Rituals give your brain a break

 In leadership, mindfulness, time management

Something sets them apart. Olympians. Wildly-successful leaders. And your zenned out neighbor. That something is rituals.

It’s not will power that brought them there. It’s one ritual at a time.

A ritual is a practice so important and ingrained in your life that you no longer need to think about it. So you give your brain a break, which makes you even more energized and focused.

Classic example is brushing my teeth. At no point have I awoken to the thought “I’d sure like to brush my teeth today. But I don’t know when I’ll fit it in??” No! Teeth brushing happens at the same time every day. No thinking required.

The same can’t be said for exercise, meditating or building rock-solid relationships with your team / boss / clients. Those stay on the treadmill of thinking about it. Or at least they did for me.

Solution – STOP thinking. Create a ritual. And make darn sure it’s LICT.

Legit Important. Carefully Timed. LICT!

Rituals fail when they are shoulds.

So no shoulds allowed. Choose something Legit Important to you. Does it feel fundamental to your well-being or success? (Pssst…if by success you mean moving up into a higher level leadership role, become certified as a Conscious Leader – join us now!)

It’s not even worth starting unless it’s Carefully Timed. Be ruthlessly honest about when, where and how you’ll do this.

Rituals fail when we allow no ramp up time.

So give ample time to set up and prepare: a week or more might be needed to lock it in your calendar, inform people, and even set up a physical space for this ritual. (This was especially key for me when I started my meditation ritual – I needed to create space at home where I wouldn’t be interrupted.) List what’s needed and schedule each of those pieces.

And don’t let anyone book over it. (This was essential when I began my leadership walkabouts as a supervisor).

Make your ritual sticky with this Olympic-level tip from the authors of The Power of Full Engagement (one of my go-to coaching tools):

…attach your new ritual to something already ritualized.

It’s easier to remember and has built-in structure this way. For instance, if you always take a tea/coffee break at 10:30, do your mini-meditation or walk-about check-in with staff/colleagues (a ritual of great leaders) right after.

In our Conscious Leadership program, the creation of rituals is one of the shifts that has BIG impact on students… 

The mindfulness rituals I’ve been practising are helping me be much more present at work and far less stressed. I no longer feel anxiety when I enter the building! My grounding rituals of deep breathing and feeling my toes are especially useful.”
–    Mid-level manager

So…what ritual feels Legit Important to your success, wellness and vibrancy?? Choose just one and begin the ramp up now! Just imagine the break you’ll give your brain once you entrench that in your day or week.

Join me on Facebook and LinkedIn and in the Blog conversation of this post through the next month for great articles and tips on ritual building.

Ready to learn all the secrets of Conscious Leadership? Register for the Leadership course here.  In just one year you can be prepped and certified for that next leap in your career! And all for just $4500 for a year of tuition (most students have the full fee paid by their employer).

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