The Value Of Rituals In Reaching Your Goals by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC
Rituals often get a bad reputation. They are seen as restrictive, limiting and even habitual types of behaviors that may not allow for the potential for growth, taking advantage of opportunities or in seizing potential advantages.
While some rituals can be limiting, they can also be very motivating. By creating guidelines and focused tasked each day that are the mini-steps to goal achievement, it is possible to create steady, measurable success. For most people, particularly those with larger goals, having mini-goals or milestone along the way is highly motivating and is a sure indicator of progress towards achieving the big picture outcomes.
Developing Meaningful Rituals
There is more to developing rituals than just picking a behavior or a task and scheduling on your calendar. It is easy to look at a calendar and do mental bargaining with yourself to put off something that is outside of your comfort zone or perhaps just not your favorite activity.
Rituals should be designed to keep your big picture goal in focus. They should be designed with the end goal in mind, but also with a practical and realistic framework that creates positive mental energy, and does not becomes a continual drain.
Choosing the right rituals builds into everything you do. They assist in making choices and decisions, and they create a framework for being productive throughout the day. This is not just in a professional sense, but also in a personal sense that carries over to your relationships, how you spend your time away from work and what you see as valuable and meaningful in your life.
There are rituals in your life right now. Make a list of the things you do on a daily basis and determine if they are assisting you in achieving your goals or if they are an indulgence that may be limiting your time.
For example, if your goal is to build a larger professional network on social media sites, spending time on Twitter or LinkedIn can be a helpful ritual if you are interacting with others, commenting, or posting insightful information. However, if you are just surfing the site and watching funny video clips, this is a ritual that is taking up time without any positive outcome.
Take a close look at your current rituals. Then, divide them into two categories, those that are empowering and assisting in goal achievement, and those that are getting in the way.
Prioritize the helpful rituals and focus on how they help you in achieving your goals. Look at how the distracting or negative rituals are hindering your progress and determine if they are still of value in your life.
Next, start an introspective journey by asking yourself what you want to change, what improvements you want to make and how the things you do on a daily basis match with your passions, your goals, and your personal values.
You may find areas of your life where you need to develop rituals. By answering these questions and developing a ritual that provides motivation, you can start moving towards your goals one day at a time.