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The Music Made Me Do It

Polly Pitchford - Tuesday, April 07, 2015

I love to exercise.  I love to eat healthy foods.  I love to quiet my mind (I can’t quite call it meditating). But not always.  There are some days my inner 4 year old comes out and I stomp my feet and say, “No! I don’t want to!”

Cue music.

Any music that makes you feel good.

Music is an amazing thing. I promise you that playing music will give you that kick in the pants that you need to go ahead and do what you need to do. Like exercise, or chopping fresh vegetables, or being still.  I’m immersing myself in this musical experiment and I invite you to try it too!

As a motivational speaker on health and wellness my true desire is to deliver my message in such a way that everyone in that audience will walk out of there and discard their unhealthy habits and implement new ones that really stick this time and we will all live happily and healthily ever after. Well, you know that never happens.  So that’s why I’m studying the effects of music while actively doing a task*:

(* Task is a healthy behavior before it becomes a habit)

  1. Does it make the task easier/more pleasurable?
  2. Does it change my state of mind about the task?
  3. Do I have a more positive outlook on doing the task before I do it because of the music I play while doing it?
  4. If my inner 4 year old force is strong and I put on the music anyway, does it change my mindset about doing the task?

Here are 3 examples of how I’ve used music recently:

  1. I need to do specific stretches 2x p/day for my back issues and I often don’t do them because it takes a whopping 15 minutes to do the whole series and I don’t have the time!  And I spend my day in crappy discomfort because I haven’t done them.  So I decided that instead of doing them in silence and hearing my droning  inner voice counting the reps, I’d put on some soothing acoustic guitar music. Magic!! It took the angst of time out of it, soothed my nerves, and I enjoyed counting to the rhythm of the music instead.  My daily stretches have become an enjoyable new habit because of the lovely music break associated with it! 
  2. In order to get my heart rate up for a little daily cardio I tune into the JLo station on Pandora and dance around for 2 songs. Done!  Fun! 
  3. When I’m feeling too lazy to cook dinner from all the wonderful ingredients I have at home and want to swing through Chipotle’s instead (which is full of great, healthy choices, by the way) Drive your butt home, put on Billy Joel’s Scenes From an Italian Restaurant and start chopping! I enjoy the time in the kitchen and the delicious end product.

I swear these are the things I’ve tried and it works!!  Now I’m associate a task with good music accompanying it and it’s so much easier to do them!

You can be sure I’m going to be weaving music into my presentations and offering this new “tool” to use to support their efforts in forming healthy habits, accomplishing your goals and living a happy, energetic life!

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