Over the last 14 weeks that I have been working towards a fitness level that I want to achieve, I have learned a lot along the way. I think one of the biggest and notable things I have learned from this experience so far is the importance of a routine. I’ve read about having a routine or a “morning ritual” on many different occasions. Mostly all the ultra successful people I follow and look up to, all have a morning ritual that they do. Tony Robbins will jump in a super cold pool of water, some will meditate, some will workout every morning, etc. These meditation practices and rituals all seemed important to me but I never quite understood the implications.
There is obviously a huge benefit to a daily practice or meditation, for self awareness and goal setting, but I’m not here to sell you on that. To be frank, I wasn’t ever sold on it either. I couldn’t ever get myself to stick to some sort of practice every day. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know how to do it, and I didn’t like taking the time to do it. But right there my friends, is why it’s so important isn’t it? It’s important because it sucks. It’s important because it feels like a waste of time. It’s important because you could do it day after day and possibly not see any real benefit from it. It’s important because you are forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do, every day, and that teaches you something. The cool thing is that it truly doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something. Your morning ritual could be as easy as waking up 10 minutes before you normally would every day, sitting up in your bed and relaxing for 10 minutes. Doesn’t sound too bad right? Try to do it every day for 2 weeks, I promise it will become inconvenient for you. When something is inconvenient your brain will try to talk you out of doing it. What you have to learn and teach yourself is how to overcome that temptation.
Having a morning ritual is effective in two parts. When you do something like the above every morning, it will become an inconvenience (AKA Jumping in freezing water every morning, talk about a big O’ “No freakin’ thank you”). When it does, and you still continue on and do it every day you physically re-wire your brain. You create new path ways in your brain which makes you better at repeating that skill. The skill being of course, will power. It takes will power to force yourself to do something you don’t want to do, especially again and again over a period of time. This will power can be applied to all sorts of challenges you face in life, not just the challenge of waking up an extra 10 minutes early. The longer you do it, the better and better you become at it.
The second reason this is so effective is because you can apply this morning ritual to things that become extremely productive like say, working out. You’ll feel better, you’ll lose weight, you’ll have more energy, a better outlook of yourself, more confidence and all the other wonderful stuff that comes with working out. Which can all quickly create a snowball effect. If that’s not your thing you could apply this idea to so many different productive activities. The important thing that you learned how to do something consistently through training your brain.
So now your saying, “ah I see, all I have to do is workout every day” and no, that’s not right. If you could just simply say that you are going to workout every day and that’s that, I wouldn’t be writing this and you wouldn’t be reading this now would you?
Going back to the title of this post,
How to Change Your Life?
Obviously this is not the most simple question to answer and there are a lot of things to discuss and a lot of challenges that you will face that I cannot cover here or even know the answer to begin with. However, I can say this.
In order to change your life and accomplish whatever it is that you are striving for there are a few key elements to consider:
- Make your end goal clear
- Map out steps you need to take to get there
- Break down your steps into clear obtainable monthly goals (or weekly if needed)
- Start – not next week, not Monday. Start right now
- Stay consistent
That’s it. Do those 5 things above and you will get where you want to be.
How do you stay consistent?
By having willpower and by forcing yourself to do what you don’t want to do.
How do you obtain willpower?
By rewiring your brain and teaching it to be better at listening to you instead of trying to convince you to not act.
How do you rewire your brain?
By waking up 10 minutes early even though you don’t have to, every day.
That my friends, is why a huge portion of successful people have morning rituals. It’s not because it’s fun and enjoyable. It’s because you’re brain is a muscle that needs to be trained and worked every day. A brain is adaptable, trainable, and forgetful. Habits, goals and skills need to reinforced often. That’s why people have such a hard time doing what they want to do. Jumping into something and trying to stay committed when you haven’t trained your brain first is silly. It’s like going to the gym for the first time in a year and trying to bench press 300 pounds. Unless you’re an exception, you’re probably going to fail.
So make a commitment to yourself and start now to improve your life. Set your goal, map out your steps and start. Start by learning how to stay consistent. You need to learn and strengthen your willpower. You need to train your brain first, the rest will follow.
You’re not getting any younger.