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Ceremonies in your life.



We all have routines, rituals, and habits that we use in our daily life. "The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine." Mike Murdock. Let me point out the difference between routine and habit. An action intentionally repeated becomes a routine. Routines that are maintained over time become a habit. All these I like to call our ceremonies. Life is a precious gift that elevates every routine or habit to a sacred ceremony. Our ceremonies express themselves even without us realizing that. "Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character." Stephen Covey. Researchers at Duke University found that we act on autopilot 40-45% of the day. Only a little thought goes into deciding what to do first: brush your teeth or shower. Or when walking or driving to the store or home after work. Our minds love routines. We all know our reactions to surprises, like road detours.

Our ceremonies can affect all aspects of our life: personal or professional, physical or mental health. "Many people want to change their life, but they are not willing to change their choices, and ultimately this changes nothing." MJ DeMarco. I want to share with you my six tips for creating sustainable ceremonies. But first, we need to be honest with ourselves about WHY we want this habit or ceremony. The stronger your WHY – the more you will be motivated. "And actually, it's not repetition that creates habits. It's emotions that create habits," Rangan Chatterjee.


We have wrong assumptions that highly successful people in business or academically, those who never skip their daily workout or eat healthy, have super willpower or super self-control. What we assume as willpower is a practical and valuable habit. "Successful people aren't born that way. They become successful by establishing the habit of doing things unsuccessful people don't like to do." William Makepeace Thackeray.


1. Start small and be specific.

For example, I decide to meditate daily for 30 minutes. If it is your goal, but you never meditated before, put your timer on 5 minutes. Five minutes are more achievable. You will put your effort until the sound of the timer. Continue this practice until the sound of the timer disturbs your meditation. It could be weeks. When it happens, increase the time from 5 to 8 minutes and so on until you reach the desired 30 minutes. "Make it so easy you can't say no." ~ Leo Babauta

It also means one improvement at a time. People give up when they are overwhelmed. I tell my clients we add only one thing and remove only one thing. It could be months before we add another desired habit.

2. Create a pace that is easy to sustain.

You want to do 20 pushups daily. Have two sets of ten. You even can do one set in the morning and one in the afternoon. Do this until you have no problem doing 20 in one set. Be patient and comfortable with slow progress.

3. Anchor a new one to an established one.

It is easy to build a new habit if it is attached to an established one – anchoring. Desired habits are attached to something I do every day. For example, when I decide to add daily breathing exercises to my morning existing habit, posting on social media. Every day from 7 to 8 am, I do my posting. Now at 8 am, after turning off my computer, I start my exercises.

4. Look for the proper support.

If you like to start daily running, don't try to convince your neighbor to run with you. Join a running club. People in running clubs already have habits that you want to develop.

By joining a group that does what you plan to do, you will acquire support, advice, and encouragement.

5. You will have setbacks. Show compassion.

High achievers or performers get off track like everyone else. What makes them different is that they get back on track as fast as they can without blaming themselves or someone else. Some life events are unpredictable and out of our control and can derail our daily rituals. It is not about to be perfect on every turn, but quickly go back on the truck. We are responsible for our ceremonies. We can create a new one or adjust the existing one. "The best way to improve your self-control is to see how and why you lose control." ~ Kelly McGonigal.

An all-or-nothing mentality is the reason for failure for many people.

6. If it is possible, have fun.

Steps need to be easy and fun if possible. For example: listen to a podcast you love when you work out. Blend the "fun" thing with the "not-so-fun" thing.


Note:

  • When creating your ceremonies, be conscious of your circadian rhythm. For some activities, a specific time of the day is better than others.

  • If you try to replace some of your habits, remember that it took years to build them, so it will take time to replace them too.

  • The stronger your WHY, the more chances you will stick to it. The WHY helps you stay motivated and go back on track when you feel off-track.

  • We will never be able to control all events in our life completely. We need to be flexible, adaptable and accept what is out of our control without judgment and with self-compassion.

  • Come to the realization good habits are part of self-care. They keep us resilient, healthy, and vibrant. These habits will help to create a life we always wanted.

  • A new habit is established when we do not feel good if something interrupts our ceremonies.

"You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine." John C. Maxwell. Once we understand our ceremonies, our habits are our creation; we can change them.

Disclosure: The information on this page is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. Always consult with a qualified health professional.


With love,

Roman

July 1, 2023

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