Rituals are incredibly powerful and fundamental to success. After all, how we live each day is essentially how we live our life. I talked a bit about rituals when I wrote about how to maintain a healthy, fit physique long term by living a balanced lifestyle. Rituals are the same as habits. I will be using the words interchangeably in this post. They are the things you do automatically without thinking about it. Even if you don’t realise it, you already have daily rituals. They may be helping you towards success, your goals and your dreams, or they may not. Here are some examples of rituals:
- Watching television on the couch for a few hours as soon as you get home from work.
- Taking your dog for a walk every morning before you eat breakfast.
- Jumping in the shower first thing in the morning as soon as your alarm goes off.
- Brushing your teeth twice a day.
The good news is you can change your rituals. Here’s how:
- Think about what the perfect day would be for you. This is important because if we don’t plan it, it probably won’t happen. Think about what you value such as quality time with your family and keeping fit and healthy. Your values shape your rituals. Think about what things you would want to achieve in an ideal day. Think about how you would want to feel. (ie. satisfied, calm, fulfilled or peaceful.)
- Brainstorm which habits would set you up to have this ideal day. You can see my personal rituals below to give you some ideas.
- Choose just one of these habits to focus on first. Choose one that’s the most important to you. It could be having dinner with the family so you can all connect. It could be starting your day with a big glass of water. I recommend you only chose one ritual to implement at a time.
- Do this ritual for at least 21 days to make it a habit. Change can be really hard, so remind yourself of why it’s worth it.
Here are my morning and evening rituals. These are by no means the way you should necessarily do things. Like I said above, your rituals should be based on your values, priorities and goals. Also, don’t hesitate to change your rituals over time as your goals and interests change so that they are things you actually want to do.
My morning rituals:
- WAKE PEACEFULLY – Whenever possible wake up with the sun rather than an alarm. The sunlight stimulates hormones in your body which help you wake up. This is a much more natural and less stressful way to start the day rather than with an alarm waking you while you are in the middle of the deep part of your sleep cycle.
- DRINK – Drink two glasses of water with lemon or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. When you wake up, you are usually quite dehydrated from not drinking anything for 8 hours or so, so it’s important to rehydrate. Lemon juice and ACV have many health benefits.
- EAT – Cook and eat breakfast with my husband.
- SUPPLEMENTS – Take my supplements.
- MOVE – Walk my dog if I have work, or do a gym workout if I have the day off work.
My evening rituals (which I start about 8:30pm) to wind down for the day and prepare for a good sleep:
- PREPARE – Look at my diary and prepare for the next day e.g. prepare and pack food into lunch bag (so I can just grab it in the morning), lay out clothes if it’s going to be an early morning, move meat from the freezer to the fridge to defrost for the next day’s dinner.
- SWITCH OFF – Stop using all electronic devices and leave out of the bedroom (your brain can benefit from a break from the constant stimulus).
- RELAX – Have a relaxing bath or shower and spend 5-10 minutes stretching
- DEVOTION – Devotion time
- LIGHTS OUT – Between 9:30-10 each night is sleep time for me!
It’s the little things we do day in and day out which have a huge influence on our lives. Be intentional at developing the best possible daily habits to help you achieve your dreams and goals.
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