“How you start your day is how you live your day. How you live your day is how you live your life.” Louise Hay
We are what we do repeatedly. With this in mind, strong habits, routines, and rituals are the building blocks for success and reaching your goals. In a previous blog post, I shared the 3 Steps for Effective Goal Setting. Now that you’re in it, going strong, and you have a clear idea about what you want to achieve – how do you make sure you don’t fall off the path of productivity?
The answer is: Create Strong Habits, Routines, and Rituals
Without a doubt, strong habits, routines and rituals provide a sort of grounding to your day. In fact, they give you the ability to know what to expect and a structure that gives you a sense that you’re moving in the right direction.
Habits are Enablers
When I think about habits that help me achieve goals, I think about those small actions, individually, that make me more effective or bring me closer to achieving my goal. If one of my goals is to finish writing my book, my “enablers” are meditating and dedicating 30-60 minutes of writing each day. Doing these things at the same time every morning will ensure that I’m making daily progress towards completing my book.
Routines are the Co-dependent Friends of Your Habits
My power routine in the morning has been proven to make me happier and more effective every day that I do it. Following my morning coffee, I meditate (see more on that ritual below). After my meditation, I do a cardio workout. During the cardio workout, I’m filling my mind with inspirational or education information. In short, these 3 activities combined, shift my mood and my energy levels exponentially. They have a purpose, and their purpose is to make me clear-headed and productive.
Rituals are a Vehicle for Energetic Shifts
Within my meditation practice I have a ritual I use to establish my mindset for the day. First, I situate myself in a comfortable position and reflect on what’s been occupying my mind, opening myself up to any messages I might receive during my meditation. Subsequently, I shuffle oracle deck cards and select a message to ground myself in a loving belief. I place a few drops of lavender oil in the palm of my hands, rub together and bring my palms to the front of my face and inhale 3 times. I then pick up the 2 crystals I use in my mediation, one in each palm, and begin my meditation.
My meditation ritual sets the tone for my session. Unquestionably, I would feel something was amiss if I did not perform this ritual. It allows me to tap into that deeper spiritual connection I have with myself and the universe. It grounds me and gives me comfort.
Using Habits, Routines & Rituals to Achieve your Goals
If you have BIG goals, (and I really do hope you are reaching for the stars with your goals), the achievement of those goals requires some structure, even if you lean towards spontaneity (especially if you lean that way). Habits, routines and rituals align your most important work with how and when you’re most effective. The establishment of systems will keep you moving in the direction towards your goals.
Follow these 7 tips to create POWERFUL Habits Routines & Rituals
- Identify the right time of day for your new habit. I’m a morning person and as the day goes on, my excuses outweigh my resolve. Put your enablers in the part of the day where you are 1) most likely to maintain that activity consistently and 2) where it will provide the most benefit to you and your day.
- Read up on effective goal setting if you struggle in this area. One of my favorite authors on the topic is Gretchen Rubin who wrote Better Than Before and The Four Tendencies. She provides a lot of information on the psychology and personality traits of habit development in an engaging and relatable way. In addition to her books, check out her blog here.
- Start easy and small. Don’t plan a complicated routine with multiple steps out of the gate. Start doing just one small task a day for one week then methodically add more actions and you’ll increase your chances of success. If you feel overwhelmed, step back and reduce the time allotted or the number of activities. The quickest way to failure here is to overwhelm yourself with complexity.
- Put triggers to remind you what you need to do. Putting your running shoes by the door or prepping your ingredients for your morning green drink the night before will trigger you to take action.
- Find someone to hold you accountable. Tell someone you trust of your plans. And very importantly, give them permission to hold you accountable. Plan to check in weekly.
- Do some research. Who is doing what you’re doing? Watch what they do, talk to them, follow them. What habits have they incorporated to be successful? You will be inspired to continue if you see others succeed at doing the same.
- Stop waiting for “motivation” to show up and then berating yourself for a lack of willpower when it doesn’t. Motivation comes AFTER you have some wins under your belt.
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