Repetition is a powerful teacher. Adding consistency and ritual to your daily life can serve you in many ways including improving productivity, increasing happiness, and boosting mood. Most notably, morning routines have been linked to greater professional success and getting more done overall.
Here are some daily rituals to consider – whether they help you through a difficult time or advance your life to the next level.
This practice has been embraced by some of the most successful leaders of our time, including CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, and even Oprah Winfrey. The goal of mediation is to clear your mind, so morning is a great time to embrace this practice as usually the mind is more settled upon waking. Not to mention, meditation can help set positive intentions for the entire day. Cultivating mindful, conscious thoughts and gratitude at the onset of your day can build momentum all day long based on this early morning mental check in. Don’t know where to start? Try downloading the Headspace app or sign up for one of Deepak Chopra free 21 day meditation challenges. Along with meditation, using positive affirmations and visualization daily to support the life you desire.
It’s no doubt that exercise helps boost mood and energy, and that starting your day with it can ensure you don’t let it fall by the wayside as the day gets more complex, and you get increasingly more tired. Looking to one of our great leaders, Barack Obama has a strict routine of morning exercise that helped him manage the stress and pressure of the presidency. The truth about exercise is that it doesn't have to happen in the morning or even happen at consistently the same time. Just make it a daily habit and fit it in where you can. It doesn’t have to be a 2-hour trip to the gym. Commit to a morning walk, stream a yoga video (YogaDownload is a great all-level resource), or simply get moving for 10 minutes using your body weight for resistance. Start somewhere and the positive benefits will reinforce your decision to continue to add movement to your daily agenda.
Oftentimes, meal planning and healthy eating is the first thing to go to the wayside when life gets busy. Maybe you eat packaged meal bars instead of a balanced lunch or your favorite Starbucks drink has become your breakfast. Being more intentional about meals, sharing them with others, eating at the same time, and having a meal plan is a ritual with endless benefits. Feel like you are too busy? From Blue Apron to Sun Basket, you can get all the ingredients you need for a balanced meal (and food you like!) delivered to your door weekly. Or, spend a couple nights a week cooking meals you come up with and you’ll have leftovers for lunches and more hectic evenings. Not to mention, the act of cooking can be therapeutic, creative, and a chance to bond with your family members. Cooking solo? Load your favorite audio book or podcast and let it keep you company in the kitchen.
It’s tempting to unwind in the evening with television, internet time, or social media. Spending time reading will not only boost your IQ, the time without screens will help you sleep better. Set aside time everyday to read something you are really passionate about, whether that be a hobby, something related to your career growth, or books on personal development. It’s also a good idea to read the classics again later in life as your experiences will cause them to be a richer and different read as you grow and mature. Start with 15 minutes. This is usually a great ritual for unwinding, so after work or before bed are times that work well.
You might think you are not a writer and therefore journaling doesn’t come naturally to you. The truth is that journaling can be a powerful outlet, and a form of self-care. Journaling is not about perfect grammar, well structured sentences, or good handwriting. You can write words, lists, sentences, poetry, draw - whatever comes to mind for however long you wish. If that doesn’t appeal to you, try the app, The Five Minute Journal, containing writing prompts about things you are grateful for, daily goals, and affirmations. The Five Minute Journal is a movement proven to increase happiness, and facilitate a life with more intention, gratitude, and optimism. Making five minutes of writing a creative and reflective outlet will lead to positive benefits that impact your entire life.
Notice and reflect upon what routines in your day help you feel like your best self and which have the opposite effect. Highly functioning individuals use rituals to ensure that positive routines become long-term habits. While these proposed ideas are simple - we know it doesn’t feel easy to make changes after years of patterned behavior. Try one thing tomorrow as a starting point and begin to realize the power rituals can have to transform your life.
The team at Center for Shared Insight can support your goals around healthier habits and a more fulfilling life. Contact us for a free consultation today.