Personal rituals — even something as simple as a cup of tea in the morning — can do a lot for your mental and physical health. But they need to have a purpose, says writer Todd Henry. Otherwise, they become ruts.
Picture: Raheel Shahid/Flickr
A lot of us try to cultivate personal rituals (especially those we've heard about from more successful people), but it needs to be a bit more purposeful than that:
Shaking up your system may help for a while, but those rituals will eventually grow stale if they're not serving a greater purpose. It's easy to become addicted to perfecting your system, and that obsession can distract you from the real work you should be doing.
There is no magic bullet for creativity or productivity, only tendencies and rhythms. If you deeply understand the outcomes you're committed to achieving, a set of defined rituals can help you achieve them, but if you don't have a clear through-line in your work, no system will save you.
He says you should ask yourself what you're really trying to achieve, and how your routines and rituals can be channelled to help you achieve it — and which ones are getting in the way. Just like we discussed in our guide to personal rituals, it's all about finding something that solves a problem, even if it's just about helping you de-stress at the optimal point in the day. If you're doing it just to do it, you're probably not getting much out of it.
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