2022-02-04

2 minute read

Advice given on February 4, 2022.

Finding the Will to Exercise

Hey Jay,

While it is winter, I can’t help but think ahead to the summer. When I do so, I realize I’m not in the physical shape I wish I was in. While I don’t know you personally, I get the impression you are reasonably fit and stay in shape. So that being said, I’m hoping you can give me some advice on how to motivate myself to exercise. If it helps any, I am hoping to run more, as I would like to spend more time outside. Thanks!

Bugs Runny

Bugs Runny,

Well one option is to imagine someone is hunting you down like a rabbit! But maybe I can try to provide some more realistic advice as well. Personally, I have found that identifying an end goal or objective for an activity can help me find the motivation needed to do the work.

For example, if you want to run a marathon, it is helpful to find a training plan, and stick to it, to increase your chances of success. You’ve vaguely mentioned wanting to be in some sort of physical shape, but I would encourage you to more specifically define the end goal. Once you’ve done that, you can break up the overall objective into smaller milestones, and chart yourself a realistic path to achieving each one of them. If you are aiming for a target weight on the scale, maybe define your ultimate goal, and then set intermediate targets. This gives you the opportunity to track your progress, and adjust the overall timeline if you find you are unable to drop the pounds at the rate you wanted to. This is normal! If you cannot hit the targets you set, it is not indicative of failure to act or improve yourself, it may just mean you’ve set unrealistic or unachievable timelines for your goals. So I wouldn’t get discouraged if you miss a self-identified milestone, if it happens multiple times, I would just step back and maybe re-adjust your overall timeline to match what is physically feasible for you.

At the daily or weekly level, you need to think about how your actions and decisions will impact your future self. If we think about being in shape by the summertime, that may sound like it is far away as it is only February now. But, how long does it take to get into shape? If you aren’t actively trying to improve your physical fitness, maybe you’ll even slide further from being in shape between now and the summer. The decision to go on a run today is a small but incremental step in the direction you want to head. So just remember to keep the overall time horizons in perspective, and think about future you.

-Jay

Re: Oat Milk

Hi Jay,

I saw your advice last week regarding oat milk. I agree that Oatly is pretty good. As someone who has been on a lactose-free diet for a long time, I just wanted to also point your reader to soy milk as a potential alternative. In particular, I have gotten used to the Silk brand of soy milk and would recommend that to your reader. Silk has been making alternative milks for a while, and I would suggest trying their almond and oat milks as well as the soy.

Thanks for the tip! Hopefully last week’s advice seeker sees this.