Routine vs. Ritual

The distinguishing qualities of routine vs. ritual are subtle, but processes and habits form the core of both. A well-oiled and effective habit can help you:

Automate tasks with less effort
Increase consistency in your health journey
Free up mental space to take care of other more interesting and creative tasks
Keep you from crashing when life gets chaotic

These habit perks can be life-saving, but it is also important to note that living on autopilot comes with its own set of issues. Trying to break a well-oiled habit is no easy feat, and sometimes, habits that once served us no longer do.

Relying on autopilot mode creates less ability to react to environmental changes with ease. Approaching your habits with a different mindset can allow more space for you to sway with the normal ebbs and flows of life, increasing your resiliency to inevitable shifts. This subtle mindset movement is what distinguishes your habits as being either routine vs. ritual. While seemingly small, the difference can be a powerful one.

Supercharge your habits: turn your routines into rituals

The line that exists between routine and ritual is a fine one. Both lend themselves well to decreasing daily efforts and increasing consistency, but turning your routines into rituals can help you supercharge your habits, increasing their effectiveness and function in your life.

Routine vs. Ritual

You can think of rituals as higher engagement routines, although this does not necessarily mean more effort. They are done with a sense of ceremony, awe, purpose, and most importantly, feeling. In a ritual, there is a stronger focus on the way the tasks are performed, rather than on the end result of the task.

Focusing on the performance of the activity, rather than the completion of the activity, can allow you to better determine when your habits no longer match your environmental or internal needs. It also allows space to live more in the present moment gaining greater clarity on the feelings that arise during, because of, and around your rituals.

This gives greater opportunity to consider questions including:
Does this activity still serve me?
Can I adjust this activity to better align with my current needs?
What is the purpose of this activity?
How am I feeling right now?

Michael Pollen on habits

Excerpt from Pollan’s book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence

It is not necessary to create high awareness and ceremonial grandeur around all of your habits. Brushing your teeth will always serve you well and the purposes of doing so are unlikely to change over time. But what about the moments around your morning cuppa? Your mid-day stroll with the pup, regular nail or hair appointments, after work glass of wine, or your weekly meal prep? What extra value could you gain by infusing a sense of celebration, purpose, and feeling into these activities?

Implement it: Turn your routines into rituals with these journaling prompts

If these routines are running on auto-pilot, can you challenge yourself to focus on the journey of the activity, rather than running through it, eyes and heart closed, straight to completion? To help you notice the difference, consider the following questions in your journal:

1. What routines currently exist in your life on a weekly basis. Write down everything that comes to mind.
2. Of these routines, which ones could you infuse some extra mindfulness into? Circle all of the activities that you might find more enjoyment in if you focused more on the activity itself, rather than the end goal.
3. Of these circled items – choose just one. Over the next week, practice taking your time with the activity. Ask yourself the following questions while completing it: how do I feel right now? What sensations can I sense in my body? Are there any specific emotions that I can identify? What purpose does this activity serve?

Morning Ritual Magic

Turn your morning routine into a ritual and create magic

If you would like help turning your routines into rituals, then you won’t want to miss the 5-day Morning Ritual Magic course. Launching on Monday, April 15th, this free e-mail course will cover:

☀ An audit of your current morning routine
☀ A free copy of the Wild Woman Strong Morning Ritual Map
☀Tools for infusing your habits with mindfulness + presence
☀Daily support, lessons, and action items delivered to your inbox
☀ … and a few other surprises!

If you want to add a little magic to your mornings sign-up for the free e-mail course here. This will be your only opportunity to access this content for free this year – now is the time to make your mornings work for you, magic maker.

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