Not a morning person? It’s time to get a ritual.

The fibs we tell ourselves

The alarm goes off and you slap your hand around like a seal trying to find your phone in the dark. You get it and the silence is glorious. “I’ll get up in minute” you tell yourself. Sixty seconds ticks by in a flash and you’re sound asleep. All good intentions are forgotten, forsaken for another few minutes of sleep. I get it. Some days are harder than others to find the desire to get sweaty. But here’s the thing…The only person who can do this bit is you! Your reasons for getting fit and healthy are personal, they’re either super important to you or they’re not. If the lull of sleep overrides your desire to change, then absolutely nothing will change. Life is brutal like that. The magic pill you’re looking for is action. As humans we’re motivated by rewards – so the reward of silence when you hit the snooze button means you’re likely to do the same thing tomorrow.

So how do you break the spell of a few more zzzz’s?

Firstly, get clear about what you want and why it’s important to you, and then THINK SMALL. Don’t focus on the end goal, focus on the small steps you can do right now. Remember big audacious goals are made up of many small, joyous moments. When the alarm goes off, your first baby step is to trade the ‘slapping around like a seal’ step for sitting up. It’s one small step, and when you do that step consistently for a few days, then you progress to the next baby step which might be standing up.

Rituals are the secret sauce

Once you’ve got to the point of regularly getting yourself out of bed it’s time to create a ‘Ritual’. Rituals make life easier, because they give you a structure. Think of rituals as an un-breakable action you set for yourself. Let me tell you what my ritual is. I wake at 3am, sometimes due to the alarm, but most times not. I have my fitness gear outside my room, I stagger around in the dark, get into my gear and head downstairs for a coffee and an hour of reading. The decision as to whether I’m going to work out at 4am or not starts the moment I put my workout tights on. When I pull those on, my decision is made. Often I’m on auto-pilot when I pull them on, but it doesn’t matter. My workout tights have come to signify so much more than essential gym gear. For me they are my ‘cue for action’. It’s my baby step! It’s easy to complete and it keeps me on track. My second step in the ritual is a coffee in complete silence.

Find your own ‘ritual’

Decide why your health and fitness matters to YOU. Think of the smallest possible step you can take on the path to creating a consistent habit, and then figure out what your ‘cue’ for action is. Here’s some more ritual examples to get you thinking: When I put my shoes on it means I’ve committed to walking today. When I step outside, it invigorates me and it reminds me it’s time to stretch. When I finish my first glass of water I do 5 squats. Remember rituals are cues that trigger a small step which then gives you momentum for changing your health and fitness. Start small.