What do Valentine's Day, Christmas, dating, dinner and a movie, marriage and couples have in common? Rituals. A ritual is defined as 'any method of doing something in which the details are always faithfully repeated.'
To relate this to your life, rituals include: the time you wake up, how your brush your teeth, the route you take to work - you get the idea.
Rituals give life meaning and help us celebrate milestones in our lives. They offer security, stability and routine and a sense of calmness to an otherwise chaotic existence.
Rituals date back thousands of years with the ancient Egyptians. Theirs was a culture seeped in traditions. Eating, drinking, bathing, hunting and burying the dead were a succession of rituals.
If you want to relax, enjoy your life and feel more connected to others, consider adding rituals to your life.
Try these seven secrets:
Rituals help give our lives meaning and if you practice these seven rituals, you'll experience more success in your life and business.
- 1. Create a morning ritual to help you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle your day. You might get up a few minutes early to: read, walk your dog, jog, play an instrument, write, do yoga - it doesn't matter, just claim this time as your own. That way you have time for yourself and don't feel resentful if your day is hectic.
- 2. When you're at work, create a ritual to start your day. This might include: having a coffee at your desk, checking your PDA for appointments, not answering phone calls for 15 minutes while you read and respond to urgent emails. You might also: set an agenda for the day, plan goals for the week...the list is endless.
- 3. At work, find ways to meet colleagues and friends and socialize during a lunch hour instead of running a million errands. Also, if you're challenged and need help, you'll have the support of your colleagues and friends. If you work alone, join a network group that's conveniently located near you, cost-efficient and helps build your business. Attend the meetings, meet new people and create a ritual to record new contacts before you lose important information.
- 4. Create time saving rituals for work. For example, only check E-mail three times a day, organize your files, file away unused papers as soon as possible; create 'time boundaries' where you can't be interrupted. Close your office door, let the message machine take a call, get up and take mini breaks every 90 minutes (for productivity).
- 5. At the end of a busy week, designate a night as movie or board game night with friends or family. If being at home doesn't excite you, you could sign up for sports and get out your weekly frustrations. The key is to make time for something special once you complete work; this offers you a buffer to help ease you through a hectic week as you have something to look forward to doing.
- 6. Create home rituals to ease into your time off. These rituals may include a half hour nap before you start dinner, a walk with your dog, watching your favourite T.V. show, etc. Be sure to add play to your list and include ways to decompress, time to exercise, time with your partner, friends, family and alone time.
- 7. Create self-care rituals that put your needs first. If you think this is selfish, consider the rules on airplanes. Parents have access to oxygen masks before their children so they can care for their family in the event of an emergency. You're no good to anyone if you're exhausted, resentful or angry because you don't have time for yourself.
Lisa Rickwood, "Small Biz Stress Buster," is a small business coach, visual artist and author of Escape The Pace: 100 Fun And Easy Ways To Slow Down And Enjoy Your Life and co-author of Power & Soul: 42 Successful Entrepreneurs Share their Secrets for Creating the Business and Life of Their Dreams. She helps small business owners 'master stress for professional and personal success.' Get your FREE e-book, 5 Critical Actions That Hurt Your Business and Add Stress to Your Life…and How to Escape Them by visiting: http://www.escapethepace.com.