This week I was sitting in a cafe
and overheard two women behind me chatting about a gym injury. So of course I listened in.. one lady was explaining how she hurt her back from a workout and, being in her 50s, she felt embarrassed, after being surrounded by what seemed like so many other older and fitter people – especially this one man in his 70s who looked like he worked out everyday.
She was contemplating the idea of retiring early, in her late 50s, because maybe work isn’t doing her any good and she can’t find the time to look after herself or make time to be active in the evenings.
The thing about this story, and many other similar woeful tales, is that she is believing in the myth that we can’t take care of ourselves, even in the smallest way, in our day-to-day lives. This lady is trapped in a routine of coming home from work, having a coffee, putting her feet up and then winding down for the night. And she is doing this every night, seven days a week, so that when it comes to actually trying to move her body, of course it feels like she can’t!
In light of the New Year, I recently wrote about how to stick to your resolutions and how that simply begins with changing some of your bad habits and surroundings in your daily life. Your routine can play such a big part in this and once a good routine is established, the rest will just fall into place.
Now back to this woman in the cafe.
I wanted to turn around, grab her by the shoulders and tell her, “it can be easy to change your routine and get a little bit fitter, gradually day by day, instead of feeling like you have to walk out of the gym sore and exhausted – because you’re competing with a 70 year old who has spends all his time working out, which is probably not even true anyway!”
In Atomic Habits James Clear looks at scientific research to show how tiny changes in behaviour can result in the formation of new habits, which will in turn help you to achieve big things.
We should be more energy efficient when it comes to how we make changes and form good habits. If we don’t have things automated in our lives, aka routinised, then we are releasing more energy than necessary in order to get it done. Whether it’s your morning routine or your workout routine, there are steps we can take to make sure that these daily rituals don’t feel any harder to accomplish each day.
Take, for example, my morning yoga practice. When I know I will be doing yoga in the morning after I get out of the bathroom, I always make sure I have already cleared my bed, rolled out my mat and lit a candle. I don’t waste any more mental energy pondering about when am I ready to start my practice. So then once I know I am stepping onto my mat I have more energy, physically and mentally, to learn a new pose or mantra.
The answer is easy, make it easier for yourself!
Create a routine that you actually want to keep up and be more efficient to save yourself the energy. If you need some more inspiration and are lucky enough to be living in Berlin, I am giving a lecture series on creating self-love where I address how to introduce new routines into your life, among other concepts of ayurveda and yoga. If not, you can always catch me for a free consultation by booking through my website.