The Power of Rituals

Today I was researching new “stuff” coming out in the world of physical therapy and came across this….Here’s what research says is the #1 ritual you should do every day to be happier, procrastinate less, get more love and perform at your best.   Of course I couldn’t help myself – I had to click the link to find out what this was all about –  because who doesn’t want to be happier, procrastinate less, get more love & perform at your best!?  I know a lot of these links tend to be frivolous, but I clicked it anyway. It was actually quite interesting – but the thing that stood out was how to use rituals to NOT PROCRASTINATE!

Thus, I had to admit to myself that sometimes I procrastinate.  And I have a feeling that a lot of people do, especially if it’s something they don’t really want to do.  As I read, my mind immediately connected this to EXERCISE and many people’s difficulty with not only starting an exercise program, but maintaining a regular routine.  Let’s face it, for many people…including me… life gets busy, activities and schedules get in the way, and the first thing eliminated is that regular exercise.  And, it is so hard to get back into the routine once broken!  But I found some tips that might be helpful in getting into and staying into a routine or a ritual of exercise.

Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit, suggested you use a “personal starting ritual.” When people talk about procrastination, what they’re usually-actually-talking about is the FIRST step. In general, if people can take that first step, it makes it a lot easier. And here’s the best part: your personal starting ritual can be something fun. Anything that puts you in a good mood and gets you going. And that can mean surfing the web or whatever little indulgence you love.

For instance, I’m going to set a timer for five minutes and I’m going to surf the web for five minutes. As soon as the timer goes off, I’m going to do “X” (whatever “X” is to help you take that first step)! Something important to recognize is that you can’t simply extinguish this craving for entertainment or novelty — the things that drive procrastination.  Instead, indulge that craving; but indulge it in such a way that the recovery is very easy.

So, let yourself procrastinate for five minutes….but, set the timer! As soon as that timer goes off, you know that you’re immediately going to start your “X”- which may just be your EXERCISES!

I’m going to try it!  Who’s with me?