Brushing your teeth.
Drinking coffee (or Diet Coke).
Saying hi to colleagues on your way into the office.
Reading bedtime stories to your kids.
In one way or another, you’ve recognized yourself in some–if not all–of these actions. Your routines and rituals. The rhythm of your life.
Your routines help you maximize the energy you have for the day while your rituals provide opportunities to re-energize.
How much time do you spend thinking about your routines and rituals? Is it by design or does it feel like they just happened to you–imposed by circumstances rather than intention?
Even though there may not be much thought behind the actions after they have become a part of your daily life, they play a huge role in your sense of belonging and mental well-being. They can help build and affirm your confidence and strength to lead your day into the direction you choose, or they can be the reason why you’re feeling out of control from the moment you wake up.
Maybe you even dread waking up. Hitting snooze til the last minute. Doom scrolling as you revenge procrastinate bedtime–again. Rinse. Repeat.
I once heard someone describe the importance of daily routines and rituals as arranging the world around you in a way that allows you to fully focus on the task ahead. This idea feels powerful to me! It’s taking control of your environment and setting yourself up for success.
My usual morning routine includes an alarm at 4:17 AM (for some reason I’ve set my alarm at an odd time increment for as long as I can remember) to get to Orangetheory Fitness for a 5 AM workout. My workout is followed by a short meditation session in a sauna, a trip to the McDonald’s drive thru for a large Diet Coke, and then texting a dear friend a motivational quote to start our days positively and to build intentional connection into my day.
Even as I’ve ventured into entrepreneurship–and the freedom and flexibility it brings–I have maintained this morning routine. Because I now completely control the start and end time of my days, I could easily sleep a little later or start my day in a different way.
Over the last few months, my routine has grown more sacred and important. While so many other parts of my life are changing and in flux, my routine and rituals provide stability and balance to my work and days. My morning routine is the sign of a new day. A new opportunity to experience life. A new chance to kick ass! And one less thing to decide.
Avoid decision fatigue
As a single mother working full time, I’m quite literally making decisions of one kind or another ALL. DAY. LONG. The fewer decisions I face each day, the better. Even if those decisions seem easy and mundane. Not having to determine what time to set my alarm each day or how my day will start is a relief. Routines help eliminate unnecessary decisions while supporting the habits that bring you in alignment with your values and goals.
One piece of your puzzle
We all have morning rituals, whether we are aware of them or not. We also have mid-day rituals and nighttime rituals. Whether we’ve intentionally crafted them or they’ve naturally evolved, routines and rituals are part of life.
My morning routine is one piece of how routines and rituals keep me moving forward. How can you use your routines and rituals to arrange the world around you in a way that allows you to fully focus on the task ahead?
How can you build rituals and routines that provide a sense of belonging to your family, community, and team at work? How can you build routines and rituals that create a sense of strength and confidence for yourself?
Journey well, my friends.