After interviewing some the most successful people on the planet, experts know that the majority of these highly successful people have an intense dedication to movement and exercise.
They know what we know about the benefits of exercise, but they will dedicate time to make sure it gets done regardless of what else is on their plate.
Exercise improves memory, focus, our sense of organization and recall, sleep, and most importantly it improves our mood.
So how do we get motivated to keep our workouts a top priority, especially when work and family life are already so full?
Routine. Not just a schedule, but a ritual that makes the process of moving a part of our existence that we realize we cannot live without.
A world-class dancer, Twyla Tharp says it like this:
“I begin each day of my life with a ritual; I wake up at 5:30 A.M., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi, and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st street and First Avenue, where I workout for two hours.
The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual.
It’s a simple act, but doing it the same way each morning habitualizes it — makes it repeatable, easy to do. It reduces the chance that I would skip it or do it differently. It is one more item in my arsenal of routines, and one less thing to think about.” – The Creative Habit
Twyla doesn’t always start out motivated. She finds motivation once she has started her ritual.
James Clear, author of How to Be Motivated Every Day says,
“The key to any good ritual is that it removes the need to make a decision.”
If you are struggling with consistency or motivation to workout, find a routine that gets you in motion. Once you get started, more often than not you will experience that an object in motion will stay in motion.
Meditate for 5 minutes; take 5 cleansing breaths, listen to the same song, sip on tea out of the same mug each day, do 20 jumping jacks.
The ritual doesn’t matter as much as what you decide it does for you to take away the question of whether or not to move forward. As long as the answer is always yes after you complete the ritual, it is the right one.
Get creative and stick with your ritual for as long as it works for you. Be sure to send us your ideas and rituals so we can learn from you too!