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Find Your Why

Find Your Why: Staying Motivated to Workout

Finding your why is a big part in staying motivated to continue bettering yourself both mentally and physically. That’s why I wanted to go over my approach toward “finding your why”

Earlier this week I was asked this question by one of my webcam training clients:

“This isn’t really related to yoga, but what do you do when you lack the motivation to work out?”

I’ve had two webcam training sessions in the last couple of weeks where we went beyond techniques and workouts and got into finding the motivation to work out instead.

Yeah, we can talk about ways to trick your body into starting a workout if you don’t have the energy. But what we really need to do is figure out why you don’t have the energy to work out in the first place. The answer most likely doesn’t have to do with your fitness, even if you don’t consider yourself in great shape.

Family drama, unpleasant work situations, and unfulfilled expectations are all examples of things that bring us down, and as they apply to fitness, make us think to ourselves, “I don’t want to work out today.”

So what do you do? How can you give yourself the motivation you need to work out?

The Fear Approach to Finding Your Why

One way is to consider what will happen if you don’t do your workout. What deep-set, internal fears motivate you to exercise?

  • I don’t want my body to have aches and pains during. -> I fear pain.
  • I don’t want to get injured. -> I fear pain.
  • I don’t want to experience the guilt I get from not working out. -> I would feel like a failure if I didn’t workout. -> I don’t want to fail.
  • I don’t want to backtrack on the efforts I’ve made to improve my health. -> I could become less healthy and get hurt. -> I fear pain.

The list goes on, and these are just some examples. It could be helpful for you to write these out and figure out what you fear by not working out.

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The Success Approach to Finding Your Why

More powerful than fear, however, is the hope that your hard work will pay off in the form of success. More powerful than fear is your WHY for working out in the first place; what can be GAINED from working out – not what can be lost if you don’t. This is the most important source of motivation. So ask yourself: Why do I work out?

  • I want to feel more confident. -> So I can be more successful. -> To feel fulfilled.
  • I want to feel physically energized. -> To do what I want to do. -> To experience all of the greatness that life has to offer.
  • I want to be as healthy as I can. -> To be physically capable, to endure hard times, to be strong for the people I can care about. -> I want to feel powerful.
  • I want to have a better body. -> I want to feel good about myself.

Too many of us move through life without a clear purpose. More often than not, we spend our time dreading what we do to make ends meet (which happens to take up the majority of our time), and look forward to time spent outside of work. We avoid our job by partying and numbing the reality. We avoid our own life by becoming immersed in others’, such as when we watch a TV show or cheer for a sports team.

I’m not bashing you because you don’t like your job, or you want a better life.

I’m pointing out that this indifference to purpose in what you do for the majority of your waking hours conditions you to ignore purpose in the rest of your life.

(Maybe you don’t even know what your purpose is, but that’s a topic for another email.)

The result is that we don’t really know what the purpose of our workouts are either. We’re so accustomed to doing things without fulfilling our internal sense of purpose that we don’t even know how to realize fulfillment when we participate in activities in which we involve ourselves by choice.

Getting back to your lack of motivation in your workout – what are you doing it for? Figure this out, and you’ll have more success.


For more information on finding your why, I HIGHLY recommend you purchase the book Start With Why, by Simon Sinek. I read this book once per year to help me get a clear sense of my purpose and overall direction.

Additional Resources

About the author, Dean Pohlman, Founder & CEO of Man Flow Yoga, Author of Yoga Fitness for Men, Expert on Yoga Fitness for Men.

Dean Pohlman is an E-RYT 200 certified yoga instructor and the founder of Man Flow Yoga. Dean is widely considered to be an authority on Yoga for Men. He has worked with physical therapists to create yoga programs for back health and spinal recovery. His workouts and programs have been used by professional and collegiate athletes, athletic trainers, and personal trainers; and have been recommended by physical therapists, doctors, chiropractors, and other medical professionals.

Dean is a successfully published author through DK Publishing (Yoga Fitness for Men), selling 35,000 copies worldwide in English, French, and German; in addition to being a co-producer of the Body by Yoga DVD Series, which has sold over 40,000 copies on Amazon since its release in 2016.

Man Flow Yoga has been featured in Muscle & Fitness Magazine, Mens’ Health, The Chicago Sun, New York Magazine, and many more major news media outlets.

Dean And Dog

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6 thoughts on “Find Your Why: Staying Motivated to Workout”

  1. Great piece on motivation there – you can apply this idea to all aspects of your life. I used to run a lot and some one once said to me that when you lack motivation just put on your running gear and THEN think about it.

  2. Excellent Dean. So grateful to have found you and MFY. You offer so much more than yoga. It’s an overall approach; yoga, diet, other exercise, goals, etc. You are sincere, articulate, thorough, encouraging, helpful, knowledgeable, and do a great job. Thanks!

  3. Hi, Dean. I am here on 29th Jan 2021, having followed the link in step 3 of part one in the launch guide. It is useful to revisit motivations, and thought-provoking to think through ones fears and goals by repeatedly subjecting the last answer you got to the question: “why?”. My list is full of my deepest fears and greatest hopes, and creating it took me all over my past and my values, and got me questioning why I espouse them. Very deep!
    As I scrolled down I noticed it felt jarring, then, to come across your tag line about “non-spiritual” yoga for men. Your blog had taken me in a broadly spiritual direction. I know you don’t want to scare the sheep with chants and specific beliefs that might put men off, but I also see that you do want to help men focus on their calm, thoughtful, vulnerable, spiritual selves. The Launch guide, including its videos, gets directly to those parts. Keep moving purposefully in that direction!

    1. I think it might come down to personal definition of what “spiritual” means. For MFY in particular, Dean approaches yoga from an untraditional, physically fitness based approach. But if in that you still find spirituality, by all means utilize it! We’re all approaching yoga and fitness differently, so we encourage everyone to do what works for them. We appreciate having you in the MFY Community Henry!

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