Podcast Episode 062: Motivating Yourself to Exercise with Dr Gordon Spence




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This episode of the Potential Psychology Podcast is brought to you by the Wellbeing Evidence and Horizons Conference, Australia’s leading multi-disciplinary, evidence-based wellbeing and resilience conference. April 28 & 29, 2020. See you there!

Welcome back to the Potential Psychology Podcast and our seventh season of the show. Seven seasons! And it's only getting better from here.

Today my guest is Dr Gordon Spence. Gordon and I studied together at The University of Sydney in the early 2000s and our paths have crossed a few times since. In July 2019 we met up by chance at the IPPA World Congress on Positive Psychology in Melbourne and what began as a quick, 'Hi, how are you?' quickly escalated into an intense and fascinating conversation about Gordon's upcoming book and his interest in exercise, longevity and motivation.

I walked away from that conversation so inspired and excited about the work that Gordon is doing that I just had to get him on the show. Here we recapture that conversation with all of it energy plus Gordon's tips for returning to exercise, fuelling motivation, setting goals and living a long, healthy and active life.

We discuss:

  • How Gordon 'got over his own nonsense' and motivated himself to return to marathon running just prior to his 50th birthday

  • Why we can be intrinsically motivated by something and yet still not act on it - and how to get past that

  • Planning for a healthier, happier future by asking the question, 'How do I want to be in 25 years time?'

  • Gordon's Dad's professional rowing career that he commenced aged 85!

  • What we can learn from those active in their 70s and 80s about living life to its fullest - and healthiest

  • Gordon's tips for 'having a crack' and upping your energy and activity.


  • Ask yourself the question, 'What do I want my life and physical wellbeing to be like in 25 years?'

  • Have a new conversation with yourself about exercise. What did you enjoy as a kid? What have you always wanted to try? What might be fun?

  • Set yourself a goal or challenge - big or small.

  • Create your health and fitness ecosystem. Surround yourself with people who will support you, cheer you on, help you out and exercise with you. Join a club or group. Build a community around exercise.


Thanks for listening! If you've enjoyed this episode we'd love it if you would:

  • Leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher.

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  • Email me and let me know what you're enjoying and whether there's any topics YOU would love to learn about.

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