A simple strategy to help you quickly gain traction
We can leverage simple, wholesome “rituals” to create positive associations that quickly uplift our mood or prepare us for focus and productivity.
Rainy days make me want to curl up in a chair with a pot of tea and a good book, pull out a notepad to do some deep thinking or planning, or even quickly settle for a nap. Listening to ocean waves roll up on the beach stirs my creativity, and the white noise of a coffee shop increases my focus. On the other hand, feeling chilly, or being in a room without a window and natural light makes me feel restless and distracted, and is the death knell for my creativity.
The right rituals can help you breakthrough writer’s block, plow through that to-do list in record time, or snap you out of the doldrums.
Rituals create associations (positive or negative) that condition us to subconsciously shift into a certain mood, train of thought, or pattern of behavior.
- When working from a home based office, staying in your yoga pants with your hair in a ponytail and no makeup can subtly make you feel less confident when contacting clients, and less likely to be focused on business.
- A song comes on the radio and instantly you’re transported to another time and place when that guy broke your heart. Though you hadn’t given him a thought in years, suddenly you’re on a rabbit trail of emotions, blowing up your morning stalking him on Facebook.
- You have a list of all the things you’re going to catch up on at home since you’re only in the office a half day. You walk in the door, change out of your business attire into your sweatpants and t-shirt, ditch the bra with a sigh, and walk back into the living room. Just like that, your get ‘er done motivation evaporates and you’re sucked into the gravitational pull of ice cream and Netflix.
Rituals are simple actions or experiences that when associated together, condition us to elicit particular responses by default.
Knowing this, you can defuse a negative association by overwriting it with a new, positive ritual, or create a ritual specifically designed to trigger a positive frame of mind or an ability to focus and get in the zone faster.
Consider these empowering rituals:
- Create a ritual to help you be focused on God much faster. If you’re trying to pray or do your bible study but your mind is bouncing all over, do a 1 minute brain dump onto paper to eliminate the noise, then put a worship song on your phone using Pandora or YouTube and listen intently to the lyrics, or even sing along. Create an atmosphere that feels special by always sitting in the same place, with a candle, cup of coffee or tea, and a basket holding your quiet time supplies. Want to take it to the next level? Set up a prayer closet.
- Create a morning ritual to get moving in a positive frame of mind. Set your alarm tone to be birds chirping or gentle music. Have a lamp in the room set to turn on automatically with a timer. The night before, put a glass of water on your nightstand and lay out a pair of yoga pants and tank top on the end of the bed. Type out a scripturally based affirmation such as “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it”, then frame it and put it on your nightstand next to your water so you see it immediately. Say it out loud as the first words you speak, then drink the water to hydrate yourself. Change out of pj’s into your yoga pants and make the bed the instant your feet hit the floor to eliminate temptation and help you transition forward. Invest 2 or 3 mins doing some gentle stretching or go up and down the stairs twice to get the blood flowing before heading to the kitchen to get your coffee and sit in your quiet time chair with God. Already you’re in a pleasant frame of mind and feeling on top of your day.
- Create a 5 minute power ritual to increase your confidence and focus before an important meeting. Record yourself speaking 2 minutes of relevant affirmations and listen to it while sitting still with your eyes closed, engaging your emotions with what’s being spoken. Then spend 2 minutes picturing Jesus standing next to you as you give the presentation calmly, with clarity and authority. Spend 1 minute acknowledging that no matter the outcome, He is in control and you can trust Him to work all things together for good.
Where do you get stuck?
Harness the power of positive ritual to help you quickly uplift your mood, increase your focus, get in the zone faster, or overcome a negative association that’s been derailing you.
In the comments below, share a ritual you’ve created that has increased your focus, mood, or productivity.
Need help establishing useful rituals?
10 DAY P.E.A.R.L Challenge
I’ve created a 10 Day Challenge called P.E.A.R.L.
to help you cultivate rituals, establish empowering daily routines,
and elevate the right habits so you can create
powerful, successful days practically on autopilot.
To learn more, go to www.AnnetteChesney.com/PEARL