Why It’s So Hard To Find Motivation For Exercise

Why It’s So Hard To Find Motivation For Exercise
Carly Jacobs

It’s such a common issue for almost everyone. Finding the motivation for exercise.

I think there’s two reasons why this is hard.

1. Sitting down is lovely. So is watching TV and eating yummy things like toast. That’s all very pleasant so why would you really want to do anything else?

2. There’s not really any such thing as motivation. There’s no difference between people who exercise and people who don’t except that the people who exercise, actually exercise. They’re not any more motivated, they don’t have a special motivation button or gland, they just do it. Ain’t the truth super annoying sometimes?

motivation for exercise

I received a few emails from readers asking how to re-adjust their thinking so I thought I’d throw together a list of the real reason’s why it’s so hard to find motivation for exercise… and stop doing those things.

You call it an ‘exercise program’

Exercise should be a daily habit, like showering. You don’t put yourself on a shower program. You just do it every day because it’s gross if you don’t. Stop looking at exercise as something that you do in 6 weeks stints like a bootcamp. It has to happen several times a week, every week.

You think exercise has to be hard and painful

Total myth. At the very least you should be doing 10,000 steps every day plus 3 more intense sessions of exercise a week. That’s it. You can meet a mate and go for a walk, take your kids on a hike through a national park, do a 30 minute workout on your lunch break, join that yoga class your mate has been trying or use that amazing thing called the internet and do some at home workouts with YouTube. You don’t need to go all Gwyneth on the situation and work out until you cry. Just move a bit most days and move a bit more on every second day. Boom.

motivation for exercise

You’re expecting to end up looking like Beyonce

That’s not going to happen. You need staff, chefs, child minders, trainers and a butt load of cash to look like that. Let go of the Beyonce goal. It’s not helping anyone.

You go too hard and too fast

It’s totally unsustainable for a normal person, with a full time job and regular person responsibilities to exercise for a full hour, every day for the rest of their lives. Don’t work yourself too hard when you start out. Baby steps are key.

You keep looking for the magic answer

I’ve tried every kind of exercise under the sun and you know what? It’s all the same shit. Literally. I can do barre classes, pump classes, boot camps, fun runs, strength training and any kind of 45 minute interval session with a weird acronym like KTX or BPG and I shit you not the results are the same. If I sweat and use my arms and legs in combination with any kind of resistance, the results are the same. By all means try lots of different exercises (I never stop trying new stuff!) but stop looking for the Drinking Wine and Eating Cheese Summer Tone Up Program. It doesn’t exist. All exercise, is exercise. They’re just dressed up differently.

motivation for exercise

You keep waiting for motivation

‘Motivation is not always going to be there, so what’s going to happen when you wake up and it’s gone? Is that game over for you? Motivation is like any emotion – it comes and goes, so if you’re going to rely on motivation to get the job done, it will let you down. And that’s the trap – motivation is an often an excuse in disguise.’

– Michelle Bridges

Bottom line? Motivation isn’t actually a thing. There’s no pill, potion or special gene that other people use to get motivated. The only thing that gets you out there and exercising is your own brain and you’re in charge of that so show it who’s boss.

You have an end goal

Losing weight for an event or trying to tone up for summer aren’t exactly brilliant reasons to exercise. If it’s freezing cold and you’re snuggled in your bed at 6am, I’m willing to bet that the thought of looking fat at a wedding in six months time isn’t going to get you springing out of bed and hitting the gym. You need to start looking at exercise as that thing you do every day that makes you feel good rather than that temporary thing you’re doing for a set amount of time.

Also today is podcast day! Here’s today’s episode. Today is all about the things that are bothering us…

Do you struggle with sticking to an exercise program? What has helped you in the past?


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P.P.S Don’t forget Crochet Coach has a free trial offer period at the moment so make sure you sign up!


  1. Elizabeth 4 years ago

    I needed this; thank you. Am surprised at how much I love the Michelle Bridges quote too.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      It was totally life changing for me. I don’t always agree with everything Michelle Bridges says but that just totally resonated with me. I think about it every morning when I have to drag myself out of bed for the gym.

  2. Missy D 4 years ago

    I definitely struggle with keeping to programs, mainly due to life. I used to be very good at going for a daiky 5km rin but it was a habit. I’ve just recently moved to Melbourne for work and this morning I decided to walk from my home (Northcote) to Clifton Hills station. Think I’m just going to try to work excercise in to my commute until it’s a habit again.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      That’s the way to do it! Thankfully Melbourne is a very walkable city. I struggle pretty much everywhere else to walk to enough. Northcote to Clifton hill is a lovely walk and there’s plenty of gyms around too.

      • Missy D 4 years ago

        It is! But I didn’t appreciate the drizzle this morning. 😉 I’m probably going to avoid gyms since I’m not very consistent with gyms… it’s another ‘program’ I won’t stick to, so just going for the tightarse option of doing my own thing.

  3. Kelly 4 years ago

    Totally excellent points … I have a habit of going to yoga on Monday night and running on Tuesday night but come Wednesday night – I don’t have a habit so its so hit and miss. I also have given up trying to be that person that exercises in the morning which has a whole lot of benefits I am well aware but I am not a morning person so why make things harder. I am happy being a night owl – it suits me.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      That’s another really important thing – I exercise in the morning because if I wait until the afternoon, I’ll put it off but that doesn’t work for everyone. You can exercise at any time – it really is all the same as long as you actually do it.

  4. Reannon 4 years ago

    A little while ago I bought a treadmill from gumtree. I told my husband ” 6 days a week I’m going to get up at 530am & walk for half an hour ” and that’s exactly what I’ve done! In fact, I’ve even started running a bit! Normally I find it hard to create & stuck to new habits but somewhere along the way I’ve become addicted to feeling I have when I’ve finished that 35minutes. The getting out of bed sucks & the first 10 minuets is balls but then I hit a groove & im good.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      We bought a treadmill years ago and everyone said we’d never use it but we use it almost every day! If the weather is awful in Melbourne I just jump on and walk for 30 mins before dinner. It’s rad for getting my steps up and I can watch TV shows while I’m on there. It’s the best thing we ever bought.

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