It happens to the best of us. Whether it’s over-scheduling, unexpected work/parenting issues, or just the post traumatic stress of 2020… It’s common to have great intentions for starting an exercise routine only to have life and mental blocks get in the way. The good news is, you don’t have to suffer to start a movement practice. My teaching and personal movement practice stems from the statement: “EVERYTHING COUNTS.” With that said, here are 5 tips that can help you initiate and maintain a movement practice this year.
1. Move Yourself First: For parents or those working from home, prioritizing is key. As Kate Northrup says in her Do Less work: “Body First, Business Second.” With kids, it can be a little more complicated, however, when you do a little something before the day gets underway, you’ll be better able to meet the day with energy. It might mean waking up earlier or keeping the laptop closed until you feel your breath deepen from moving your cells, but when you put your movement as the first line item of the day, it’s done – and it feels good to move!⠀Morning Dance Party Anyone? ⠀⠀
2. Schedule in Small Bites: Even perfect plans for getting your exercise in can fall flat. When it happens, have a back up plan. Consider breaking up a full movement session into multiple five minute increments throughout the day. It may not feel as intense, but you will stay connected to your body and potentially keep yourself energized for the long haul of the day. ⠀⠀
3. Motivate With Positive Reinforcement: I’m a huge fan of reward-based or positive reinforcement when it comes to changing a habit. One of my favorite online services is a website called FutureMe.Org that allows you to write an email to yourself to receive in the future. I use this with many of my coaching clients with great success. The premise is that through crafting an email from yourself, to yourself, acknowledging the process you’ve just been through (staying steady with your practice, forgiving yourself for what you didn’t achieve) you set an expectation of supporting yourself. Knowing that email is coming in three months, six months or a year, is an intrinsic motivator that helps keep you going.
4. Motivate With Negative 😬 Reinforcement: This is not my favorite but it does work for some. Holding yourself accountable and creating consequences can be a true motivating factor in staying on pace with your practice. One of my favorite services for this strategy is Stickk.com With this service you can set up accountability consequences that help motivate you towards your goals. I recently heard a story of a woman who put her consequence as a scheduled donation to an organization that she did NOT support as a means of motivating her to keep to her walking goal. If she met her goal, the donation didn’t go through. If she didn’t, she was ultimately contributing to an “enemy.” Talk about motivating! This one isn’t about punishment, but if you are motivated through consequences rather than rewards, it may be a good one for you!
5. Remember That Everything Counts: Everything. Each move you make counts towards the whole. And what’s more, when you appreciate the small movements, you can actually use them to inspire larger movements in longer sessions.⠀It’s not about getting your best workout in, it’s about attending to your body’s need to express itself and all of the influences it has absorbed throughout the day. If you release the way you think it “should” look, then you can simply find a way to make it happen. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I challenge you to choose one of the above this week and see how it supports your thoughts as well as your actions surrounding movement.
If the above resonated with you but you need some guidance, check out the lineup of classes at JZ Studio – my online, low-impact, movement classes that stream each week!