The power of practising daily rituals

Rachel Grunwell discusses how having daily rituals in your life can help you.

Words Rachel Grunwell. Illustration Elin Matilda Andersson, Makers MGMT.

We are all the result of our chosen daily rituals. What I mean by this is how you choose to think, and what you choose to do regularly will shape who you are.

So think about how you can be the best version of “you” and then choose your rituals accordingly and commit to them. Do these rituals often. Consistency is key; this gets results.

For me, some of my regular rituals include rising early most days of the week to go to my local CrossFit gym to work out. This ritual was hard in the beginning, but now I love it. CrossFit helps me to feel strong and fit and I love exercising with a fun, supportive community. Feeling strong helps me to feel body-confident and this uplifts my energy levels too. I love how feeling fit makes me feel – that’s what I focus on, rather than too much on how I look. I had a goal one year ago to get stronger, and I’ve worked hard to achieve this. It feels really good to be more toned than I’ve been in a long time. So the hard work is paying off!

Another ritual is taking time for mindfulness. This helps me to celebrate the moment, focus on “the now” and not ruminate. It’s a body, mind and soul thing. It centres and grounds me. Without this in my life, I used to feel a lot less calm. This
is a ritual now that I love. It’s transforming me, too.

Another ritual has been to “up” my vegetable intake, to fill up three quarters of my nightly dinner plate. This is because I know good food fuels my mood and energy levels. I make sure I have a good amount of protein too, to help keep me full so I don’t snack as much. Eating well gives me enough “go” too, to be able to run my health business and to keep up with my kids. Besides, if I eat too much sugar, then my mood crashes and I can feel anxious and jittery. But I’m not strict on the no-sugar-rule. I indulge in treats sometimes. I live life-in-balance, not with a too restrictive focus. I inspire my clients to do the same. I want
them to enjoy that celebratory wine sometimes if they want it.

A ritual I do with my seven-year-old son is I walk him to school. I choose this ritual for him to get in some movement to kick-start his day. It’s also a nice bonding time together where I’ve discovered he shares his thoughts most freely. It has become our special time together.

I work as a wellness coach with lots of clients nationwide. I help them with goals like losing weight, getting fit, feeling healthier or living a more balanced lifestyle. I talk to them all regularly about their rituals – or consistent habits. I inspire them to commit to their rituals to achieve their goals. When they lack motivation to keep these up, that’s when my role as a coach is most valuable. I know lots of science-backed, supportive tools to help guide them back on track. Checking in with me weekly also keeps them accountable. This is the fun part for me; I like coming up with creative solutions.

Your beliefs dictate your actions. So check in on your beliefs, too, while you are following your rituals. For example, I believe and view exercise as a positive thing in my life and I attach good thoughts to fitness. This channels my actions positively. If I focused on the fact that exercise was difficult, then I’d be less motivated to keep fit, for example. We live what we believe and focus on.

So make your beliefs positive and empowering, not limiting. Focus on the long-term good that your rituals will bring. Embrace the pulling power of living the way that you dream.

Lastly, remember that it takes time for your rituals to embed. Just keep repeating until they become normal behaviours for you. After a while, these rituals will become your lifestyle – your everyday way of “being”.

Rachel is a writer, coach, yoga and mindfulness teacher. inspiredhealth.co.nz

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