Success Rituals: Design Your Habits – Change Your Life

Success Rituals: Julianne Hough – Dancing with the Stars

Dating & Relationship Expert April Braswell recently asked me what I thought were some of the success rituals that make the professional dancers, like Julianne Hough, on “Dancing with the Stars” so great and outstanding in their field.

While I haven’t worked with Julianne Hough or any of the other “Dancing with the Stars” dancers, I have met 2008 “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Toni Braxton, exchanged many personal messages with 2009 “Dancing with the Stars” contestant, Mya, and can offer some insight from my experience working with Paula Abdul as well as the professional dancers on the Cirque du Soleil show “Zumanity

Here’s what I’ve noticed: One of the many success rituals Julianne Hough and the other “Dancing with the Stars” professionals and other elite performers have in common is they do not believe in such a thing as an off-season.

What’s the off-season?

If you haven’t heard the term before, the off-season is when an athlete isn’t in a competition or when they aren’t working. During such times, especially when you’re on vacation, there is often a habit of not sticking to the success rituals that got you to your level of success to begin with during the season or competition.

When you’re on vacation or during a break from the action, it’s easy to fall into the habit of taking it easy because you feel you deserve to take a break from all the hard work you’ve put in. You indulge in a lot more things that aren’t a part of your eating success rituals. You start keeping different hours and soon you’re slipping out of your routine that produced your success.

Then when it’s time to go back to work or compete in a new competition or start a new season, suddenly you’re having to work much harder to get back to the level you were at when you went on your break. Sometimes you’ll even wind up injuring yourself because you’re pushing too hard to get back into top condition in as short a time as possible.

And that’s a very common story with performers who have short term success. They get into the bad habit of abandoning their success rituals during their off season, their vacation time or down time between major events.

The professional dancers like Julianne Hough, who was on “Dancing with the Stars” until recently, consistently stay in shape year round. One of the secrets of their success rituals for health and well being is that it’s ultimately easier to stay in shape all the time and just cut back a little bit during their off season to less intense and less frequent work out routines (but one that still maintains much of thier their physique and conditioning) rather than let themselves go completely and risk gaining extra weight or losing a lot of conditioning and then have to work that much harder to bring their bodies and minds back up to competition level from a much worse starting point.

A perfect example of this is Julianne Hough’s physical training to be in perfect shape for her roles in the upcoming remake of “Footloose” and another film “Rock of Ages”. She’s working out 5 times a week and for someone who could’ve let herself get really out of shape during her time away from “Dancing with the Stars” she’s not let that happen.

Just take a look at the photos of in this slideshow article from The Examiner about Julianne Hough’s diet and workout secrets: Julianne Hough Diet and Workout Secrets

So, how can you utilize this success ritual in your life?

Obviously you could use it to motivate yourself to start actively working on staying more healthy & fit year round instead of waiting until the spring to start getting into shape for hitting the pools or the beach in the summer. Think of how much easier it’d be if you started keeping fit year round instead of putting your body through that yo-yo effect of gaining and losing weight?

Mentally, it will also make it much easier in the long run if you choose to make this one of the success rituals of your lifestyle. The benefits of staying healthier year round will pay off in every area of your life and give you an advantage over your competition who are letting themselves indulge in their off season.

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  1. Hi Michael,

    Thank you for addressing my question. I think that is a fascinating Success Ritual Habit from such athletics leaders like the elite dancers of Dancing with the Stars like Julianne Hough.

    What an interesting point to make while I am here also watching the NHL Hockey Stanley Cup Finals, the hardest fought championship in sports. Truly, by the quarterfinals and semifinals, players are playing injured. It’s a given. Certainly by the finals, there’re injuries only the players don’t talk about it. The week after the Finals, all the injuries are announced. The “downtime” of “offseason” is need to heal. However, the better players are still staying in shape, just as you noticed. No one at an elite level just kicks it back and goof off!

    Can you imagine goofing off for months on end in a marriage relationship or father parental relationship with your children without the results being devastating?

    Excellent Success Rituals, Michael!

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    Finding a Relationship Online

  2. Eva Palmer says:

    This is a great success ritual that I would like to follow more often. Sometimes I also abandon my rituals on holidays and then it gets hard to go back to work…

  3. Kevin Bettencourt says:

    I don’t think this ritual can be overstated. So many people finish their study and find employment. And then, inexplicably they stop learning. You describe dancers above but this can be applied to any field. Excellent point.

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  4. Michael, I think that in order to be excellent at anything it takes dedication to become better without an “off season” all too often people want the quick and easy path to get something. With this line of thinking they are on a quick and easy path to a short success.
    people who take their jobs seriously work their butts off in the “off season” and even in the “in season” there is no real break for people who have the right stuff.
    Thanks for another suberb lesson on success rituals for life. This is a great blog to learn about success.
    Scott Sylvan Bell
    Sales motivation and persuasion training
    Now go implement!

  5. Clare Delaney says:

    You’re so right Michael! This is an excellent and very important post – and indeed it applies to every person. Without doubt we can relax a little at times, but not keeping up the success rituals is a recipe for a slump.

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