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3 Simple Tips On How To Make Exercising Part Of Your Daily Routine

  Fit male runner running outside on boardwalk. Young man model tr  
  "How much you move affects your strength, power, balance, how you look, how you think, how well you withstand the high winds and rain showers of life and how long you will stand.  -Eric Heiden, Orthopedic surgeon and five-time Olympic speed skating champ.
Finding an exercise ritual that you can stick to daily is hard. There are about 45 million people who have gym memberships. Yet, 67% of these people never go to the gym.  Wanting to make exercise a habit and actually making it a habit are two different things. The statistic above proves that changing your behavior can be difficult. But you can simplify the process by with these 3 tips:  

1. Choosing vs Deciding

Choosing to do something adds more to your life. It's apparent that we are in an energy crisis when nearly 30 million people don't utilize their gym memberships. This is the result of choosing. When you choose to do something like exercise that requires an investment of time and energy with no consideration of what you will subtract to make room for this investment, it overloads your mental, emotional, physical energy stores. Sure, you can get away with it for a few weeks, but soon enough, you'll burn out. The first thing you drop is your exercise habit. The root word of "decide" is latin for "to kill." In other words when you decide to do one thing, you "kill" the choice to do something else. This is exactly what you must do when you decide to make exercise a daily habit. You can't create more time, but you can create more energy to make room for your daily exercise investment. You've got "to kill" some daily behaviors in order to replace with it exercise. This will look different for everyone. Bring your lunch instead of driving to lunch everyday. Start batching email at certain times of the day instead of being prisoner to that ping all day long. Reduce the amount of time you watch TV or play video games. Don't choose, decide.  

2. Focus on a simple exercise habit, not the outcome goal

Once you've decided to exercise and created space to do so, you're next step is to focus on a simple and easy habit to start. In the beginning, taking on to much is the antithesis of your goal: making exercise a daily habit. We want you to start with something so easy, that it's nearly impossible for you to fail. Here are a few examples: I will do 5 push ups and 5 squats Monday through Friday at 6:30 am before I get ready for work. I will step away from my computer and get out of my chair at lunch, go outside for 3 minutes and do some light stretching, breathing and meditating every day this week. I will walk outside for 3 minutes after work at 6pm every day this week. By shifting your focus from the outcome goal to behavior goals, you are now engaging in the exact manner that will get you the results you want. This allows you to get daily wins too. If you show up and do the work for the day, you've succeeded. This helps your self confidence as you chip away at your goal. Losing 40 pounds or working up to a 405 pound squat is a herculean size goal. It may be so intimidating that you throw in the towel when things get tough. Transition your focus to your behavior goals, instead of obsessing over the outcome goal.    

3. Adopt the Chinese bamboo tree mindset

Les Brown tells a great story about the Chinese Bamboo tree...
The Chinese bamboo tree has to be watered everyday. It takes five years of watering everyday before it breaks though the ground. At anytime, if the watering and nurturing process is stopped the Chinese bamboo tree will die in the ground.  But if it gets consistent watering, it breaks through the ground in that 5th year and in 6 weeks it grows 90 feet tall. The question is does it grow 90 feet in 5 years or in 6 weeks? The answer obviously it takes 5 years , that’s how long it took to grow it, to build that foundation, to nurture it, to water it, to build a reputation, to build a credibility, to learn the market, to learn the people, to learn yourself, to learn the system, to learn how to do it, to figure it out .

This story is a beautiful word picture of how fitness is developed. We all want results in 6 weeks, but few are willing to put the work in for 5 years.

Watering a bamboo tree doesn't take a high amount of skill. It's not difficult. But you have to do it everyday if you want the tree to break ground and grow. Or else, it dies. Exercising doesn't take a high amount of skill. It's not difficult. But you have to do it every day if you want to improve your health and fitness. Or else, your health deteriorates.

It takes time. There's no way around that. But it's no longer a mystery on how to do it. Decide, make it simple and do it everyday. 

 

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