We can’t deny the fact that we are all struggling with one challenge or the other. Every single one of us have at many times hoped to do or to be better than what we are, achieve more than we ever have and live as higher human beings in every respect. We all have dreams to lead great lives, and live on top of our worlds.
Many times we’ve heard of how successful people attained success by simply practicing an act or a habit of growth every single day, habits practiced at the same time every day become a ritual. Every single one of us have habits, good or bad. Some of our habits simply grow out of happenstance, that is, we don’t plan to do them we just find oursleves doing them. For example, making our bed before going to sleep or brushing our teeth in the morning. Nobody said we couldn’t brush our teeth during the day right? Most of the habits we now have developed without us knowing. We start doing it one day and before you know it, we just do it without even thinking about it.
Other habits are formed deliberately, an example being, going for an early morning jog, others deliberately take water first thing in the morning and last thing before going to sleep for detoxification. After meditation, I check my mail first thing in the morning. That’s a habit. Benjamin Franklin wrote naked for an hour every morning just to refresh his mind in the cold air. That’s a deliberate habit.
Form a positive habit and mindfully transform it into a ritual just so you can accomplish a task. Great people of today adopted that principle, they knew what to do in order to become the best. A basket ball player aiming to become world’s best knows that he must practice regularly, ten times than he normally would. So he gets up before dawn and practices until day break, he then incorporates this habit into his lifestyle, he wakes up the same time and practices till the same time everyday. What makes us great is shaping positive habits into rituals so that we can attain success or accomplish a task.
Here are quick steps to creating a ritual.
- Prepare the environment- if you plan to read a book for thirty minutes first thing in the morning, you will probably succeed in making it a ritual if you took time to lay the book on your bedside table the night before. If you plan to eat healthy, avoid junk foods, then store up your kitchen with healthy food. If you want to make jogging a ritual, jog for an hour first thing in the morning everyday, set your running kits out before going to bed. If your ritual is to stop checking your mail when you wake up but to do laundry, then you will have to keep your phone and computer away before sleeping and arrange the clothes to be washed. Make environmental preparation part of your daily ritual.
- Find out when you’re most productive- this is called your productive window. For me, I always feel weak after waking up so reading a book at that time just puts me right back to sleep. So I found out that my productive window is after a bath and a good breakfast, at that time I know that there are no chores beckoning on me. So afternoon is the time I read and write mostly. A morning person is most likely to do all they plan to do right after waking up.
- Do the things you don’t like doing first- I found out that most people don’t like making their beds when they get up from it in the morning. Pushing off the annoying work until the end of the day only makes you a slave to them because at the end of the day, you will still have to do them. If you work on the hardest tasks first, your day will become easier and better because the next thing you need to do will be the easier things.
- Focus on completion not perfection- you don’t have to be completely perfect because you have started a ritual. It doesn’t work that way. Focus on getting things done first then you reach your end goal gradually. Consistency breeds results. You don’t have to be a perfectionist, you don’t have to make a masterpiece the more you nurture the embryo of self discipline, the more quickly it will mature and give you a desired result.
Ritual is all about taking the daily incremental steps needed to build a character and on the long run, they are what defines us.