Set Up Opening And Closing Rituals To Form Better Habits

Set Up Opening And Closing Rituals To Form Better Habits

When you are trying to form a new habit, it can be wise to set up opening and closing rituals to help fix the habit in place.

Hannah Braime, author of The Ultimate Guide to Journaling, offers that suggestion in a blog post:

(Rituals are) about doing what you need to do to reach a place of mental preparation (for an opening ritual) and mental closure (for a closing ritual). A ritual can be as simple as making a cup of herbal tea, sitting in a particular chair, and taking a few deep breaths before opening your notebook to journal. It can also be as simple as closing that notebook, taking a few moments to acknowledge the fact that you just invested time and energy in yourself, and then getting up and getting on with your day.

They’re about creating a boundary around our time and saying “OK, brain, this is your chance to tell me what’s going on for you — no distractions, nothing else vying for my attention, it’s just me and you”.

Braime talks about the merits of setting up rituals in a blog post about journalling, but the advice applies to any habit you want to cultivate. It’s similar to having triggers, which is one of the best ways to trick your brain into creating new habits. Instead of just offering a starting point, Braime’s method lets you put yourself into a “zone” to implement the action, disconnecting it from other activities.

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