“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
So often daily life can feel stagnant, repetitive and mundane. We can feel stuck or even paralysed because we’re allowing life to simply ‘happen’ around us. It is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed when we spend our days trying to squeeze everything in, with no clear direction, plan or routine in place. The to-do list becomes all-consuming and in turn we become unproductive and most likely, unhappy. Repetition and ‘bad’ habits can all too easily define our day-to-day existence.
The solution? Injecting empowering routines, combined with loving rituals into each day.
The word routine in itself can be less than inspiring, however the key is remembering that you are in charge – your life, your choices. Implementing set routines can not only create a supportive framework, but they can be truly nourishing. In contrast to imposing strict rules, routines are about channelling your energy effectively and pushing it in the right direction in order to be as productive as you desire – fulfil your purpose and move forward in daily life.
For example, if you wish to drink hot water with lemon each morning, set the sequence – each night leave a lemon in a jar by the kettle with a cup. Each morning as soon as you enter the kitchen this is the first thing you prepare. We slack on self-care when we think we do not have time, make this daily morning routine as basic as brushing your teeth each morning. You make time for one, so make time for the other also. Make it a non-negotiable routine.
When it comes to rituals, they are crucial to remind us that we are not robots, we have needs to be met and self-care to share with ourselves. Powerful daily rituals connect us with our inner selves and our core being, while offering opportunities to focus our energy and intent into achieving a meaningful feeling. They can be small pockets of time-out, or full engaging activity – moments in time to celebrate, reflect or simply slow down. Rituals can ground us in our steps and connect us with conscious intention, regardless of what may be going on around us.
A basic, yet effective method to set intention is to take a few moments before you step out of bed in the morning and ask yourself: “What will I do today? How will I spend my time?”. Then each night once you return to bed ask yourself: “What did I do today? How did I spend my time?”. Your intention is becoming powerful when the two answers marry up. By practicing this ritual daily, you should gain a greater understanding of how productive your days are, as well as how they make you feel emotionally.
Complete traditional rituals should have a clear simple sequence. By creating the exact order of a ritual the mind and body meet as one and the ritual becomes habitual. At this point the act no longer requires conscious engagement – the ritual becomes a natural daily experience.
It can be important to remember the simple message that our days become weeks, and weeks become years – which make our lives – so make every day meaningful. By choosing to live with empowering routines and loving rituals, we are committing to fuelling our days and nourishing our souls.