The Exercise Dilemma

2 Reasons You Won’t Exercise & How To Change Your Mindset

Exercise – You either love it, hate it or tolerate it

Dumbells and exercise sneakers

In this article, I go through the 3 main reasons I believe people don’t like exercise. I will then explain how they can overcome these problems.

Exercise is a process that seems to have a large following mainly because of its advantages in the areas of health, happiness and sometimes in the social aspects. The reasons I believe that people don’t seem to want to exercise are:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Can’t find the time
  • Both

I will first outline the reasons mentioned above.

Lack of Motivation

You know that exercise can help you physically and mentally. It can aid you on your goal to lose weight and live a more happy life. However, you never feel like getting off the sofa or getting out of bed for a 20 minute jog or a 60 minute bike ride.

The problem here is not your lack of motivation – it is your mindset around exercise. You see it as a chore. You believe that every time you exercise, you HAVE to do it. Once you understand that exercise can be FUN, you will in turn want to do that particular exercise more often.

Motivation also comes from within – we as humans need to feel a sense of progress. When we are motivated to do ANYTHING, it is because we have a great desire to achieve a certain goal and feel that if we put our mind and body towards that desire we CAN achieve it. When we lack motivation to exercise or workout, it is either because of a lack of desire or a belief that you will not be able to achieve that goal (due to fear).

You may be thinking “but I do have the desire and I believe I can do it” and that’s great! And you’re actually reading this article so you’re probably ready to take some action very soon or you’ve already started. The problem is not STARTING the action – you hear many friends and co-workers tell you about how they’ve just started going to the gym – the problem is keeping it up as a habit. You need to implement your exercise routine or workout plans constantly throughout the next few weeks and months as a habitual process until they are ingrained into your being. Don’t worry, I’ll explain how later.


Can’t Find The Time

I hear this one on a constant basis from my friends who find the time to watch season after season of the next trending show on TV. I also hear it from people who find the time to go out for meals, go to the cinema, go partying at the weekend. Unless you work 60 hours a week and then come home to another full-time job (maybe you have a new-born baby), you have no excuses. You can definitely find the time, you are just being lazy.

There are MANY home workouts which take up hardly any of your time, from cardiovascular high intensity interval training to other, more mild cardio exercises such as yoga. These can be done in the comfort of your own living room for only 20-60 minutes per day – you can even do them 3 or 4 times a week! Just do it before or straight after work to get it out of the way.

Find the right exercise or workout routine for you, though. The problem with workout plans at home is that they can get boring easily unless you’ve found one that harmonises with you.


How can I change my mindset?

We know that you’re either lacking motivation or you apparently have no time… which you do you’re pretty much just lacking the motivation to find the time and therefore using it as an excuse. So the key to finding your motivation comes in two parts:

  1. Desire
  2. Habits

Desire can only come from you. After you have read this article I want you to go to my Goal Setting Form and set yourself daily, weekly and monthly goals (up to around 3 months minimum) for your fitness/health. Don’t be too specific about how you’re going to reach these goals. For example, don’t have a goal like “I will lose 7 pounds in one month by doing yoga”. Instead say “I will lose 7 pounds in one month”. You may start yoga loving it and 2 weeks down the line learn you hate it or that it bores you.

If you’re new to exercising, at first your daily and weekly goals should be to find the exercise that resonates with you the most. One that breaks a sweat whilst also giving you a sense of happiness and contentment. For me it’s always been martial arts and combat sports. I love striking and grappling – it’s great for keeping you fit and healthy, whilst learning a skill. I also like climbing because it’s a puzzle on a wall that if I get wrong I can fall at any moment and when I get it right I feel a sense of gratification.

Climbing wall exerciseJust a picture of me on the climbing wall.

So, if you haven’t realised already, the point I’m trying to make is that you need to find an exercise you enjoy. If you are doing a gym workout for 2 weeks and find yourself bored senseless then the desire to exercise or lose weight will most likely fade. This is because you are associating exercise with boredom.

Find a type of exercise you can become passionate about.

Once you have found your passion (or passions), create goals around that passion on how much often will you exercise by a certain date or how much weight will you lose? How do you intend to achieve this goal? How many days and hours per day will you exercise per week? Will you do any research to help you achieve your goal?



You are the only one who can change your habits by focusing on what you really want. Once you change your habits by focusing all your energy onto finding your passion, you will find the motivation to get up and do something about your health.