How to make T-Tapp a Habit in 11 Easy Steps
I’m well aware of the fact that forming an exercise habit isn’t the easiest thing for most people, and many experiences consists of starting a healthy habit (T-Tapp, exercise, clean eating, reading, or just spending less time on social media) and stopping, re-starting and stopping, then doing it all over again.
However, with what I’m about to share with you today, you are going to learn how to turn your T-Tapping (or any other workout routine) into a life-long lasting habit.
So bear with me.
In my lifetime and in working with a multitude of clients I have seen that we are nothing but creatures of habit, and we repeat 95 percent of our physical and mental patterns, from one day to the next (and that’s good thing!)
If you are out-of-shape, overweight and can’t walk down the street without gasping for breath, then you have spent time to build the type of habits (in front of the TV eating processed or sugary foods) that lead to an unhealthy and ailing life, or what’s known as the couch potato lifestyle.
But consider this, you can also make the effort to build a healthy habit. This is great news!
The 11 Steps for Making T-Tapp/Exercise a Habit for Life
I want to share with you some of the things I’ve learned over the years about building a successful exercise habit. Here are some practical tips on how to make T-Tapp a habit and stick with it for the long haul.
- Start Small
Starting small, 2 – 3 movements a day (Primary Back Stretch, T-Tapp Twist and Hoedowns) will help to strengthen your core, rehab knees/hips and increase stamina which will make it easy to stick to in your first few weeks—which is something that can make or break your exercise resolution.
“A short workout is better than none” this is one of my favorite affirmations, and it usually gets me moving when I’m running low on willpower and motivation. This motto resonates even more with beginner T-Tappers, or people with a lesser endurance level or have more injuries to deal with.
Most people who start off a program sabotage their new goals by doing too much too soon (E.g. a 14 day bootcamp). This approach can be recipe for disaster, and will only lead to injury, burnout and/or unneeded resentment.
As a beginner, you have to start with an extremely manageable and realistic goal and work up from there.
So whatever you want to achieve—whether it’s losing 3 clothing sizes, running a 10K, or just be able to complete the Basic Workout without losing your breath—make sure your goal is realistic, and small.
- Come Up With a Exercise Plan
Once you have decided to start exercising and have set a goal, you must back up your vision with a concrete plan.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
Make a list and plan thoroughly everything that’s related to your exercise routine, from where you are going to exercise, the time, the type of workout DVD you want to do, and anything else that’s a part of your training routine.
I highly encourage you to also plan your rewards, like a delicious post-exercise smoothie, a massage, hot shower, manicure, anything that gets you going. These rewards will motivate you to exercise, which is good for the long term. When you are done with this, write down your exact plan to the letter on your calendar or daily planner, and have it where you can see it on a daily basis.
- Turn Your Plan Into a Habit
Once you have come up with your plan, then it’s time to “ritualize” your routine.
A ritual is a specific set of behaviors that you do at the same time every day, or on the specific and exact days you select. So if you want to form a ritual, you have to define the specific behaviors. (Whether it’s running, T-Tapp, meditation, you name it) you are intending to engage in then perform them at a specific time.
By laying down an exact time for your workout routine, you won’t have to burn up energy planning in your head about when to get it done.
- Set a Specific Time To T-Tapp
It’s important to choose a specific time of the day to T-Tapp. So decide whether you are more likely (and have the time) to stick with the morning, midday or evening, and stay consistent with that time no matter what. I’ve set the time of 07:00 a.m. every day, and I usually do my best not to stray from that time, whether I’m going for a run or doing T-Tapp or yoga.
Schedule your workouts the same way you schedule an important appointment or family obligation. Make it a must by carving out a slot from your calendar, mark each day with the workouts/movements you WILL do. That’s how to do it if you are serious about making it. Set your alarm and when it goes off, get your workout in. Mind over matter, you can do this. (Yes you can!)
- Exercise First Thing in the Morning
I have to admit we do have busy lives, from endless work hours, kids to take care of, the wonderful but sabotaging world of social media and so on. If you just had a stressful day at work, it can be hard to lace up those shoes and press play.
You just need a change of perspective to get you “running” in the right direction. In the early morning, when the rest of the world is still asleep, all these excuses don’t hold water.
And study shows that consistent exercisers make the effort to work out first thing in the morning. So start moving before the whole world or your kids start waking up. Morning people are not born, they are built, a result of habit.
Wake up an hour earlier, have a light snack (if you want) then go get your workout in, dry skin brush, shower, then have a delicious breakfast and take on the rest of the day.
Plus, if you exercise first thing in the morning, you will boost your metabolism, and be more productive for the rest of the day, which is awesome.
- Lay Out your Workout Clothes
Remove the friction from your life by laying out all of your workout clothes. So when it’s time to get out of bed, everything will be set and ready. There is nothing worse than waking up early to only have to hunt through a dark room in a semi-awake state for clothes that you are going to need.
- Make it Regular
Once you decide on an exercise plan, do your best to never skip a workout. If you skip a day, the process of creating an exercise habit will only get harder. It’s all about keeping that momentum going, especially during the first few weeks. (the easiest way to keep your resolution going is simply not to stop.)
If your ultimate goal is to exercise 3 times a week, then schedule your three workouts on non-consecutive days (On Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, for instance) and do your best not to miss a day. Repeat this pattern until it becomes automatic.
- Make it Pleasurable
If you don’t enjoy exercising, then forming (and keeping) the habit is going to be difficult. When creating an exercise habit, keep your focus on pleasure and fun, not on the end results. Make exercising enjoyable by:
- Getting new workout clothes.
- Exercising with your friend.
- Using an app to track your workouts.
- Enjoy the strength and beauty of your body. None is like yours, love it for what it gives to you.
The possibilities are endless…
- Recharge—Have a Rest Day
Recovery is key because it’s the only chance to rest and readapt to the new workout schedule.
I highly recommend that you take one day of total rest every week. It’s your free day. If you feel that you need less rest, you could just do Primary Back Stretch and one other movement (Hoedowns, Organs in Place, Thread the Needle) that gets you moving. The secret here is to do something every day, ideally an activity that gets you excited and keeps your habit going. So don’t shy away from other exercises, since they will also help you ingrain in the exercise habit. Do plenty of swimming, biking, yoga or walking/running, just apply T-Tapp technique to it and really challenge your body.
- Give Your Exercise Plan 6 – 8 Weeks
Habits don’t form (nor change) overnight. Consistency is the name of the game. So please bear in mind that it takes about six to eight weeks to form a lifelong lasting habit, regardless of whether it is a an exercise habit or one that’s not so healthy.
Stick with exercising (or your new healthy habit) for at least 60 days. After you reach that point, the habit will start to feel natural in your daily life. Complete your own 60 day challenge!
- Life is Messy you Know…
Life will sometimes (almost always) get in the way of your exercise routine. Injury, long hours at work, family obligations, holidays, you name it, all of these roadblocks are waiting in the dark for the right moment to sidetrack your plans. It’s just a part of life. You will more than likely miss a day or 2 when it happens. Do not beat yourself up or lose sleep over it. No one is perfect and pursuing perfection will get you nowhere.
All this stuff about habit forming is a skill, which requires conscious practice on a regular basis. It’s just like a muscle that you train. The more you train it, the stronger it will get. So if you fell, get up, dust off, keep your chin up and go at it another time. Have the T-Tapp warrior spirit, and never give up.
Have you considered starting the exercise habit? Do you exercise regularly? I’d love to hear from you!
Ready to start T-Tapp or take the next step? Check it out here!