Ritual and routine have become quite the buzzwords in the world of wellness. But what’s the difference between the two? Both are important, but they’re not the same.
A routine is a series of patterns or habits that you do every day like brushing your teeth or walking your dog. A ritual is a series of patterns or habits with some intentionality or purpose behind it like journaling or saying affirmations. Together, your rituals and routines help to create momentum, and keep you feeling balanced, grounded, and focused.
You hear people talk about morning or evening routines, and this is something that I’ve been working on with a couple of clients. I’ve found that anytime their business or relationships aren’t where they want them to be, or they feel stuck, it usually comes down to what they’re doing before bed and as soon as they wake up.
Your rituals and routines are the habitual patterns that shape and mold us. But what does that look like in practice?
Before Bed Rituals
You’ve probably got a few routine items that you check off your list before going to bed like washing your face and brushing your teeth, but what about a ritual?
An important thing to keep in mind is that it’s been proven that blue light from screens suppresses melatonin production, the sleep hormone. That means that using screens before bed interferes with your ability to get quality sleep, so it’s best to avoid screen time for at least 30 minutes before bed.
This gives you the opportunity to create a ritual during this time. Something intentional to get your mind ready for the next day. This could be looking at a planner, at a vision board, reading a few pages of a book. One thing I love to do is to document on a flashcard how many pages I’ve read each day and use that as a bookmark so that I can track my reading progress.
You can also help get your mind right for tomorrow by reflecting on what things you’d like to be really present for? The ritual is the agreement you create with yourself to create a routine that has intentionality behind it before you go to bed each night.
Creating a Morning Ritual
Just as important as your evening ritual, is how you start your day. Your morning ritual puts you in motion so that you can move through your day with momentum.
A friend and mentor that I’ve known for years is a gentleman named Hal Elrod – author of the book The Miracle Morning. Last year I told him how impactful he’s been on my life with his miracle mornings and “SAVERS” principle.
SAVERS stands for:
Elrod took all these principles from different gurus and thought leaders and condensed them down into an accessible framework. Although I’ve since created my own rituals, his philosophy created a great foundation for me during a chapter in my life where I needed direction on how to start my day the right way.
Silence is created through meditation or practicing stillness to begin the day.
Affirmations can be simple “I am” statements or fancy ones that reinforce the future you want to create for yourself.
You can then turn these into visualizations. Check out Tony Robbins’ priming activity as a great way to practice breathwork and visualization.
E is for exercise which can be as simple as walking or doing some push-ups, or a full gym routine. Reading, even if it’s just a few pages.
Then scribing which means journaling. You can answer a question of the day like “What am I grateful for right now?”, “How do I feel?”, “How do I want to feel?”, or “What are some actions I can take to get me there?”. You can also journal your goals, which is what I do.
This is how you create rituals. I’d love to hear about your rituals, so please share them with me. You can also join our accountability group where we’ve been talking about how your rituals serve your goals.
These are Tiny Actions Daily like taking a cold shower or sending a gratitude text to a few people, that help create momentum. They might not necessarily move you closer to your goals, but they create energy that makes it easier to reach them. I’m currently offering a 50% off discount for your first two months of the accountability group, so send me a private message to learn more.
For more inspiration, you can check out our podcast “The Better Than Rich Show”, come to our next event, or keep in touch on social media. Hope to see you out there!