It takes motivation and self discipline to not only start but also stick with physical movement. Create a practice that is energizing, enjoyable, sustainable, and one where success and progress are trained and actualized.
Here are seven tips for creating and training success in your movement practice.
1. ENVIRONMENT: Plan ahead and create an enticing and supportive movement environment. Set up a physical space that you enjoy and that will inspire and invite you to move more. Be on the look out for opportunities and areas in your community that invite movement.
2. MOVEMENT COMMUNITY: Seek out a larger community to learn from and contribute. Consider joining a meet up, walking group, running club, attend a movement workshop, seek out a school, organization or dojo. Find a place or organization that has teachers that can guide, cue, teach, and inspire you toward on-going learning and where you can share and give something to others.
3. SKILL: Focus on skill. Movement, coordination, balance, flow, and strength are all skills. Focused practice makes all these skills easier, develops greater efficiency, and can refine and polish your movement and skills. If you repeat an inefficient move over and over then you are making that inefficiency easier. If you train to failure and stop only after you’ve hit exhaustion and your form has broken, then you are training failure. So save you some of your energy, hold your form, and practice success by focusing on quality.
4. BIG PICTURE THINKING: Know your purpose; know your why. Think of sustainable training, focus on health, happiness, connection, and character development. Some times athletes focus so much on a specific personal record or benchmark and train in a way that compromises their health, happiness, and lose sight of bigger picture of why they are out there. You probably don’t want to meet that goal then retire. Train for your ‘why.’
5. BE PRESENT: Begin to bring your thoughts and your mind into the current moment. Every day is a new day. Every jump is a new jump, every weight you press is a new lift. Put the cell phone away and focus on your practice. Some ways to begin to pull your awareness into the present is to focus on how you are breathing right now. With your eyes, look where you want to go. Listen to your feet and how heavy or soft your legs feel and how they sound as you step or land. Any thoughts or reflections on how you lifted/jumped/ran/performed yesterday or how you want to move tomorrow can be useful but not while you are currently training. Put those thoughts on paper and let them go. Stay fresh with each jump/lift/press/dive so you actively train your body and brain for success. Being present helps you become more open to listening to your own intuition and what your body needs.
6. CONSISTENCY: Daily practice, daily effort, and this includes rest and recovery. Your body adapts to what you do. Each day you move, sit, stand, breathe, balance and move so each day you are training. Consistency matters. Some days your training will be heavy and full of intensity, but not everyday. Some days go for moderate and light intensity. Everyday you train but sometimes that means you eat and sleep more, and rest fully.
7. SEE&DO!: watch people who move well, visually imprint and plant the seed of possibility in your mind by watching beautiful movement. Watch others like you who have mastered a lift or move. Watch good movers move, surround yourself with quality examples, and it will build success.