I always wonder sometimes why I tend to go back to a certain way of doing things, or listening to certain types of music when I work or am stuck with some problems? Do you also feel that way? We all have some kind of routines in our life, but rather than calling they routines, which made they sounded mundane, I like to call them rituals. Rituals are events or activitiesthat, whether we are conscious or not, we perform each day.
Hence, rituals here is not the type that you encounter in a religious practice or having a priest in some sort of robes or chants or spell to be performed. But I would still like to compare rituals to religious rituals, as the word ritual conjures a sense of holiness, reverence and respect for the event, time, duration and activities being performed.
Most successful and accomplished people have some form of rituals that they both start and end their day. Each of them has their own individualistic approach and way in carrying our rituals. Hence, these rituals are not cultural, gender, age nor religious based. It is a set of habitual actions that are imbued with a deep sense of personal meaning and significance for that individual. That is why I call this a personal ritual. It is unique to you and you alone.
Personal ritual is where the 20/80 rule applies, where you spend that 30 minutes (some even say 6 minutes will do the trick for them!) to an hour each morning, can make a huge difference in how the rest of your day turns out. This is so as personal rituals give a meaning to our life. As the rituals become a part of our everyday life, the transformative power where we can reinforce and design our life can be felt. Over time our life will be changed and transformed when new habits that supports a positive and growth mindset take hold.
The advantages of having personal rituals in the morning and evening, before you turn in, can be listed as follows:
1) Rituals help you to overcome and remove those bad habits that you want to rid yourself of and to introduce good habits as replacements;
2) Rituals help you to find closure for some areas like failures and hurts that we have gone through in our life’s journey. With closure, we can then receive healing as well;
3) Rituals help us to reinforce the significance of our value, as well as strengthening our conviction and commitment to change and design our life accordingly;
4) Rituals help to bring meaning and mindful practice, instead of those reactive autopilot activities (like scrolling through Facebook while eating our breakfast) that serves no meaning or value for us;
5) Rituals are therefore helpful in keeping us focused and goal oriented for the entire day, making us more self-disciplined in our daily activities; and
6) Rituals assist us in renewing our body, mind and spirit, through its transformative power, to achieve our fullest potential for happiness, positivity, changes and success.
In order to fully tap into the power of personal rituals, we will have to have clear intentions for our life, our life purpose, our passion and commitment. This create motivation for us and giving our rituals higher chances in growing, strengthening, healing and renewing ourselves. Then, our personal rituals take on a higher meaning and significance for us, making the rituals not as a means to an end, but something valuable on its own right.
What should we start to do now to create personal rituals? Well, it is really simple… Take Action Now by doing the following steps:
1) Identification and Setting Intention:
Identify the areas in your life that you want to change and improve upon. Ares like your thoughts, attitudes or behaviors. Writing out in a simple, positive statement that describe the change or improvement you want to see in your life. This will be your intention.
Start to take some time to envision what and how that change or improvement will look like in your life. Describe it in a few short sentences. Or if you are a visual person like me, take some time to do a vision board that captures your visualization.
3) Time and Space:
Create and maintain time and space that is sacred to you. Protect the time and space, for example, waking up at 6am every day to perform the activities in your bedroom.
4) Plan Activities:
Start to plan what activities you would like to do during this time. For example, you may want to do some meditation to seek some time for reflection and silence. Writing or journaling your thoughts, dreams, ah-ha moments, lessons learnt. Planning your day, in the form of to do list, or a list of places to go and people to meet. The main idea is to make this time fun, engaging and also helping in reaching those goals or intentions you set.
5) Stay with It:
Stay accountable and committed to it. It takes 30 days to build a new habit! While creating a personal ritual may seem new and unnatural for you at the beginning. It is important that you stay with it, if it helps, let someone you can trust know about this new venture you are embarking on to help keep you accountable and committed. Another way is to put in a “reward system” to reinforce yourself and reward yourself each time you keep to your rituals.
We all know that change is not comfortable and never easy. But by taking this step in moving out of your comfort zone is when growth starts. You will have to work at it in order for your vision to work. Once that happens, you will find that your efforts will be worthwhile, and this 20% of your investment will yield 80% of return in terms of transformation, change and success!