The Hidden Power of Shaping Rituals, not Habits

Fab Giovanetti
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

If you are struggling to reclaim your time and set boundaries, it’s time for you to embrace rituals. 

Create space in the mornings and evenings, tap into rituals, and help you step away from your laptop and your phone. 

I’d like you to think about a ritual for the morning and one ritual for the evening. They can be the same, or they can be different.

A 2018 study showcasing the morning routines of over 300 successful people, it was shown that one of the most critical pieces of their days is an adaptable morning routine.

We aren’t always in control of our surroundings or amenities, especially when we travel and have unpredictable schedules. 

Morning mindfulness meditation is something that can be done anywhere: in bed, sitting in a taxi, on a plane, or while waiting for your breakfast smoothie to blend.

Create building blocks based on activities that can inspire your morning to keep you more motivated daily. Repetition can help you truly instigate change.

“You are what you repeatedly do.” — Will Durant

One top tip is to make it as easy as possible for yourself to kick off your day right. Rituals are at the core of Reclaim your Time Off as they help us be more efficient.

As Francesca Gino explains in Sidetracked:

 “If you engage in a ritual prior to a potentially high anxiety task, like singing in public or solving difficult math problems, you end up being calmer by the time you approach the task, and more confident.”

The thought of making too many decisions in the morning will slow you down and drain your brain for the rest of the day. 

Simple rituals to help you hack your day

Subscribe to the concept that an AM routine can start in the PM: Pick out your outfit. Lay down your yoga mat. 

During your most productive time, you should focus on the most critical tasks of the day, so make sure you create a routine you can stick to.

Rituals are significant when it comes to creating practices that will be substituting the mindless scrolling before bed. 

If you’re struggling, don’t worry. However, I love to encourage people to have at least one unique, rewarding ritual they can bring to the table. A morning example could be having your morning coffee and reading five pages of your favourite book or doing a yoga practice.

You could end the day with a warm shower or even with a lovely bath in the evening. 

Think about rewards and habits as a way to step away from any triggers that might bring us back to technology, especially during crucial times where we struggle to have mental space to create better boundaries.

Use habit-bundling as a boost of motivation to encourage long-lasting changes in your life. Combine two activities to create a new ritual.

Maybe you want to end your day with a fun 5-minute comedy video on YouTube, and you can do that as you’re closing tabs on your laptop. You can combine writing your priority list for the day with having your morning coffee.

Don’t fall into the trap of trying to bundle two’ needs together. I like to think about these habits as rituals to begin and end my day because I believe that those are the most significant ways to create effective boundaries.

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