How to Add Ritual & Routine to your Day
One way to get your focus on your routines and rituals as something one does in the morning, evening and in-between is to put it down on paper in the form of segments. In this example, I partitioned/bookended my day beyond AM and PM BOOKENDS. Instead, I added several bookends demarcating pre-determined segments. Mine are based on mealtimes. In my DREAM goals, one of my 3-2-Thrive To Dos is to eat every 3 hours (more or less). I call this the 3hFFC i.e. 3 hour food freedom challenge. This alerts my attention to my intention to eat every 3 hours and to give myself freedom from food when it is not mealtime. In this way, I know that between meals is a time to live my life in other ways. We do not live to eat, we eat to live!
With segment work such as this, you get an opportunity to do any number of things at the beginning and/or end of a segment, just as you do at the beginning and end of your day. By checking in and navigating in this way, one gets better at beating the habit of procrastination. You also get a panorama of your day, as it becomes obvious which segments may have been neglected and in which segments, one might be trying to do too much. It will help you achieve balance.
Segment Inscribing Ritual
Whatever is happening, can I do 1 thing in support of manifesting my MIRACLE routine?
This is a check-in, touch base ritual that serves as touchstones, several times a day. One takes a deep breath and asks the question in a ritualistic, ceremonial way, ‘like taking your medicine”*(see below for link to this resourceful ritual). How would you describe your experience of reminding yourself to get to something important several times a day? One of the ways I refer to this kind of check-in is “like being called to prayers”.
The “Did I Do My Best To?” Question
This question comes in two versions. At the end of the day, reflection, one asks: “Did I do my best today to…?” and refers to the area of focus e.g. move my body?, eat mindfully? get enough sleep? etc. As this example pertains to the segments of one’s day as well, at the end of a segment, whether it is an entire segment or a workout challenge (W.O.C) etc. one asks “Did I do my best to…” and refer to the specific goal, intention, workout, or whatever one intended to apply oneself to. Did I do my best to show up strong, prepared and primed for my workout? is one of the infinite number of variations possible. You can reference your intentions, values, purpose, principles, character, and so much more!
The “AM I Doing My Best To?” Question
This is asked during the execution of an intention. “Am I doing my best to
- finish stronger on my workout?”
- challenge myself to do one more rep?”
- eat mindfully?”
- notice what I am doing well?”
- turn electronics off 1 hours before I go to sleep?”
- stop eating when I am full?”
- prepare my gear the night before for my workout?”
A variation can be to ask a question at the beginning of the segment/activity e.g. “Am I willing to do my best to…?”
You decide what are your highest priority values, aligned to your purpose and bring this to the table. To be your best, it is important to be open minded, adventurous, open to new, willing to learn, and so forth. You can craft some of these, one or 3 or any number you decide, and formulate it as check-points, check-in questions that encourage self-awareness, self-determination and self-regulation. You will find that these are less prone to judgment and self-condemnation because it allows you to notice that you are doing many of these things already. It helps you focus on how you are doing it already and you may even use the question: “how am I doing it already?” as a navigation question. This is an excellent self-valuing and self-validation tool” that will energise you and build your self-esteem and sense of competency.
The 1-10 Rating Scale
When you ask one of the questions, be it “did I do my best…?” for example, you can precede this with: “On a scale of 1-10”, or 0-10 as you wish. You can decide for example, 0 means ‘no effort’ and 10 means you really challenged yourself.
You may choose a different scale e.g. Yes-No. You may also apply this rating tool to each of your MIRACLE intentions e.g. move, imagine, and go down the list. You might do this for the entire day, therefore in the evening, or at the end of one or more segments or the main activity of a particular segment. Sometimes, the rating is non-applicable i.e. N/A because the item was not a significant focus in that segment. If you dedicate a chunk of time for reflection and meditation, movement may not feature except as calming one’s body perhaps.
Date With Destiny Ritual
Finally, this brings me to the DWD Ritual i.e. The Date With Destiny Ritual. On 14 February 2018, I realised it was the anniversary of a major achievement, as well as Valentine’s Day. I decided to mark the date as significant. This practice became a monthly ritual, so every month since, on the 14th of the month, I have a date with destiny. I believe we create our own destiny and this date reminds me of that, I get to spend time acknowledging that I am on my own side, and make my own destiny. It also helps me celebrate my great win, I lost 20kg and fitted into a particular pair of jeans. It marks achieving an audacious goal! Since then, I have lost more weight and am now celebrating, today, fitting into a new pants, a smaller size. I call it my Victory Pants and Victory Suit! It is an important ritual where I get to hold my win in a ceremonial way.
You can read more about crafting active and empowering questions here: 6 Questions that will set you up to be Super Successful
A quality life demands quality questions… read more here!