As human beings, we are all deeply influenced by our daily habits, routines, and rituals in a wide variety of different ways.
In fact, according to writers such as Charles Duhigg and James Clear, each an author of a popular book on habits, it’s very often the daily habits and routines that we repeat on a regular basis that ultimately have the largest effect on the course our lives take.
Whoever you are, and whatever your basic lifestyle looks like, it goes without saying that you have certain daily rituals in place that structure your experience and have a significant impact in shaping the path that you are on.
Here are a few daily rituals that you might want to try adding to your own life, as they have the ability to lead to significant positive effects over time.
Dressing for the occasion
The clothes we wear have a remarkable ability to shape how we feel about ourselves, how other people perceive us, and how effectively we are able to engage wholeheartedly in particular endeavours.
In fact, psychological studies have shown that when people are “primed” in particular ways – such as by being asked to imagine themselves in a particular professional context – their abilities and temperaments significantly change across different dimensions.
When all is said and done, the clothes we choose to wear can have an extremely powerful effect with regards to psychologically “priming” us in one direction or another.
If you want to get better workouts in at the gym, “dressing for the occasion” by purchasing yourself some workout gear that helps you to feel your best, might really make an impact. Or, if you want to start up your own business, putting on a sharp suit – even when you work from home – might help to make you more focused and productive.
Dressing for the occasion – whatever the occasion may be – can be a very powerful ritual to add to your everyday life, whether that means browsing through a great collection of glasses to find a new, more professional pair, or getting a new pair of running shoes.
Doing an evening mental review of the day
When we’re caught up in the hustle and bustle, and preoccupations of everyday life, it can be all too easy to lose track of the bigger picture – and to end up falling into patterns of behaviour that aren’t properly aligned with your values and priorities.
One excellent daily ritual to adopt in order to help maintain perspective, and to live life in an intentional and effective way, is to start doing an evening mental review of the day, each day, before going to bed.
While there are many different unique ways that you can do this practice, and many questions you can ask yourself, the basic outline is as follows: visualise the day in your mind, from the moment you woke up, to the moment you are in right now. Ask yourself what you did well that day, and what you didn’t do well. What are you proud of? And what are you not proud of? What could you have done differently? What do you plan to do differently tomorrow?
If you take this practice seriously, and do it regularly, it can really help to keep you on the right path going forward, and to hold you accountable to yourself when you stray from it.
Spending time on one thing that connects you with a higher sense of purpose
Everyone should have at least one ritual that they perform each day that helps to connect them with a high sense of purpose in one way or another.
These kinds of rituals and practices are always going to be highly personal – and might include anything ranging from prayer, to time spent out in nature, to moments chatting with family.
Either way, a sense of connection to something higher is one of the things that is most associated with a sense of meaning, happiness, and fulfilment in life.
Having a daily stretching practice
In today’s world, virtually everyone ends up with bad posture, tight muscle groups, and degrees of chronic pain and wear and tear as a result.
Even if you are physically active at work, you probably end up performing the same limited set of motions over and over again throughout the day.
Integrating a daily stretching practice into your routine – whether that’s yoga, Pilates, or something else – can really help to relieve stress, increase flexibility, reduce pain, and enhance well-being.