Exercise Motivation: Finding your Deeper Why

By: Sam Markham

Approximately 5 Minutes Reading Time


Brief Article Overview


  • Uncover the true meaning behind your training goal by applying the 3 why’s.
  • Finding your deeper why will sustain you through the inevitable periods of low motivation.
  • Use periods of high motivation to establish new habits to help accelerate you on the path to fulfil your deeper why.
  • We find that people’s fitness journeys will flux between these periods of high and low motivation, finding your deeper why help you stay the course!




Does it feel hard to find your groove in the fitness industry? Aiming for the magazine cover model physique, waking up at 4am and training until your muscles are ripped? Hanging out in gym environments that have electronic music blaring out, drinking sea algae shakes and finding your best angle for an instagram selfie. Sound familiar? From our experience it’s common to hear from our clients in their initial consultation that they haven’t managed to find a routine that feels right for them. And no wonder!


We trainers at Common Purpose work within the fitness industry and feel confident enough that we don’t often see things from the general public’s perspective. But when we take a moment to step outside of our Common Purpose world and have a look around, we can’t help but feel like a large majority of the fitness industry has just got it wrong. With so much focus placed on how we look and not on how we feel it all seems a little shallow! We can’t help but think we’re being made to row instead of sail.


Take A Moment and Self-Relfect… Ask Yourself the 3 Why’s


With London life being so hectic nowadays it’s hard to take the time to really reflect on why we are motivated to exercise. It’s common to see people sign up to a new exercise plan during a temporary bout of feeling low and emotional which in turn creates motivation or inspiration for change. If this sounds familiar, we ask you to pause, look at your current reasons for exercise and ask yourself 3 layers of the ‘Why’ questions.


Why #1


Why do you exercise or why are you motivated to start an exercise regime?


Common Responses


  • To lose weight
  • To build muscle
  • To run a half marathon.


Why #2


Why have you set yourself these goals?


Common Responses


  • I’m not feeling great about myself right now
  • My lifestyle is a little out of balance at the moment and I haven’t concentrated on myself for a while
  • I need a goal to focus on in order to give me direction, purpose and help me stick to the routine 


Why #3


Why have these emotions/feelings/thoughts affected you so much that you’ve decided to do something about it?


Common Responses


  • I want to improve my health so I can get the most out of myself and life.
  • Being healthier makes me happier, I feel more energetic, confident and content.
  • I want to be my best self not only for myself, but also the people I care about like my children, husband/wife and family.


Harnessing Initial Motivation and Achieving Long Lasting Success


It might appear that we are suggesting you throw away your initial fitness goals and start training for something deep and meaningful, but that isn’t the case. Your New Year’s resolution to lose a few kilograms, for example, is equally as important as the driving force behind it. You could call it a manifestation of internal drives, that you are currently unable to make explicit.


Your initial goal is the actionable step which motivates you to actually step outside of your comfort zone and start a new exercise regime. This is a great and necessary start, but often short lived. So identifying your deeper ‘why’ will help you adhere to the process. It’s also very important to create some targets that can be measured to ensure you keep on track too.


If you’re able to identify these two factors for yourself (your initial goal and your deeper why), then the ability to separate your mindset in this way will provide your fitness journey with so much more meaning that it is likely to be powerfulunstoppable even! We have even witnessed clients set harder-to-achieve goals off the back of this or simply change their focus on achieving something that is more meaningful to them.


Exercise Motivation - Finding your Deeper Why

Such duality is excellently showcased in the Yin and Yang symbol which also plays a part in our Common Purpose logo. Both sides of the symbol are just as important to each other. The light side has a drop of dark within it and the dark side has a drop of light.


You could be someone who doesn’t care too much about exploring the reasons why you exercise in any depth; maybe a simple, measurable goal like losing 4lbs in 2 weeks is enough for you. Well, we’d still suggest spending a few minutes to reflect as you never know what you may find!


Equally, your motivation to start exercising could be something deep like being your best for your children; which in turn means you shy away from setting any targets. Here we’d suggest spending a few minutes trying to create a measurable goal to ensure you keep focused and on track.


Beach Body or Deeper Purpose? Chicken or the Egg?


By chasing a fitness goal will you be motivated enough to train consistently in order to succeed? Or by finding your deeper why will you find the motivation needed to be consistent with your exercise and therefore obtain a fit and healthy body?

Exercise Motivation - Finding your Deeper Why

We humans are incredibly complex creatures and there is more to us than meets the eye. We are infinitely different to one another. There isn’t simply one approach to get yourself the results you desire but taking the time to try and understand yourself can help in many areas of your life. We believe passionately that regular physical exercise will help all of us become the best version of ourselves, physically and psychologically


Our mission is to unlock the potential in all our clients. Help them to become their best selves… for themselves!



Food for thought? If this has encouraged you to think about your health, fitness & wellbeing, why not click this link and fill out our enquiry form. We’d love to see how we can help you on your journey.


Disclosure: This article is not to be used as medical advice. If you are currently experiencing physical or mental health issues, please seek professional advice from a fully qualified Nutritionist, GP or Physiotherapist.