A daily ritual saved my life: how to build your own with ease
We wake up frazzled, jump out of bed, begin our normal routine of eating breakfast, watching TV, jumping in the shower, doing our beauty routine, maybe exercise if we feel like it and then head out the door (rearrange order to suit). And then what happens is we start work and we might feel OK, the day might go OK and we might come home feeling OK and then it all starts again. Maybe something great happens and we feel fabulous and powerful and proud for a few hours, and then life kicks in again and we get back to this same old routine. This is where a daily ritual can really make a difference.
Without a daily ritual, we live life without intention, we go through the motions and we speed past the goals we’ve hit.
I’ve had a daily ritual for a while now (unknowingly) and it has held me in good stead. When something didn’t go exactly how I wanted it to, I responded out of intention and didn’t react straight away with doubt, anger or frustration. The daily ritual allowed me to see the beauty in my day, to recognise the joyful moments and laugh at the awful ones.
Now I’m not saying it’s all plain sailing because I have a daily ritual, but it certainly has made my life far more pleasant. I recently got a new puppy and my sleeping, eating, bathing, socialising (pretty much everything) habits were thrown out the window — I felt like I was losing myself (sleep deprivation really is a killer). I was so consumed by getting everything right with the pup (Nimbus is his name, if you wanted to know) that I was constantly doubting myself. My focus was on all the tiny details and not the bigger picture. I stopped focusing on myself and work and constantly felt like I was failing myself and the pup. I was ready to give him back after only a super short time (I’ve wanted a puppy for years so it was a big deal).
It wasn’t until I’d realised I had neglected my daily ritual that things started to fall back into place. Creating a daily ritual helped me set my mind up to achieve no matter what. It allowed me to see the world as an inviting place and not one that was against me and it made it easier for me to get things done and power through that to-do list. It left me feeling empowered, confident and in control at the end of the day. And it really wasn’t that hard to begin (but it took about a week of physical and mental chaos to notice something had shifted).
Without a daily ritual, we live life without intention, we go through the motions and we speed past the goals we've hit.
A daily ritual is defined as any practice or pattern of behaviour performed in a set manner. This set manner of behaviours helps inform the rest of your day. It means we get to decide how our day goes, and not the rest of the world. It means when that super-irritating co-worker says something that usually frustrates us, we laugh at it and move on with ease. When we’re stuck in traffic and would typically swear at everything and everyone, we see it as a perfect opportunity to just chill. We stop and smell the roses along the way and don’t fixate on all the rubbish on the floor! It’s so refreshing!
So how do we build a daily ritual into our lives? It’s simple and straightforward, but sometimes we need to play around with it for a little while until we find what fits. It may (and probably) will change over time when our life changes (babies, puppies, new house, new relationship etc etc etc). We’ll go over the steps involved so we can start living happily, harmoniously and beautifully as we build our daily ritual!
How to build a daily ritual
Intention + time
- First, think about your intention for your daily ritual. Do you want to gain more happiness from your day? More productivity? More energy? Do you want your day to be more positive with an actively open mind? Whatever it is, choose something that feels good and use that to direct you.
- (For these steps, I’ll be using the intention of “to keep an open-mind and use my day to learn and achieve”.)
- Then decide how much time you want to dedicate to your new daily ritual — any time is fine, just don’t go too short, eg two minutes. Could you wake up five minutes earlier than usual? Could you change your normal routine and spend less time eating breakfast or watching TV?
- (I give myself five to six minutes each morning.)
Start loving you mind
3. In order to set up your mind so you’re ready to face the day with power and not fear and anxiety, choose one from the following list to do each morning:
- Meditation is so powerful when it comes to setting your mind up, which is why it’s at the top of the list.
- This may or may not sound silly, but it’s one of the best things you can do — stand in the mirror and tell yourself how amazing you are. Go over all the things you did well the day before, and tell yourself how well today is going to go as well.
- Recite mantras
- I have a cute little postcard of short and long mantras. Things such as “I am a proud and powerful yoga teacher”, “I have people around me who support me”, “I am loved” and “I am more than enough”.
- Vision board
- Create a beautiful vision board and each morning, take a look at it, soaking up all the pictures and imagining that you already have everything on there.
- From the moment you wake up, be mindful of what you’re doing, from stretching out of bed to putting your slippers on and going to the loo. If you focus on what you’re doing from the get-go, it’s easier to focus on the rest of the day.
- Write it out
- This one’s for if you have a little more time — write out everything and anything that you’re grateful for and anything and everything that you want to happen today.
- Finally, find something you enjoy and say thank you for having the ability to be able to do it. Keep it simple, such as having a cup of tea, putting our make-up on, listening to music etc.
And that’s that, my friends. Those few short minutes can help reform your life and set your day up for success. Happiness, harmony, productivity, focus, peace… the list goes on. And all from a daily ritual.
And for anyone that fancies knowing, my daily ritual goes a little like this:
- Look at my vision board and say thank you in advance for all the things coming my way
- Read my mantras out loud
- Meditate for three minutes