Why Rituals Work

 In Blog

What comes to mind when you think of the word ritual?

According to Lucy Gower in “How Are Daily Rituals Different from Daily Routines?”:  Daily rituals are meaningful practices and are internally motivated. A daily ritual can provide energy and enjoyment along with efficiency and structure. A ritual is a carefully selected way of doing something that has a sense of purpose and a positive side effect in addition to the straightforward completion of the task. Read the full article at Lifehack.org

Some of the world’s most successful people kickstart their day with rituals.

  • Oprah starts her day with meditation. Next, she hits the treadmill to raise her heart rate. She finishes her morning ritual with a healthy meal.
  • Steve Jobs would get up and immediately make his bed, shower, and look himself in the mirror. He would ask, “If today was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I’m about to do today?”

I start my day with a cup of black coffee and hop back into bed. First, I think about a few things I’m grateful for in my life. Next, I set my intentions for the events of the day and visualize positive interactions, like coaching sessions and business calls. Then, I go through a series of yoga stretches, jump into a cold shower and I’m set for the day.

If I don’t complete my morning ritual the adverse effect is I don’t feel as awake, centered, prepared, or on top of my game.

There’s a distinct difference between habits and rituals. Habits are activities you repeat without much thought, like brushing your teeth or flipping on the mic, and automatically saying the station and show name.

There’s also a difference in planning (brainstorming, researching, prepping setups, etc.) and rituals.

Rituals are about paying attention to what we’re about to do and setting ourselves up to have a positive impact on a particular moment. Not only do rituals prompt your creative channels to open and flow, but rituals are also being used by athletes for peak performance and by psychologists to address emotional stress like anxiety and grief.

We would love to hear about the rituals you practice for peak performance.

Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash

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