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The Ruby Group | Akron and Columbus, OH

What one new habit would make a big impact on reaching your goals and dreams?

Actually, let’s start by changing up the terminology. The word “habit” tends to have a negative connotation. Here’s how it’s defined: a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

Instead, let’s focus on starting a new “ritual.”

The definition of ritual: a precise behavior that you execute at a precise time, and it is motivated by deeply held values.

So, let’s look at that question again: What one new RITUAL would make a big impact on reaching your goals and dreams?

Think about that question. It could be personal or professional. It could be large or small. It could involve your health or a relationship.

Now, here are six steps to create a new ritual:

1. Calendar it.
There’s something about putting an event on the calendar. It puts a psychological pressure on us; it seems more real and necessary. If you want to eat better, add events on your calendar to eat a healthy snack. If you want to make more cold calls, put in on the calendar. If you want to make more time for yourself, set a time and pretend it’s as important as a meeting with your supervisor.

2. Tie a new behavior to something you already do.
Do you take a shower in the morning? Do you drink coffee to start your day? Do you catch up on the news when you get home from work? Do you take a lunch break at 11:30? Connect a new behavior to something you already do regularly. Put a chin-up bar in your bathroom doorway if you want to exercise more often. Place your journal next to your coffee maker if you want to journal more consistently. It’s easier to begin a new ritual if you can connect it to an existing ritual you already have.

3. Find an accountability partner.
This is huge! And it doesn’t have to be as big of a deal as most people make it out to be. Formal or not, letting someone know what you’re trying to do/change/add in your life, and asking them to hold you accountable, is essential. One great idea: tell your kids! Talk about accountability…this will do it.

4. Surround yourself with things that have a positive influence.
“Things” here can be actual things or they can be people, activities, and places. If you eat terrible when you go out eat, choose healthier establishments. If your neighbor is always complaining, hang out with the other neighbor who’s more positive and optimistic. Find people who will set a good example for you. Read or listen to motivational and helpful books. Surround yourself with the positives.

5. Calm yourself down a little when you fall off the horse. Do something small to get back on.
It’s very difficult (impossible, in fact) to be perfect all the time. You’re going to have a bad day; you’re going to make a poor decision; you’re going to put yourself in the wrong situation. It happens. The point is to bounce back. If you fail to make the calls today, don’t try to catch up and do double tomorrow. Just get back at it tomorrow.

6. Kill the excuses. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t.
You can always find an excuse – for anything. There’s not enough time. The economy is bad. It’s just the way you are. It’s too expensive. Just stop it! Kill the excuses. When you feel like you can’t make it or you don’t have what it takes, think about everything you DO have. I heard a great quote recently: “Be grateful for what you have, not greedy for what you don’t.”

Do it for 66 days.

Research says it takes 66 days to create a new ritual (they’ll call it a habit). So, what do you have to do for the next 66 days to establish a new ritual that will help you reach your goals and achieve your dreams?

Thank you to Matt White for sharing. Matt is the owner of JoltCMS where he helps businesses help their customers.

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