To truly succeed at your fitness goals, it has to be more than physical.  There are so many benefits other than getting a great physique.  To exhibit this point, I went to several Google+ communities and asked the question: “Why do you workout and live a healthy lifestyle?”  Check out these awesome, all inclusive responses.  Thanks to everyone who participated!

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As you see, almost none of these individuals stated anything about aesthetic goals.  To succeed in living a healthy lifestyle, it can’t be strictly superficial.  It needs to be deeper than that.

This goal of deeper meaning can only be chosen by you.  It has to be aligned with your core values in life and what you see as most important.  As you see above, for each person this deeper meaning and purpose will vary greatly.

As far as my inspirations, I want to be around for a long time.  I want to be able to see my nephews grow up into men.  I want to be able to move, play and feel young for as long as I can.  Fitness has never been about aesthetic goals for me.  My goals have always been performance based and about being healthy.  Even when I decided to play football as a freshman in high school it was because I needed to find a way to lose weight, not because I loved football.  I was fat and unhealthy and figured this was my best shot to get in shape.  The love for the game was a by-product of my weight loss goals.

The biggest benefit to living an active, healthy lifestyle has been the development of character traits that I would have never developed otherwise.  I learned how to work hard toward my goals.  I learned about goal setting, failure and how to bounce back from these failures.  I have learned how to handle adversity.  My lifestyle has made me resilient and developed a level of self-esteem that I am truly proud of.

In the end, the aesthetic goals will dissipate.  You won’t always have rock hard abs, you wont always be able to deadlift 500 lbs, and you won’t always be able to bench press 400+.  But what can never be taken from you are the character traits you develop on your path to these goals.

Make it about something deeper.  Make it about something more meaningful.  Make it about YOU!