We've come to understand & appreciate how vital it is to mark & celebrate the milestones that matter to us. From birthdays & graduations, to anniversaries & holidays, acknowledging events that are important to us is the very hallmark of feeling accomplished & grateful.
Harnessing the same concept is a great tool in your kit as you create new habits & routines, transitioning to a healthier lifestyle. It's one of the ideas we'll be exploring, not only in next Thursday's podcast, on the PJ Wellness Show, but also in our new year's course-"28 Days To A Healthier You".
Just as you feel confident & happy when you've celebrated an important event, so you can recapture that feeling of accomplishment in your every day lifestyle by creating rituals tailored to celebrate your healthier lifestyle routines & achievments.
Using the same accoutrements you would for any celebration, begin to establish habits that mark the healthy milestones you want to achieve, & celebrate your success when you have mastered them.
For example: You'd like to walk every night after dinner, to get some exercise, burn some calories & wind down from the day. Try putting an inviting lamp in the window, or an electric candle, that you turn on to signal the beginning of the event.
Collect some sort of object during your walk: acorns, ferns, flowers-whatever gift you can keep as a reward for completing your walk. Once you're back home, place your gift in a pretty container, turn off the light in the window, & make yourself some herbal tea or hot chocolate.
The entire event will probably only take 25 minutes or so, & you have set the course for your brain to recognize all the advantages in this new routine you've created. Doing so will help you feel enthusiastic & motivated about keeping this ritual in play, instead of viewing it as a dreaded chore.
Looking for ways to program your responses gets easier when you attach an important ritual to the project. All it takes is a bit of thought to find the small triggers that will help you stay inspired & moving in the direction of a healthier every day lifestyle.
When Patrick & I take out our yoga mats, everyone in our entourage-including the dogs, stops & says-"Oh, time-out for now", because they know once the yoga mat has been taken out, the next 25 minutes in this personal ritual are inviolate. And, they know that everyone will benefit afterwards, because we'll be calmer, more focused, more generous with our time, & happier!
Just as you & your partner might revel in the arrival of flowers or a great bottle of wine, so you can use these to set up healthy habits & routines that will recreate the same great feelings. All part of a piece in setting you up to succeed, not sabotage. The essence of ease in staying on track.
Find the small pleasures that make you smile & incorporate them somewhere in your ritual. Doing so is not only an entertaining & creative pursuit, but there's science behind the concept & importance of rituals that proves they generate successful responses!
Best, Patrick & Jo-Anna
TakeAway Tip: You can make it a family affaire project, & challenge everyone in your household to come up with a ritual that will kickstart a healthy, new habit. Some ideas? Something to inspire & reward kids for straightening up their rooms. Or, challenge your partner to create a new ritual that promotes alone-time-together to keep romance alive.