Written By : Ashlee Mane IFBB Pro and President of Ultima Active
Rituals can be your new secret to productivity and working more effectively. There's honestly a certain magic to them.
Cultivating them can put the beneficial everyday tasks of life on autopilot. Set it and forget it, so to speak lol. so that you can use your brainpower to focus on what’s important. Work, family, making new plans or cultivating new ideas.
Theres a lot of advice out there on what to include in rituals and routines. What we are focusing on in this article is a practical framework to create and implement yours!
With the new year around the corner, I invite you to use it to create the perfect, customized morning ritual that will work for you.
1. Identify the first domino. Identify the the big domino piece that makes everything else fall into place. Plan your ritual around making sure this one step always happens. That could be waking up by 7am and meditating 20 minutes. It can be a jog, yoga or some kind of movement based routine to get blood moving and wake you up. Whatever it is, be sure to completeh this task each day. 2. Put the big domino first. Once you’ve identified your starting action from Step 1, make it one of the first things you do each morning. Your ritual should be based on supporting this new habit. 3. Write things down. Have some fun with this and feel free to be creative. Use a piece of paper, create a simple document or just keep a habit checklist in a journal that you use only for your ritual. 4. Begin with three. You already know what the most important piece of your ritual. Now just add two more items to the list of things you plan to do everyday. Things you know will benefit the rest of your daily to dos.
5. Start simple and make it easy to succeed. The road to long lasting habit making starts by breaking things down into simple steps. The point is to begin with a simple routine to ensure success. Don't break off more than you can chew and continue to build on those milestones!
6. Give it time. While some subscribe to the notion that a habit takes 21 days to form, that may be a myth. Psychologist Jeremy Dean has found it could take 66 days to build a habit. A study by Phillippa Lally concluded, “The time it took participants to reach 95% of their asymptote of automaticity ranged from 18 to 254 days.” The truth is, people are different. Some individuals need no time at all and others may need more. 7. Nail it, then add new habits. Once you master a routine, add on new habits to make your ritual even more robust. You may even need to add new things in when your lifestyle changes. A new job or new relationship. The point of the ritual stays the same but new habits may need to be added in that serve where you are in life and whar you need. 8. Be open to change. This one piggy backs off of the last ste. Your rituals shouldn't be set in stone. Be open to adjusting and adapting your plan along the way as part of a dynamic process. After a while, you may find that you actually don't like yoga or jogging. You may discover how great you feel after drinking vegetable smoothies. Keeping your process dynamic means letting your ritual continuously evolve, which can be a good thing!
9. Don’t be discouraged by slipups. Your ritual can give you power over your day. The act of having a routine can make you feel like you are living your best life because of it! At other times you may feel lost after missing a step or neglecting your ritual. Stay strong, do not beat yourself up. Building a ritual is like building a muscle. All it takes is doing the workout again to revitalize the habit. As Aaliyah said "If at first you don't succeed. Dust yourself off and try again..." I suggest committing to performing the new ritual for at least 66 days. Make it a challenge. Ask a friend to help with accountability and use a positive reinforcement technique to make the ritual stick. For example, treat yourself to something you’ve wanted once you complete the challenge. As a bonus, use the extra momentum to work more effectively! You can become more productive throughout the day by making tiny changes in so many ways!
Below is an outline of a sample routine:
Wake up at 6 a.m.
Next up! Water yourself! Hydrate your natural glow by drinking a massive glass of water immediately. Great for waking up, your GI system and more!
Throw on your favorite workout set and exercise with a 10-20 minute jog or a quick morning movement workout at home.
After, take notes (do a brain dump in your journal) and plan the day.
Take a shower, get dressed for the day and spray on your favorite perfum. Look good feel good girl.
Perform a gratitude exercise.
Meditate for 5-10 minutes. The Calm app is amazing for their timed guided meditations.
For breakfast, drink a green smoothie with added protein. Save your body some hormonal stress and do this before coffee.
Spend time learning for 30 minutes by reading a book, catching up on articles or listening to an audio program. Can I get a WHAT WHAT for my Audibe subscribers!
After that, go about the biggest task for you day. Rinse and reapeat the next day!
I hope this helps you cultivate a new ritual that serves you now and in the new year! If this helped you, please feel free to share this with a friend who has been talking about wanting a morning routine!