How to Create a New Ritual
Your health caper is all about making choices that serve you. Which sounds easy, but really isn’t.
How do I know this? Because if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
But, how do you actually go about creating a new ritual that sticks? Today, I’m breaking that process down for you – into manageable chunks.
1. Start with a very small piece of your new ritual
Many peeps make the mistake of deciding they want to create a new ritual and they wonder why their 53-step, complicated ritual doesn’t last past day 1. Willpower is like a muscle. Just like a muscle, it gets tired when overuse it.
Set yourself up for success by picking a small piece of your new ritual that is so easy you need little or no motivation to do it. Rather than attempting a one-hour morning ritual straight off, begin with a 3-minute speedy morning ritual you can do from your bed. Rather than trying walk 5 kilometres every day, start by taking a ten-minute walk each day.
Make your very small piece easy enough that you can get it done with little or no motivation.
2. Gradually increase your ritual in very small ways.
Small, incremental improvements add up. Often, surprisingly fast.
Rather than trying to implement your amazing 53-step ritual from the beginning, start with the very small piece of your new ritual and gradually increase and extend your practice as you add to it. Success is a great motivator. As you hit your stride, you’ll find that your willpower and motivation will increase. This makes it so much more achievable to stick to your ritual for good.
Add a five-minute meditation to that 3-minute speedy morning ritual. Extend your ten-minute walk to a 15-minute walk.
3. As you expand your ritual, break it into chunks.
If you slowly continue to increase and expand over time, within a couple of months you’ll find your new ritual coming together. At this point, to maintain all this #bloodyfabulous momentum, it is important not to overcomplicate your ritual. It’s better to achieve two small rituals well than it is to half finish one BHAG (big, hairy, audacious!) ritual
Developing your morning ritual? Instead of squeezing that journaling into your morning, is it better placed at the end of your day? Working towards walking 5 kilometres every day? How about 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon instead of one big chunk?
4. When you experience creepage, get back on track quickly.
Accept that there will be some days when your ritual is compromised by an unexpected curveball. Mistakes will be made. Intentions won’t be met. The most important thing is to get back on track as quickly as possible.
Missing your ritual once won’t matter in the long-term. And we all know that perfection is over-rated (not to mention impossible!)
It can be helpful to take some time in advance to consider what might prevent your ritual from happening. What are the factors that are likely to get in your way? What are some things in your life that are likely to steer you off course? How can you work around these issues? Or, at least, how you can bounce back quickly from them and get back on track?
The important thing is that you keep on keeping on with your ritual. This is about consistency.
5. Be the tortoise, Not the hare
Learning to be patient is perhaps the most critical skill of all. By chipping away at your new ritual, over a surprisingly short period of time you will find you can make incredible progress.
If you are building your morning ritual, go easy on yourself. It takes time to create a paradigm shift. If you are working towards that 5 kilometres every day, don’t rush it. Good things take time. Make small and, most importantly, sustainable increments.