“The key to forming good habits is to make them part of your ‘rituals.’ I have a morning ritual, afternoon ritual, and Sunday ritual. It’s one way to bundle good habits into regular times that you set aside to prepare yourself for the life you want. Rituals help you form habits.” ~Lewis Howes
The word “ritual” sounds more meaningful than the word “habit,” doesn’t it? Fact: Rituals are taken more seriously and have a connotation of sacredness. And since your life is sacred, if you want to improve things, there’s more that you could be doing to make that happen! Rituals and/or habits are (like it or not) an important part of making actual personal change in your life.
But you can’t just make changes that you occasionally implement if you want to make stuff happen. Nope. Think about it for a second: there are many actions you can take that mean little when only done occasionally, like brushing your teeth. (Imagine what might happen if you only brushed a few times a month or year.)
Rituals are a great way to ensure that those tasks that require daily execution are done faithfully.
Adding a few rituals to your set of daily routines can provide significant rewards:
- Review your goals each day. It’s not enough to write down your goals. It’s necessary to review them at least once each day. You can keep your goals next to your bed and review them when you first wake up or at bedtime. Never forget about your goals again by reviewing them daily.
- Exercise for 30 minutes. A brisk walk can be enough. Regular exercise enhances your physical and emotional health. You’ll also look and feel better. Find a type of exercise that you enjoy. Consider joining a sports league.
- Read something every day! Everything you’ll ever need to know is written in a book somewhere. Drop 30 minutes of TV and add 30 minutes of reading. The amount of knowledge you can gain over the course of a lifetime is staggering.
- Meditation is a wonderful way to relieve stress and learn how to focus. You’ll be a more capable version of yourself if you add a short meditation session to your daily routine.
- Create a to-do list. Before retiring each evening, make a list of the most important tasks you want to complete the following day. Then prioritize the tasks. You’ll spend your time on the most important tasks and know what needs to be done the moment you wake up. (Personally, I love to Bullet Journal!)
- Review your day. You do something right and other things wrong each day. By reviewing your day, you can make note of your successes and failures. You can then make the necessary adjustments to ensure that you have more successes and fewer failures going forward.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. Your first meal of the day is the most important. It sets the stage for the rest of the day. An unhealthy breakfast often leads to an unhealthy lunch and dinner, since the healthiness of the day seems ruined after a breakfast consisting of doughnuts.
- Write in a journal. Write your thoughts down at the end of the day. You’ll begin to see patterns in your thought processes and behavior that have escaped your prior awareness. You’ll also live a more interesting life, if only so that you have something more interesting to record that evening. (This journaling course is helpful for people who have experienced toxic relationships or other kinds of trauma).
- Get up early. I know, it doesn’t sound good. But I promise you it gets a little easier each day and before you know it, it’ll feel GREAT! You won’t want to sleep in ever again, seriously. A non-rushed start to the day is more relaxing than running around in a hurry each morning. You can enjoy the earliest part of your day and get a head start on the rest of the world.
What other rituals could you add? Think about your hobbies. You might want to play the violin or draw each day. Maybe the idea of setting aside time to pray appeals to you. Regardless of the set of rituals that is attractive to you, only add one ritual per week. Add rituals to your life slowly. They’ll have a better chance of sticking that way. Give your life the priority it deserves by dedicating time each day to the rituals that matter the most. Take control of your time so it doesn’t control you.