Rituals. That’s not a word that we usually associate with our self. The fact is, though, we all have them. In fact, as I’m writing this post there is a cup of Starbucks sitting right next to me (I love to grind my own beans).
Coffee is my morning ritual.
To get up and have a cup of freshly ground, extra-bold, espresso roast, Starbucks with two pieces of ice to knock the edge off is amazing. This is something that I do. Guess what…you have things that you do everyday or nearly everyday as well. These things are your rituals.
You may not have realized that you have rituals; some things just come naturally to us. And to be sure, not all of our daily rituals are bad. Like coffee. It gets me going, makes me productive, and helps me out. On the other hand, there are rituals that we practice daily that probably don’t help us so much either. These rituals are those things we want to change about ourselves. We just don’t always know how.
For instance, I’ve always wanted to be a morning person.
Now, for full transparency, morning people used to get on my nerves. How can you be that chipper at 5 a.m.? It didn’t seem possible. How do they do that? But throughout the course of my life, even though I’ve made the best of the “way I do things”, I realized there is still a lot of room for improvement. One of those places I personally want to improve is my morning ritual. Now…before you get the wrong idea about me…let me clarify.
I may not have always been a morning person; but I have been very productive with the time I spent.
I used to work long into the night. It hasn’t been unusual for me to still be awake and working at 4 a.m. Although, I may have gotten some things done, I’ve come to the conclusion that this ritual isn’t healthy for me. It’s a ritual that needs to be changed. I bet you have some unhealthy, could be better, need some work on them, rituals as well. Luckily that’s the subject of this post!
How do we change our daily rituals? Let me start by saying that a ritual is something that is ingrained into our life.
Your rituals have probably been a part of who you are for a long time. For years now I’ve been staying up late, and working, instead of getting up at 5 a.m. It started in my teenage years. Then this ritual filtered over into my adult life when I worked a second shift job, then a third shift job. This ritual is hard to break. It’s ingrained into who I am. So it is with your rituals. The question then, is how do we change?
Let me offer five ways to change your daily rituals.
1. Set a goal for what you want to change
I know…this one probably isn’t rocket science; but it’s necessary. The act of setting a goal and writing it down somewhere helps to solidify what it is that you want to accomplish.
Pointing the direction to where you want to be is much easier with a road marker.
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That’s all a goal really is. A goal is a road marker to point the way to where you really want to go. When it comes to your daily rituals, you’re going to find that it’s much easier at the start to fall right back into what you’ve always done. You need a clear picture of where you want to be. A goal, written down and posted somewhere, is a great way to start changing your daily rituals.
2. Tie up loose ends that will stop you from changing
Here’s what I mean…Every time you want to change something about yourself…something usually ends up getting in the way. It’s a loose end.
A loose end is something that you didn’t consider or make allowance for. Take for example, getting up earlier. A loose end that really needs to be tied up is how to change your night time rituals so that you get in bed sooner. What loose ends will keep you from getting the sleep you need? If you don’t tie those up, they will tie up your resolve to change.
Loose ends are a part of every big change in our life. Identify them. Eradicate them.
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3. Change your story first
This is a great point that I originally saw in a post by Micheal Hyatt. (www.michealhyatt.com) Ironically enough, he dealt with the subject of being a morning person, which I really want to be. His advice…change your story.
Instead of talking about how difficult changing your ritual will be, start talking about yourself as if you’d already made the change. For me this means I have to start saying, “I am a morning person”. What I need to stop doing is talking about how difficult it is for me to fall asleep; and if you know me, you know I’ve struggled for years to be able to sleep well.
Let me ask you a question…what conversation do you have with yourself that you need to change? I bet you have one! And scripture says that death and life are in the power of our tongue. Literally that means that we can help or hurt ourselves by what we continually let come out of our mouth. To change your ritual, change your story.
4. Get accountable
For me, this is easy…I’m doing it right now! I want to be a morning person. I’m going to be a morning person. I’m going to get the sleep my body is telling me that it needs. Done. It’s out there. Keep me accountable.
Now your turn…what is it that you’ve wanted to change for awhile now about your daily rituals; but you just haven’t found the power to do it?
My suggestion, put it out there.
Post on Facebook.
Tell a whole bunch of people.
Allow someone to put you on the spot about your goals. The fact is, this step is probably the step that keeps most people from changing anything. Why? As long as something is only known to us, we are the only ones who know if we fail. Accountability is allowing others to see your personal report card and spur you on to better grades, so to speak.
5. Get busy
Even accountability won’t help you until you simply get started. Whatever your goal is, get going. There’s no day better than today. No time is better than now!
I hope these simple steps help you to achieve some change in your personal goal to change your daily rituals. It may not be easy; but it will be worth it.