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Ritualise.. Breaking Old Habits by turning them into New Rituals

The morning routine can be an obvious one to unpack. Is your morning routine how you would ideally like it? Does it leave you feeling energised or already on alert?

What does your routine look like?

What habits do you have?

Are there some habits you want to keep and some you'd like to change?

You might have eating habits, exercise habits, talking habits (certain repeating relationship dynamics), media use habits and some positive self care habits. These morning activities we do are quite recurrent and habitual. We mostly don't think about them and they continue most days the same. Habits are the way the brain shortcuts and doesn't need to be switched on and day in day out allll the time.

Somewhere along the way we realize some or all of these repeated habits may be having a negative affect on us.

However breaking habits can be tricky if we stay looking at them in a negative way. If we feel like there's a lack, if we feel that we are limiting ourselves then this can create stress, and it can in fact limit our creative capacity to deal with what we want to change.

However what if we flip this on its head?

Let's talk about creating meaningful rituals.

Even the word ritual makes us feel like we are improving our life. We are attaching deeper meaning and consequence to our daily actions or regular behaviors. And that's what I'm inviting you to do.

When we create a ritual we are creating a positive habit loop.

This positive habit is driven by a deeper motivation and a deeper sense of yourself grows in this new ritual, it creates a desired feeling from a deeper level of your consciousness.

An example of flipping your habit to a ritual could be your morning coffee either becomes a mindful prayer of energy and intention or maybe it turns into a morning juice cleanse or lemon and water to start your digestion off the right way and your mind more calm, less attached to the rush of life.

Your evening ritual could turn into a gratitude, meditation and prayer session instead of ruminating negatively over what didn't get done today.

Your low key Sunday dinner turns into a regular friend movie night or a ritual family appreciation time.

You can create more uplifting experiences on a regular, daily basis.

This is the power of ritual in our lives.

From the brain science perspective the brain rewires more easily when we put importance on our behaviours. This increases something called myelination of the synapses between neuronal activity. When there is stronger myelination we can recall these behaviours. So when there is more importance put on something this can increase the likelihood of those new neural networks firing more easily. And of course repetition is the other major key in re-wiring your brain from one habit to another.

From a behavioural psychology perspective there is something called a black and white goal. Black and white goals don't ever shift. Now I would suggest a ritual is a type of black and white goal. We couldn't do Christmas on a different day could we? It's the same with other rituals in your life. The more you tell yourself that this is a black and white goal or a ritual, the more you do it consistently and the harder it is to break the new habit. In fact the mind can get to a point where it craves the new habit/ritual behaviour in a kind of physiological way.

Let me tell you about a time when I interrupted an old habit cycle and replaced it with my new ritual. An example I have is when I recognised a behavioural habit of my 7 year old - that he would get cranky on the way home after school, all the time. I recognised that it started with my insisting he carry his bag to the car. I jumped on this one day to interrupt that habitual relationship dynamic and asked him if I could carry his bag for him as he must have had a big day. His reaction was obvious. His mood and behaviour improved exponentially. And now over a year later, I realise that it is a ritual. I love asking him how his day was and a richness has grown in my heart as I offer to help him with his bag, everyday.

Step 1 - Identify a cue that needs interrupting

Step 2 - Create new behaviour with rich meaning and a deeply heart-felt pay off

Step 3 - Repeat! Every time!

What habits do you have that would benefit by taking this shift? What behaviours could you reimagine and flip to a fulfilling habit - a really positive ritual in your life? Remember it could be about managing your health mindfully, increasing your self-care, connecting more with your loved ones, meditating or creating new possibilities and greater self-leadership across your life. Journal on it. Feel free to let me know. Shoot me an email. I'd love to hear from you.

Bring the sacred back into the daily one moment at a time!

Behaviour change is a process.

Sustainable behaviour change needs repetition and regular realignment to the self that you may not know yourself to be. Yet.

Be faithful to your future self not your past.

May this tip enhance whatever behaviour change you are facing whether its health, relationship, career or for fun!!

If you want support with your goals please connect and let's have a chat about which coaching program might be right for you.

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