5 Ways to Turn Movement into a Ritual- Creating Sustainable Healthy Habits

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5 Ways to Turn Movement into a Ritual

No doubt, other aspects of our lives call for attention and movement can be put on the back burner. But if we understand that movement provides a source of energy, improves focus and mental resilience, we can use it as a tool to approach life’s obstacles more effectively. A big part of what determines if we attend a class or not comes down to mindset. Below are 5 tips to make healthy sustainable changes, without the overwhelm or pressure.

1. Create an environment that aligns with your new habit.

Your environment holds more power than your motivation.

If you’re trying to exercise more but your gym is too far, you can’t find your workout clothes or you don’t have a playlist of workouts ready, the less likely you are to create that new habit. After all, when you begin to do something different, your mind will find all the reasons to not do it as it is always seeking familiarity.

To make this easier, set your environment up so that it is supportive to your new habit. Consider:

  • Accessibility – How easy can you access that studio, gym or workout venue?
  • Your work schedule– Can this realistically fit in your schedule? Take into consideration your time and energy levels. We usually underestimate just how much time and energy we have in a day and dismiss things like traffic, working over time and our energy levels at the end of the day.
  • Resources- What equipment, clothes and gadgets would I need to increase my chances of success? When you have these readily available and around you, you are more likely to take action.
  • Connections- Who can I connect with to generate healthy conversations and support my new habit? The people you surround yourself with will be a factor on how far you go.

2. Reduce the amount of decisions you have to make.

Given the fast-paced demands in work settings along with family and social commitments. We are already making so many decisions in a day causing further fatigue in our brain. This term is called ‘Decision Fatigue’, posited by social psychologist Roy Baumeister and colleagues. Therefore, when creating a movement ritual, make this whole activity as seamless as possible.

Some things to consider:

  • Choose and pack your workout clothes the evening before your movement class.
  • Plan and book in your workout class a week ahead.
  • Consider your mode of transportation and how long that would take (eg. traffic at that time, public transport schedule, parking situation) and schedule that into your diary.
  • Overall, simplify the everyday decisions you make.

So when you receive that notification that it’s the day to exercise, you already have a plan and all that is required is you follow each step with the least amount of decisions. This also reduces the risk of succumbing to any limiting thoughts like- ‘I’m just too tired’, or ‘It’s too late, there’s no point in going’.

3.Take it one step at a time.

There is a common mentality that creating a habit requires going ‘cold turkey’ and doing a complete 360. However, creating a habit or a ritual does not need to be overwhelming. This approach can discourage us from starting a habit in the first place. Chucking ourselves in the deep end can also create stress and self-sabotaging behaviour as we shock the nervous system when exposed to a completely new environment. Therefore, take it one step at a time. Allow the nervous system to ease into a new norm by taking incremental steps in order to create a habit that is sustainable.

4. Aim for consistency, not perfection.

Consistency is what thickens our nerves fibres and creates memory to make something a habit. However this does not mean you need to be perfect. Given that we can slip up, miss classes because of life, it does not mean that all the effort you put into starting this habit is out the window. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits proposes the “Never Miss Twice.”approach. He explains that you’re allowed to take a day off or slip up, however aim to not do this twice in a row. He highlights the benefit of slightly loosening your level of commitment in order to make habits sustainable. It is also more fun and motivating. So be kind to yourself when you do slip, and just pick up from where you left off. Every time you show up to a class counts.

5.Collect the Evidence.

When creating a new habit, it is easy to focus on ‘the hard’ and believing all the ways how it isn’t productive. However, this is the perfect time to actively shift the focus on how it actually is benefiting you- how you feel, work performance, other areas in your life that’s improved, your everyday interactions and decisions. Here are some benefits that you may discover along the way as you create your movement ritual:

  • Calm and clearer thinking
  • Improved ability to adapt to stress
  • Having more energy when spending time with loved ones
  • Feeling stronger mentally, emotionally, and physically
  • Improved posture
  • More confidence during social situations

By continuously taking note of all the benefits received from a workout, memory is created, and this memory will be the reference point to determine if you make it to your next class or not.

Why Myall can be the perfect environment for you to create your movement ritual:

Accessible Location- Our studio is right in the heart of Perth CBD making it accessible to employees working on St Georges Terrace and in the CBD. We are located right behind Medibank, across from London Court, adjacent to Allendale Square and in front of the Exchange Tower, West End Group, RSM Perth, Mitsui, ANZ, Quayside Chambers, ODPP to name a few. We can fit into your busy schedule so you don’t have to transport far and you can tick off exercise before you head home for the day.
Desirable Timetable- Our pilates and yoga class timetable is tailored to a typical full time worker’s schedule. We have classes at 6:30 leaving you plenty of time to get ready, have a nourishing breakfast before you head to work. We also have classes at 12 pm, 1pm or 1:15pm if you would like to energise yourself for the rest of the day. We also have classes at 5:15pm so you can do a workout straight after work before heading home. Our classes focus on relieving common ailments caused by sedentary office work such as the neck and shoulders and promote overall mobility, strength and circulation. You can view our timetable here.
Quality Resources & Equipment- As part of our memberships and 14-day intro offer, we have quality equipment provided such as yoga mats, blankets, bolsters, filtered water and so much so you do not need to bring your own gear to work. Our studio is also equipped with in-built infrared light panels to optimise the benefits of your workout. Our space is comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and we offer premium service without the 5 star price tag.
Motivational experts- We have an amazing team of movement and holistic health teachers at Myall. They have a range of expertise from breath-work, pilates, yoga, mindfulness and nutrition. You can always talk to us about how to create healthy habits in your life. We also often hold challenges, special classes and events in our studio and also around Perth CBD to encourage movement and a sustainable, healthy living. You can follow our Instagram here to keep up with lots of fun updates here.

Like any new habit you create, at the beginning it will require more effort. However, when you recognise all the ways it is positively benefiting you in your everyday life, this is invaluable and movement becomes your non-negotiable.

For membership options, you can take a look here.