And what has worked for your ritual? Who were the most valuable members of your support team?
One reader wrote me, “I have become more productive and more at ease knowing that I am clear and on top of things.” I love that! Productivity and ease – a powerful combination. Here’s what my ritual has done for me.
What Has My Ritual Done For Me?
Started the day off the way I want – By connecting with beauty and feeling through music, poetry or a walk (when I was able to), I was able to start the day off at my best and it often spilled into wonderful little areas in the rest of the day. Even if I forgot all about it by lunchtime, I can see that it colored some of my approach below the surface and helped shift me in little ways toward the way I want to live my work and life.
Ending the day the way I want - By calling up things I was grateful for at the end of the day, it counteracted my sometimes tendency to fight against all the bad things that happened. It was a true shifting of the spotlight. I slept better because I was in a place of safety, not danger or some kind of war, which can definitely happen to me before I fall asleep.
Brought my different worlds together – My personal, work, spiritual, and relationship selves all were involved in some aspect of this ritual – a powerful combination.
What supported the ritual and what didn’t?
Having some aspect of the ritual depend on another person – Doing my evening ritual with Laura really helped. Another reader of this blog shared the same thing – he has an early morning call with a friend that he has no trouble doing, but the solo aspects of his ritual are harder to get to.
Knowing there are others doing their own ritual right along with me was helpful.
The clearer the better – I was better able to do my evening ritual because it was so precise – list five things I’m grateful for. I didn’t stick with the number five, that didn’t work for me, but it helped to have it be that precise in the beginning. In the morning I had music, poetry and nature to pick from and sometimes nothing got picked.
The shorter the better – Again, I was more successful with doing my evening ritual because it was so short – five minutes and I’m done. The morning ritual was more open ended and I experienced more internal resistance because I thought it might take too long (and I had to choose between the three)
Sleeping in late didn’t support the ritual- It was especially hard after a late night hockey game. I often felt pressure to get going with my day and not “waste time” with the ritual.
Connecting my ritual to many different aspects of my life helped. By using the same material in personal, work, spiritual, relationship and friendship areas they reinforced each other and brought those selves into the same room.
What has your ritual done for you? Also let me know what worked for you and what didn’t support your ritual.
This post is part of a series on using persistence to create lasting personal change for the better. Forty Days to a Change for Good is part of Quixote Consulting’s Change Quest change management training and Resiliency: Five Keys to Success training. Research shows it takes at least 30 days to make a positive change in your life that lasts. This post is part of a series by Rob Fletcher that examines what makes change initiatives work, what makes them fail, and how daily rituals support positive changes you want to make.