Have you ever started a diet or training program that only works for a short time? Before long you return to old behavioural habits that have you feeling like a failure and wondering whether you’ll ever be able to reach your goals. It can be very difficult to focus on the daily habits that lead you closer to the life you want to live. But it becomes much easier to do if you get very clear on WHY you’re doing the things you’re doing.

It can be helpful to speak with someone who is skillful in helping you to dive down into your thought patterns and uncovering your underlying WHY.

Today’s post has been written by someone who does exactly that. Declan is a Personal Trainer from the UK. He is experienced in working with clients and supports them to stay on track with their fitness goals. He helps break things down and makes them achievable. He also works with other, new personal trainers and supports them in helping them grow as professionals in their own right.

Declan and I would love to hear what you think. If you’d like to share your thoughts or experiences with finding your own WHY, please leave a comment below the article.


Being a coach I do a lot of consultations, which allows me to paint a picture of a person’s life. This is really important before we tackle any change. My aim is simple – find the emotional attachment to any decision.

The thing is, when we make changes we tend to make dozens at the same time. Every new year millions join the gym, try to eat and train like athletes. It lasts two weeks and then boom! It’s over. The night out that turned into a binge, or that one snack that lead to eating the whole box.

You feel like you’re back to square one, but think, “I’ll give it another go” next year.

You end up in a cycle of start, binge, stop, beat yourself up, start, binge, stop, beat yourself up. See a pattern? Didn’t someone once say doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results was insane?

The key is to dig deep and find the golden trigger. If you don’t, you’ll fail before you even start that.

Here’s a typical example of a first meeting with a new client:

Me: If we had this meeting 3 months from now, what would you have liked to achieve?

Person: I would like to lose all the weight I’ve put on since leaving university.

Me: Why is that?

Person: Because I really don’t think it’s good for me.

Me: Why don’t you think it’s good for you?

Person: I just don’t think I should be at this point in my life.

Me: Why don’t you?

Person: Because I feel so uncomfortable when I’m out with friends and family.

Me: Great, so achieving this goal will help you feel more confident when socialising. That sounds like a great goal.

You see what I did there? I had to dig dig dig till I found the emotional trigger.

“Felt so uncomfortable out with friends.”

Now we can begin to make progress. Just because it’s good for you doesn’t mean it’s going to drive you to overcome it. Once you dig deep and find the underlying reason to do something you’ve taken the biggest step.

“Just because it’s good for you doesn’t mean it’s going to drive you to overcome it.”

emotional connections Declan

Once you find your why, the next step is starting to remove the biggest factors that hold you back, one by one. And I mean one by one. As illustrated in the bestselling book “The power of less” by Leo Batuna, when you pile loads of changes at once you are 80% less likely to achieve them.

Start with the biggest thing holding you back and make the change something you are confident you can sustain. It must fit in around your own life.

I had a client once who wanted to train with me 4 times a week. After talking with her I said let’s just aim for one to start with one.


Because 4 times a week wouldn’t have sorted out the daily fast food or the 10 cups of coffee she was having.

I asked her what she felt she could change and sustain, not what I think she should do.

“I think I could prep more meals with some guidance and definitely drink more water”.

“Sounds great let’s start with that”.

Rule number one is for a change to be sustainable, the maker needs to be part of the decision.

Within two weeks she felt a millions times better, more energised and more productive.

If I had have trained her 4 times a week and those habits remained, I would have been fighting a losing battle.

The point is, you need to be really honest with yourself when making positive steps to go forward, no matter how big and small they are. Every journey starts with a single step, not 500 steps!

Ask yourself: What is the biggest thing holding me back, and what habit can I easily sustain to take me a step forward?

Could be as simple as creating a bedtime routine that helps you sleep?

Sounds small right?

But if I told you that when you sleep better, your cortisol levels would come down, you’d be less stressed during the day and would avoid the insane cravings for sugary foods, in turn regulating your metabolism and helping you burn more energy at rest?

Now is it so small….?

Small steps conquer the biggest mountains.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. What small habits have you made that have created big changes in your life?


Declan Doyle

You can contact Declan by email, at declanjamesdoyle@gmail.com