We all think it — then eventually overthink it: If only we could re-create the step-by-step process that led to today’s killer 6 a.m. workout every day, we’d be invincible in everything we do. New CrossFit PR, a set of six-pack abs you keep training toward, even applying the formula to your job and get that promotion you’ve been working your tail off for are all within play now.
Then comes the stressful day at the office, after-work drinks, picking up the kids from school, answering emails, meal prepping, errands, preparing for the holidays — in other words, life swoops in and spoils even the most perfect formula. And just like that you’re off your game, sleeping in, hitting the snooze, and back to the drawing board instead of where you planned to be — at the gym.
Instead of overthinking your way into developing inconsistent habits, it’s time to “man up” and stick to a ritual that has you geared to the goals you aim to achieve and not just getting you through the week, says Bedros Keuilian, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and author of the appropriately titled “Man Up: How to Cut the Bulls*** and Kick A** in Business (and in Life).”
By developing a ritual that works for attaining whatever goal you set — sleep schedule, meditation time, green tea/coffee, workout times, even social media access — and eliminating what he calls the trivial routines that are pulling you away from the goals, your time, and mind is better focused toward success in the gym, work — even relationships.
“It’s like being a fighter pilot,” says Keuilian, who’s worked with athletes such as former Giants punter and social media fitness phenom Steve Weatherford. “The pilot goes into the fighter jet, closes the canopy, then goes through his ritual: turning on the GPS, the afterburners — he’s mentally preparing for battle. And these days with all the distractions we have, if we don’t go through a starting ritual to lock ourselves down and get that singularity of focus, it’s over.”
But is creating a life of repetitiveness — waking up the same time, cold shower, green tea, whatever it may be — worth embracing or just motivational mumbo jumbo? It jump-started Keuilian’s life, who considered himself the “most poorly managed person on earth” just six years prior. A spreadsheet of inconsistencies beginning with sleep habits led to anxiety and tension tremors, until a friend gave him the most sound advice: “Get your s*** together,” Keuilian says.
One of Keuilian’s biggest tips to keeping to a ritual is applying what he calls the “5 percent” rule: Focus on what matters most toward achieving your goal — making money, gains in the gym — and finding ways to eliminate “chores” that clog up your time — sending out dry cleaning, even food prep (“there are plenty of services that can do that for you,” he says) even if to you they seem essential. “Once the ball started rolling, I figured out the formula of buying back my time and outsourcing all the trivial matters to other people when possible.”
Taking a ritual road to success
It’s not just motivational speakers who preach the importance of rituals. Jason Walsh, owner of VersaClimber cathedral Rise Nation and one of Los Angeles’ most sought-after trainers — whose clientele includes Matt Damon, Bradley Cooper, Minka Kelly and Alison Brie, is a huge proponent of maintaining a ritualistic lifestyle. For Walsh, before he gets his clients movin’ he gets his day started with a morning meditation session, as he showed on a recent YouTube segment of “Rituals.”
“Having a ritual is critical for health, not only on your physical performance, but also on your mental and spiritual balance as well,” Walsh tells Metro. “Your body responds best when an optimal routine is planned and followed. Even the act of meditation or getting up at the same time each day primes you to be ready for action. And that just sets you up for success.”
Waking up at the crack of dawn isn’t required for success, but keeping that consistent ritual is necessary. So it’s time to stop the thinking, Keuilian, and get to working toward victory.
“I’m not saying make a rash decision [about your work],” Keuilian says, “but do what Colin Powell would say: If you have as little as 40 percent of the information you need, you’re ready to make a decision. But anyone who is looking to gather 100 percent of the information will become irrelevant in anything they do.”