7 Reliable Steps to Change Your Life at Any Age, by Marc and Angel
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Rituals
Goals don’t make positive changes happen, rituals do.
What’s the difference between goals and rituals?
- If you’re a bodybuilder, your goal is to win a bodybuilding championship. Your ritual is what you do to train your body at the gym each day.
- If you’re a fiction writer, your goal is to write a novel. Your ritual is the writing schedule you follow each day.
- If you’re a parent, your goal is to be a great role model. Your ritual is the time and energy you commit to setting a great example each day.
- If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a successful business. Your ritual is your daily work ethic combined with your marketing and sales process.
Now think about this: If you ignored your goals for a while and focused solely on your rituals, would you still get positive results?
For example, if you were trying to lose weight and you ignored your goal to lose 20 pounds, and instead focused only on eating healthy and exercising each day, would you still get results?
Yes, you would. Gradually, you would get closer and closer to your goal without even thinking about it again.
I’m going to lay down the law here, based on over a decade of experience helping our coaching/course students achieve the changes and results they desire, what I have learned is this:
Nothing will change unless you make a daily ritual that reinforces your goal.
How do you turn those lofty goals into daily rituals?
Think about what you could do every day that would get you closer to your desired outcome, even if it were only the tiniest imaginable step forward. Of course, this is not always easy to figure out, but let’s look at some ideas:
- Lose weight – Start walking every evening before you eat dinner, for 10 minutes at first, then increase to 15 minutes after you’ve completed a month, then 20 minutes after another month passes, and so forth. Once you are walking for 45+ minutes a day, make another change – drink water instead of soda/sugary juice.
- Write a book – Write for 10 minutes a day for a month straight, then step it up to 15 minutes a day, etc. Eventually settle into a daily ritual of 1-2 hours of uninterrupted writing a day.
- Stop procrastinating – For most of us, our minds operate at peak performance in the morning hours when we’re well rested. So obviously it would be foolish to use this time for a trivial task like checking Facebook. These peak performance hours should be 100% dedicated to working on rituals that bring you closer to your goals. A possible daily ritual: Set a ‘most important task’ each morning, then work on it for 10-30 minutes before opening your web browser/smart phone/etc.
- Fall in love with the right person – You have to put yourself out there. Go somewhere each day and meet and socialize with like-minded people. Here’s a good read on meeting the right people.
- Be happier – do something small each day to make the world better, to help people, and to love yourself.
- Learn a new language – Study your chosen foreign language using Livemocha or listen to Pimsleur audio for 10-30 minutes a day.
- Travel the world – Save money (see the next point). Or start selling your unnecessary belongings, so you can carry your needed belongings in a backpack. Learn to live with less. Then book budget-conscious travel arrangements with the money you made from selling the non-essentials.
- Save money – Begin by cutting out smaller expenses (like $7 Starbucks lattes). Start cooking and eating at home. Sell your car and bike/walk/take the train. Downsize to a smaller (or less expensive) home. Enjoy simple pleasures and free activities, instead of buying stuff.
- Read more books – Read every morning for 10-15 minutes and every evening again for another 10-15 minutes before you go to bed.
You get the idea. Not all of these specific rituals will work for you and your unique situation, but you could come up with something similar that works better for you. In any case, the principle applies: Create a ritual and live by it daily.
I am bookmarking this link, to read again and again. And am sharing with friends too!! Happy Friendship Day to you!! :-) :-)
Happy you like it. There's more at the full article. Happy friendship day!
1. Focus on one (and only one) positive change at a time
You can break this rule, and sadly most people do, but don’t be surprised if you fail because of it. If you try to do too much, nothing gets done right. Implement one positive change and make it a ritual for a month before considering adding to it or starting a second. Only build upon your ritual if you were successful, otherwise stick to it until it feels like second nature to you.
2. Start small.
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but again no one ever does it. Start with a daily ritual that lasts 10 minutes or less. If you feel incredible resistance and fail at 10 minutes, drop it to 5 minutes, or 3 minutes, and then stick to it for a full month.
3. Create a trigger that automatically initiates your ritual each day.
A mistake lots of people make is trying to complete their ritual at the same exact time each day – like 8am sharp. The problem is life’s scheduling conflicts often get in the way of a rigid schedule, so on many days the ritual ends up being pushed back until tomorrow. To mitigate this, use something you automatically do every day as the trigger to start your ritual. For example, after you eat breakfast, after you brush your teeth, after you arrive at the office, after you turn on your computer, after you return home and walk through the front door, etc. The exact time doesn’t matter.