Forget resolutions, I’m talking rituals. No, not sacrificing goats or big religious ceremonial practices, but subtle daily rituals – simple routines set with positive intention that can easily be incorporated into everyday life. Our busy stress filled lives can often push us into autopilot, neglecting the little things that give our lives purposeful meaning. Creating these rituals can help build positive habits and focus our attention on reaching goals and fulfilling our potential in many aspects of our lives. Gradually try incorporating one or more of these into day to day life.

1 First things first

How we start our day can have a huge impact on the productivity, positivity and outcome of the challenges of the day ahead. Setting the pace and tone of our day can be helped with a daily morning ritual. Make sure to get up bright and early and allow plenty of time. Don’t hit the snooze button. Hide your phone or any digital devices for the first hour of the day. Bombarding ourselves with emails, news and social media stories as soon we open our eyes can make can us feel overwhelmed and anxious before we’ve even got out of bed. Instead, grab a pen and paper and scribble down something you’re grateful for or a positive intention for the day. With all this extra time there’s no excuse not to have a healthy breakfast and a stretch session too.

2. Parenting matters

It’s likely that you already have lots of unique rituals as part of your family routine. From singing a special bedtime song to having a particular breakfast every weekend. The repetition of these familiar rituals make them extremely special and comforting to the child, parent and family. However, to go a step further, find a daily mindful activity from brushing your child’s teeth to walking home from school – ensuring that you are fully engaged and present. We are often so busy and rushed that these moments usually just blur into part of the daily routine.
Armed with an array of bands, bows and brushes I recently incorporated a ten minute morning hair brushing ritual with my younger daughter. Hairbrushing is obviously already part of our routine, but it’s usually a rushed frantic affair. It can also be a trigger point for a seven year old who has some pretty high expectations of my poor hair styling skills. Plaits and bows aside, this was more about giving her my undivided, full present attention and ensuring some quality one-to-one time. This is so simple and incorporating this daily ritual resulted in a calmer meaningful start to both our days.

3. Meditation 

There’s no doubt that a regular meditation session can have overwhelming benefits for body and mind. Feeling calmer, sleeping better and being more aware and focused on our purposes and goals can be helped. Despite the benefits, finding the time, motivation and commitment can be a struggle. Creating rituals around our meditation practice can help up our game – using a regular, comfortable and peaceful meditation space at home, meditating at the same time everyday and lighting a specific candle or incense can all become part of a ritual to ensure our commitment to the practice.

4. Matters of the heart 
We’re all guilty at some point of getting locked in to the humdrum of daily life and maybe neglecting our significant other. The draining demands of a young family, or the stresses of work can spill over into our relationships. Incorporating daily rituals in a relationship can ensure that you stay feeling connected to your partner. Rather then just sending a text about what your having for dinner, set a mutual daily ritual with your partner to leave a loving note or send a text or email stating something that you admire or appreciate about them.

5. Get it all out

Journalling is a cathartic and empowering experience. Whether your daily journalling ritual involves writing three pages first thing in the morning or you just manage a few bullet points on the train to work, putting pen to paper can help you feel more in control of stress, anxiety and overall wellbeing. It can feel quite daunting to start with, but there are no set boundaries or rules. You might be more comfortable writing down your goals and intentions or maybe you’re ready to go for it and get down on paper your deepest feelings and desires. Just go with the flow and find what works for you.

6. Back to nature

The short wintery days don’t make it easy to get out into nature. Try to make the time, however short, whatever the weather, to create a daily ritual where you find some green space, woodland or even your back garden to wander in. Tree hugging is not necessary, but try to immerse your senses in the sounds, smells and healing energy of nature.

7. Time for bed

We’ve gone full circle and the same rules should apply to our bedtime ritual as our morning – no phones or ditgital devices within the last hour before bed. Allow yourself to disconnect and calm your mind by reading, journalling or meditating. Drinking a bedtime herbal tea or milky drink and going to bed at the same time every night can also signal to the brain that it’s time to rest and sleep.