On considering our future selves, learning how not to quit, and bodyweight basics

Why do we make decisions that our future selves so often regret?

Choosing self-discipline today so that your future self can look back and be proud of your decisions is no easy feat.

One strategy I’ve found helpful is to refer to myself in the third person (I recently read about the benefits of talking to ourselves in the third person in Chatter).

I feel a bit silly, but I’ve started asking myself the question, “what would future Krista think of this decision?” any time I’m engaging in activities that might impact my future self.

For example, when I’m tired and feeling lazy at night, I’ll look at my messy kitchen sink and ask myself, “how will tomorrow morning Krista feel about my decision not to put away these dishes?” Nine times out of ten, I’ll go ahead and clean up.

Similarly, if you’re thinking about your health and fitness, this strategy of talking to your future self makes it easier to make conscious decisions.

Try asking yourself questions such as…

How will I feel tomorrow if I skip today’s workout?

Will future me think this cookie is worth it?

This way of thinking doesn’t mean you should always decide to work out even when what your body really needs is to rest. It also doesn’t mean that you should deprive yourself of treats.

Sometimes, the answer to the question of whether or not that cookie will be worth it is absolutely — because cookies are awesome, especially when they’re homemade or from your favorite local bakery. But if it’s a crappy store-bought cookie that you’re about to eat mindlessly in front of the TV, the answer is probably no.

The more conscious we get about making decisions that will impact who we become, the more we can begin to create the person we really want to be.

What I’m reading (book) —

Art & Fear  by David Bayles and Ted Orland

This is a short book for artists of all kinds who feel fear, self-doubt, and resistance when creating art. It’s a great reminder that to feel fear and to make mistakes is human, and that we create our best work when we embrace that humanity. We also need to embrace our individuality, as the authors write that “In many ways, becoming an artist means learning to accept yourself.”

One of the most important lessons any artist must learn is how to keep going:

“Those who continue to make art are those who have learned how to continue. Or more precisely, how not to quit.”

(This book reminds me a lot of Steven Pressfield’s The War of Artor some of Seth Godin’s books)

What I’m reading (article) —

How My Son’s Black Belt Reveals the Biggest Scientific Error by Steven Hayes, Ph.D. in Psychology Today

Hayes is a prominent psychologist known for developing ACT counseling and author of over forty-five books. When his son was diagnosed with a genetic defect, doctors told him he’d never be good at anything physical. Hayes and his wife put him in Mixed Martial Arts anyway, where their son soon began to defy all expectations of what he could do. Aimed with the attitude, “let’s see what he can do,” Hayes’ son eventually achieved a Black Belt in Mixed Martial Arts.

The lesson? Don’t let your genes or your story limit who you want to become. See what you can do.

What I’m listening to —

You can do this. You can do this. on the Daily Stoic Podcast

Even the best of the best struggle with imposter syndrome, which is the worry that you’re not actually good enough and you don’t have what it takes. This short episode reminds us that you can do this.

You can do this. You are not an imposter. Don’t be afraid. Do the work. Show us what you’re capable of.”

A quote that inspires me —

“The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity.” ― Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

What I’m training this week —

Bodyweight basics.

Push-ups, pull-ups, squat and lunge variations, plyometric exercises (jumping), and sprints are a non-negotiable part of my weekly training regimen. I consider these “exercise vitamins.”

Three new workouts from last week —

Fighting Fit Conditioning HIIT Workout (12 minute, Jump rope)

Legs + Core Medicine Ball AMRAP Workout (AMRAP, medicine ball)

225 Rep Calisthenics Workout (Time challenge, pull-up bar, plyo box)

And here’s a calisthenics pull-up bar workout I posted on Instagram.

Remember, you can get these and all future workouts right in the 12 Minute Athlete app when you subscribe as a Super Athlete (this is WAY cheaper than joining a gym or hiring a personal trainer! In addition, you’ll be helping to support the site and making future features to the app possible.).

As always, I value your feedback, so please feel free to reply directly to this email if you have any questions or comments (yes, I am a real human). I get a lot of emails and messages, so I can’t reply to all of them, but I do read everything you guys send me!

Here’s to creating our futures,

– Krista Stryker

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