At the beginning of our second session, emily, a financial adviser in her thirties, was overflowing with excitement. “Michelle, I exercised for fifty minutes every day for six days last week! I’m so happy with myself!”
“I don’t want to burst your bubble,” I said, “but that’s a red flag for me.”
“What are you talking about? It was great!”
“It’s great that you had such a good time,” I said, “but we’re playing a long game here—a lifetime. And that kind of sustainable success won’t be based on you exercising six days a week for fifty minutes, or seven days a week for half an hour, or whatever arbitrary goals you want to achieve. It will be a result of how much you like what you’re doing, ...