Yesterday, we talked all about how habits work so that you can start to reverse engineer new healthy activities into your lifestyle.
Today, we’re going to focus a little more on the routine portion of the Habit Loop.
A quick reminder about the habit loop for those of you just joining us in the series; all habits follow a loop that goes like this: Cue —> Routine —> Reward.
So let’s dive a little more into the routine portion.
Routine or Ritual?
Sometimes, routines can be boring because you’re doing the same thing over and over again. If your morning routine is to brush your teeth, comb, your hair, and then put on makeup, it probably has gotten to the point where it’s so automatic you don’t even think about it. You know you need or want to do it because it’s just what you do and you take pride in your personal hygiene, but few people probably say they actually ENJOY it.
That’s what we’re going to work on today.
In many religions, certain actions are performed according to a very specific outline. These rituals are performed with intention, with reverence, with purpose. The act itself is symbolic, but the intention behind why the act is being performed is what matters most.
This basic idea has merit outside of religion as well. If we place deeper meaning and intention behind our daily actions, the actions themselves suddenly become more important. We have more motivation to do them. We are more present when we perform them. And quite honestly, we’re multi-tasking in that we’re practicing presence at the same time that we’re accomplishing a goal to live more healthy lives. So that’s kinda nice.
When I talk about ritualizing your wellness, I don’t mean to make it religious, although if that’s your thing, then by all means, be my guest.
How to Ritualize Your Wellness Activities
Ritualizing your wellness activities is about creating more presence, intention, and fun in the daily routine you’re trying to build.
For example, maybe your working on a new habit to drink a green smoothie for breakfast every morning. The cue is the time of day, the routine is the act of making the smoothie itself, and the reward is the refreshed, focused, and light feeling you have when you finish your smoothie.
The routine of making the smoothie can be performed every day as part of the means to an end, or it can become another excuse to be present and use all your senses. You can smell the fruit you cut. Feel the leaves of the kale you wash. See and appreciate the vibrant colors. Taste the first sip with all your taste buds. The act of making the smoothie becomes a reward in and of itself as you remain present with the fresh food that is providing nourishment to your body.
See the difference?
When you ritualize your wellness routine, you’re more likely to continue practicing wellness.
So what routine can you ritualize today and how are you going to enjoy it a little more? Let me know on the Facebook page!