The most common reason people don’t exercise is that they “don’t have time”.  Of course, the knee-jerk reaction by most professionals (even if they’re not saying it out loud) is some version of…..”maybe it’s time to make time”.

There is a COMPLETELY reasonable frustration here because logic says that people have a problem AND a real, free solution that works as good (or better) than most medications that can be done with the pay-it-forward of setting a great example for those around them….When it feels like the person simply does not WANT to make their health a priority badly enough to sacrifice a few other things in life (like screen time, etc), it’s enough to want to scream.  But no one said behavior is driven by logic….

But what-if you fight illogical behavior with an equally illogical (sounding) argument that is based in (actual) evidence?

Try this hack on someone you care about that needs to exercise.  It sometimes takes a few doses….but ultimately, if you stick with it, it ends the “I don’t have time” argument in nearly every case:

Professional: Exercise would really help this

Customer: I know, but I just don’t have the time

Professional: (bait) Yeah, it’s really hard…..everyone is so busy….but it’s so important and the results are life changing for the people who can stick with it. (Long Pause — thinking)

Professional: Do you have your appointment book/calendar with you? What are you doing between 8:02P and 8:07P tomorrow?

*or pick some other obscure time….if they have something, ask about another obscure time outside of typical busy-times like 9:43-9:48P….if they truly are booked, ask….I need about 5 minutes of your time, do you have any 5 minute appointments available? When they come up with one, continue

Professional: OK, I want you to put this down on your calendar, it’s really important so I want you to to put it on your calendar.  Ready?  Write: MY 5 MINUTES NOW BUYS ME 3 YEARS LATER

When they look up at you in surprise (and they will) show them a copy of the following study (which should be one of a few laminated teaching tools [abstracts] in every office that talks “Lifestyle interventions”) while saying:

“I think you’re worth 5 minutes tomorrow…..I hope you do to”… and then move on.