Tonight Andie will ask me if I’m going to the gym tomorrow morning to which I’ll playfully respond, “is tomorrow Thursday?”
After rejoining the gym in late Summer, I struggled for months to actually go. I had what I felt were valid excuses and could never find the right time to go.
Though the quote below is geared towards creativity, I find it fits perfectly with exercise as well:
“It’s vital to establish some rituals—automatic but decisive patterns of behavior—at the beginning of the creative process, when you are most at peril of turning back, chickening out, giving up, or going the wrong way.” - Twyla Tharp
There are always so many reasons to not do the things our highest selves are calling us to do. We can’t trust that in any given moment we’re going to have the energy, the mindset, and the willpower to make the best decision. Therefore, we need structural discipline. Or, as Twyla Tharp puts it, “automatic but decisive patterns of behavior.”
My Tuesday and Thursday morning workouts at the gym, pending sickness, are now automatic patterns of behavior. I decided when I would go to the gym, and consequently, decided when I would not work out. I don’t have to think about it anymore…Should I go workout now? Should I work out later? When am I going to workout next?
I took all the guesswork out of it. Tuesday morning, Thursday morning, Tuesday morning, Thursday morning.
“Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.” - W.H. Auden
There’s no more questioning and no more guilt. Instead? Peace and confidence.
Is there anything in your life that you’ve been thinking you could be doing more of? What does more look like? How many times per week? Specifically, when are you going to do that thing?
When are you going to exercise, to meditate, to draw, to connect with friends and loved ones, to get to bed early, to read, to write, to dance, to do yoga, to take a bath, to do what you care to do?
Start small. I didn’t whimsically decide that I would make it to the gym 6 times per week.
Doing something that matters to you and that helps you to live better once per week, if done consistently, can make all the difference.
Decide what matters to you, create a ritual, and enjoy.