Do you want to exercise but couldn't be f*#ked? Do you ever scroll through Instagram and end up feeling temporarily motivated to drink kale smoothies, eat clean and run your first half marathon, but when you really think about it, you couldn't be f*#ked?!
Well the truth is, a lot of us feel this way. It's been suggested that 90% of diets end in failure and only 25% of us stick with our exercise routine.
Studies have found that barriers to exercise people face are lack of time, lack of energy, or that they find their exercise program too challenging, too hard to follow, or too boring. We all know those excuses are another way of saying “I couldn't be f*#ked”. And we don't need a study to prove it .
Why don't we exercise when we know the benefits will improve every aspect of our life? What keeps us on the couch, in the car, and fixed to the screen rather than on the run, in the park and pumping our motivational music? It’s that tug-of-war in the brain, that delayed gratification, and that unpredictability. It’s that convoluted process, the getting to, form, in and out of. It’s the cold, the heat, the uncontrollable elements. Yes, it's more excuses.
So what can make us un-f*#ked? What can motivate us to get things done? Action. Suck it up. Sink or swim. Not the answer you want to hear? Sorry.
Let's say it: simple motivation is bullshit! Mel Robbins identifies hesitation as the culprit killing all of our good intentions. When we hesitate about getting up at 5am to go to the gym, our brain goes into protection mode. She explains the well-known phenomenon called ‘the spotlight effect’. This is where your brain magnifies risk to pull you away from something that seems to be a problem. Hesitation is this effect taking place, a decision that blocks us from action.
So basically you need to hack your brain to get over this hurdle of hesitation or remain f*#ked.
Mel says we need to change our decisions. Her life's work is focused on the five second rule. Her work started when her world fell apart at 41 years of age; she was unemployed, having lost everything financially. She admits to being trapped in the ‘knowledge action gap’, and continues to explain, “We have knowledge of what to do, and then hesitation hits and paralyses us”. Mel changed her life with the five second rule. She counts 5,4,3,2,1 and then executes what she wants before her brain kicks in. It activates the prefrontal cortex in your brain, requiring more focus to be more courageous and get you moving.
This five second window stops self-sabotage and can change your life. It has helped thousands of people around the world in a plethora of aspects in their life. But for us wanting to start that new exercise routine, this is a must try.
Please share your experiences using this technique or let us know what blocks to exercise you face.
Please click the links below for more information.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity. Physical Activity for Everyone. 22 May 2007.