At the start of every week, I plan to run three times.
And at the end of every week, I have usually run less than one time. Sometimes once; twice if I’m on a real hot streak.
This is because I’m better at planning to run than actually running. When choosing between making time to run and making time for something else, I almost always choose something else. Getting more sleep, having a quiet morning, spending time with friends, working an extra hour, making dinner—these things always, always seem more practical and important in the moment.
And yet I know that in terms of my long-term physical and mental health, running should always be a priority for me. I’m a much nicer, calmer, and generally better version of myself when I run more than sometimes once a week.
I started November knowing that I could not put “run three times a week” on yet another goal list.
That goal has been there, gathering dust, for literal years. Keeping it there won’t amount to any progress (unless you count continuing to list it as progress), and neither will shaming myself into making it a priority because “it should be.” So instead, I’m running a slant on running, of all things, and implementing a principle from Atomic Habits: Make it easy.
It’s nice to think that nearly a decade after running a half-marathon I still have the endurance to run for more than a minute, but surprisingly, I don’t. I also lack the willpower to make my gym membership something more than a monthly donation to the JCC.
So my new goal is to step inside the gym—and do anything, for any length of time—three times a week.
If I run while I’m there, that’s great. If I walk: also amazing. If I only go to play a game of ping pong with Jenny, that counts! Because the idea is just to show up, repeatedly.
This task is especially easy because I can see the gym from my house. True story. Which only reinforces the narrative that I “should” be able to not only run while inside the building, but run to the building multiple times per week. But you know what? I’ve lived here for three years and that hasn’t happened yet. Maybe because I keep trying to start in the middle of a well-established habit instead of trying to find the easiest on-ramp available.
And I think we can all agree that aside from “walk past the gym three times a week,” this is, in fact, the easiest on-ramp available. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Soundtrack for the post: Jazzy Thanksgiving Dinner Playlist (which is also delightful background music while cooking)
The 45 seconds you spend watching this little boy with a fish he caught will likely be more helpful than entire shelves of self-improvement books. He’s giving a master class.
I made this Shepherd’s Pie for a Great British Baking Show finale party and have a feeling it will be in the regular rotation this fall/winter.
I’m not a hardcore essential oil person, but I started using this cleaning oil from Eden’s Garden with a mix of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and the kitchen has never looked better.