Another new year has arrived. Happy New Year!
At this time of year, many people are typically setting new year’s resolutions – a resolve to stop, start, continue or change something.
I believe new years resolutions are made of good intentions, but we all know, and research shows us, that year after year, resolutions start strong and then fade away. Many resolutions don’t even make it to the second half of the year. In fact, 70% of New Years’ resolutions are abandoned within one month and only 8% of people actually achieve them. Why is that?
Resolutions are often future focussed. They concentrate on who and what you want to become, not on who you are right now. At some point or another, you may have told yourself “new year, new me”. For example; you may have decided that the new you needs to be slimmer, so you resolve to go to the gym every day, even though you don’t enjoy it, and haven’t been to the gym in ages.
No wonder the success rate of resolutions is so low. So then, what’s the alternative? Rituals.
“A daily ritual is a way of saying, I’m voting for myself; I’m taking care of myself”
– Mariel Hemingway
Rituals are focussed on you in the present moment. They are meaningful routines and habits that support who you are right now, whilst giving you what you need to develop and thrive in your life. They are less forceful, and more intentional. They are practiced mindfully and give you a sense of being in choice. Now doesn’t that feel more empowering? The best part is, when you feel in choice about something, you experience less resistance towards it. Less resistance means more consistency and that’s what actually creates change / transformation and leads to accomplished goals. Sound good?
Here are 3 steps to benefitting from the power of rituals:
1. Write down the top 3 goals you want to accomplish this year, and think of 1 broader aspiration of where you’d like to be in 10 years time.
2. Underneath each goal / aspiration, write down how you need to behave / show up in order to achieve it.
3. Then create daily rituals to help set yourself up for success each day.
One of my broader 10 year aspirations is to be more creative. In order to achieve this I will need to be more present and connected to myself so that I can access my creativity. This will naturally inform my morning and evening rituals, as I will need to allow space for reflective practice, meditation, time for writing and creating, and dare I say it, joy! Nothing inspires us as joy does – when we feel joy, we feel alive and when we feel alive, we see possibility. Joy is the highest vibration. If you want to raise your vibration, seek joy! (Side note, as women we never plan or schedule joy into our calendar – we schedule work, we schedule other to-do’s but never joy. Imagine if we did that? I have a feeling so much goodness would come of that…)
By creating specific morning and evening rituals, I know I can be more creative. I also know I will eat better (a recent report published in the British Journal of Health Psychology found eating more fruits and vegetables, and eating less sugar, correlates to an increased sense of curiosity and creativity), I will move my body more (walking is great for stimulating creativity!) and I’ll also sleep better (I’ll be keeping a notepad and pen by my bedside table – often our best ideas come to us via our dreams and our subconscious mind. If we don’t write them down, it’s easy to forget them by the morning!).
Morning and evening rituals will enable me to live in a way that helps my ‘being’ and supports who I currently am, whilst also nurturingly nudging me into new behaviours and mindset that will shape the woman I am becoming so that I can achieve the goals I am aspiring for. All of this happens from a place of true intent, meaning and a sense of purpose. Rituals become ‘my space’ and ‘time for me’ in an otherwise busy day where I’m taking care of others and possibly losing myself in the process.
Rituals are like seeds of new patterns of behaviour and mindsets, that eventually reshape us….
- What are your goals for this year?
- What are your aspirations for this decade?
- How will you need to show up in order to achieve them?
- How can you design morning and evening rituals to support you to show up in this way?
May the new year bring you the very best in health and happiness. Whatever it is that you wish to be, do, have – may it all happen for you with ease and grace.