notice about the successful client or fit pro is that they all do what they need to do, when they need to do it, whether they like it or not. The magic behind this is that if we can stay disciplined in all that we do, it is easier to know exactly what we like and what we don’t like doing! How can we say we are or are not passionate about something if we never truly put effort towards it?
2. Have a “win” every single day: Whether you are a member working out on your own, or a fit pro training someone, the person exercising needs to leave feeling successful. Fit pros: listen to their words AND their body language. If they say that a particular exercise makes them feel strong, fit, or that they actually like it, do it more often! Experiences like this will help reshape a client’s mindset towards exercise and keep them coming back. Finding ways to make exercise rewarding and fun is exactly what clients need simply because the other 23 hours of their day are the exact opposite for a lot of them. The big take away here is that most clients don’t get pumped to workout. It would be like telling a fit pro to get excited to crunch numbers at a desk job all day. However, what can happen is a client leaving the gym feeling like they got better and are more successful than when they arrived which will go a long way.
3. Get Back On Your Horse QUICKLY: Firstly, hold yourself accountable and don’t sell yourself short (tip #1, staying disciplined). Secondly, you will fall off the horse. The most fittest of athletes even fall off the horse. It is not about if you fall off the horse, it is not even about when you fall off the horse, it is about how quickly you can get back on the horse. This rule of “life” applies to everything. The most successful people accept that they will fall off the horse but are also the quickest ones to get back on it because they have the biggest “why.” The bigger your why, the faster you will get back on and move forward.
We all have a “why,” no matter where we are at in our fitness journey. For many of us, taking that first leap towards a healthier life can be scary and a risk. However, without taking risk, we cannot grow as individuals. If we cannot grow, we can’t be our best self. If we can’t be our best self, we will never be as happy as we can be.