Start with ‘WHY’

I spent a fortune on a trampoline

A stationary bike and a rowing machine

With fancy gadgets to read my pulse

And others to progress my results

With gadgets to show the miles I’ve charted

But it left off the gadgets that get me started.

Dorthy Heller’s poem may be an old one but it’s still entirely true today. No matter what latest gadget you invest your hard-earned money in, the fact is this; you’ve still got to use it in order for it to work for you. No one can do that part for you. You have to get started and then, you have to keep going.

The Peloton needs to be ridden, the trainer needs to be met with, the veggies need to be eaten and the water needs to be drank. Today, tomorrow and the day after that; even if you’re not in the mood and even if you have a million valid reasons why you can’t do it, you still need to show up in order to make long-term healthy changes.

I’ve had people tell me they’ve hired a personal trainer because he or she will hold them accountable, make them eat healthier and ensure they do their workouts. They are only partly right.

If there is one thing I’ve learned as a coach, it’s that I cannot take credit or blame for anyone’s success or failure. Yes, I am there to support, guide, cheer, and ensure they show up for their daily dose of exercise, but their hard work in that session is on them, their commitment to making healthy changes outside of the time I am with them is up to them, and as such, their results are completely theirs and theirs alone.

Those who achieve success have done so because of their own efforts and therefore, they deserve the credit entirely. The same goes for those who hire the trainer but don’t show up, don’t choose the healthy choices, and don’t drink the water. Their lack of commitment and consequences as a result, are on them. It’s not their trainer’s fault that they didn’t get started and keep going, it’s theirs.

The point is no one can do it for you. You need to do it for yourself and if you don’t, that’s no one else’s fault and if you do, that’s to no one else’s credit. It’s OK to need help – we all need help – in fact, those who seek out support are more likely to be successful but the true secret to getting started and then not stopping goes deeper than having good people in your corner. It starts with knowing WHY living a healthy lifestyle is important to you.

When you know why you want to do it, it’ll be easier to keep doing it. Discovering your why will give you the drive on the days you’re not in the mood. Maybe you want to be able to keep up to your grandkids, or go scuba diving or parasailing when you’re 86; maybe you want to have more energy, prevent high blood pressure and keep the unhealthy pounds off.

Whatever your reason, finding it will be what gets you started and keeps you going. And that’s a gadget you don’t even have to pay for.


This is a monthly opinion piece; Alison Brown is a local business owner, mother and published author.

Alison Brown