Firstly, give yourself a pat on the back for choosing to read this. You’re ready to blossom into a new version of yourself, and that is such a beautiful decision. The New Year always brings the desire for new beginnings - full of hope, renewed energy, and a can-do mindset.
At OWL we believe a person’s greatest contribution to their community is the energy they pour into themselves, so that they can make the most impact on the world around them.
That being said, it can be somewhat daunting to know where to begin, and that is totally normal. You know what you want but you’re unsure of how to get there. The OWL community is here to help you heal and grow with our best tips on creating healthy rituals for a healthy, renewed you.
Create a Vision
The world often impresses upon us what we should be doing, what we should want out of life, what success should look like. Then we try to force our unique form into someone else’s preconceived mold.
There is no one else quite like you on this planet. So why on earth would you subscribe to someone else’s vision? The truth is, your uniqueness is what makes you irreplaceable, and so you should approach your ideas, dreams, and goals as one-of-a-kind. Because they are.
So how do you form a vision that is molded specifically to you? You look within to find what it is that defines you - and only you get to decide what that is. Questions to ask yourself to create your own unique vision can be:
You can even choose a descriptor word for what you want your rituals to embody. For example, say you want to get in a 20-30 minute workout in the morning. Your descriptor word could be energetic or motivating. Or you’d rather ease into your day with some mediation and meaningful readings. Maybe then your descriptor word is peaceful or still.
Thinking about your nighttime rituals, perhaps you’re wanting to do more to improve your sleep quality because you’ve read about how getting a good night’s sleep can improve your overall health. This includes winding down through a favorite ritual before bed, and so you’ve decided that you want your descriptor word to be calm or relaxing.
Sometimes, somethings don’t feel real until you write them down and say them out loud. When we proclaim our goals and intentions as if they are true, we breathe life into them and they now exist in the universe.
Intentions feel concrete when they are written on paper, and they become a plan when you have easy steps to cultivating your intentions into rituals.
Your rituals will have a hard time taking hold if you do not establish meaning behind your actions. This is what makes them different from routines. You engage in the process with your full being and presence during a ritual, whereas a routine - such as packing your lunch or taking out your contacts don’t require as much of your focus.
It is crucial that you understand the difference between routines and rituals, because while both are healthy for creating structure in your life, rituals keep who you truly are within your sights.
One Step At A Time
Attempting to do all the things all at once is almost guaranteed to bring you failure in your goals, resulting in you giving up on what you set out to do in the first place - become a better version of yourself. It can be overwhelming and feel impossible to accomplish.
This is a common problem most new years resolutioners run into and why they tend to peeter out after only a month or so. That’s why we find it easier, more concrete, and more fulfilling to gradually add in rituals for ease of acclimation. This establishes habit strength in layers so that adding in new habits is more achievable in the future.
For instance, day one of your morning rituals can look like this:
- One 8-ounce glass of water immediately after waking
- Two minutes of deep breathing or a body scan
- Three written affirmations or things for which you are grateful
Day two can have these additions:
- Read one chapter of a book you’ve always wanted to get into
- Five minutes of yoga or stretching
- A warm mug of bone broth before bedtime
Set Yourself Up For Success
So you have your vision and you’ve set your intentions. But will you be able to follow through consistently, or will an excuse get in your way? The following tips are to help you ensure that you can easily commit to your new rituals.
GIVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME
Establish what time you need to be out the door to make it to work on time without rushing. Or figure out when you need to be in bed to get your eight hours. From there, plan out how much time you intend to dedicate to your rituals. Then work backward from your time limit to decide when you need to begin your ideal daily ritual.
Remember to take into consideration how much time it takes you to get ready (and be honest with yourself - you know if you tend to spend an hour getting that perfect curled look in your gorgeous locks). If you chose ‘calm’ to describe your ideal morning ritual, rushing out the door and almost forgetting your wallet is not working in your favor.
This is where we need to trim the fat and practice mindfulness. Do you lay in bed for fifteen minutes scrolling through social media before getting up or going to sleep? Is that in line with your goals?
Do you really have to sit through half an hour of horrifying global news just to watch the weather or traffic report? Can you guesstimate when to tune in to the report you need and simply set a timer on your phone instead?
It’s easy to let the outside world disrupt the flow happening within you. This is where mindfulness becomes a critical part of self-care. Be sure to pay attention to your needs versus what is imposed upon you.
PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME
If you know that you can never make a decision on an outfit in the mornings, try picking one out the night before. Don’t want to spend your evening chopping veggies for a delicious, nutrient dense dinner? Cut some in the morning and store them in the fridge so they're ready to go when you get home. This ensures you’ll have plenty of room in your day to fully carry out your intended rituals the way you envision.
Simply put - do the work. Build consistency. Habit strength is fundamental to creating, cultivating, and continuing a healthy ritual. You can dream and envision what you want for your physical and spiritual self, but without the actionable moves, it will not work for you.
The whole reason behind establishing healthy rituals is to get better at treating your body, mind, and soul with the love they deserve. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your rituals be. Even the best self-care gurus fall off the wagon.
The reason they can still cultivate success in healthy habits is in the way they respond to failing. They use it as a tool for learning and improving, then they get right back to it.
Your mindset toward your purpose and yourself are equally important. Learn to look at your situation with the understanding that you are worthy of peace, and that hiccups are part of the process.
Healthy Rituals To Adopt
Your thoughts, your dreams, your gratitude all deserve an existence in the universe. This can be the first thing you do in the morning, during your midday break, or as a peaceful reflection in the evening.
To create mindfulness you can begin your day with candles or incense burning, calming tones playing quietly, and using however much time you choose to check in with your physical self , or to simply be.
Speaking out loud your daily affirmations is one of the most beautiful ways to cultivate a healthy mind. Speak these truths into the universe and feel the universe feeding your soul in return. Can’t come up with your own affirmations? That’s ok! Like we said, no one expects you to do it all and all at once. Pull an affirmation card to use as inspiration or a positive reminder.
Warming and soothing your body at night with calming teas and elixirs as you prepare for a restorative sleep can improve your health. Including this in your nighttime ritual always feels like an indulgent treat. Speaking of elixirs- did you know our Broth Elixirs are great for promoting a restful night's sleep? Learn more >
THE PHONE SLEEPS WHEN YOU SLEEP
Smart phones have given us access to so many helpful resources and to connect with loved ones from far away. But they oftentimes get in the way of our best interest regarding physical, mental, and spiritual health. Be mindful of what you consume and when you consume it. Create a place for your phone to ‘sleep’ and place it there when you begin preparing for rest.
DRINK MORE WATER
This can be the first thing you do every morning to achieve physical health goals by ensuring proper hydration right out of the gate. It’s easy, accessible, and quick. We’re a big fan of this one because it's a great ritual for aiding digestion as well.
What Fits Into Your Mold?
It’s up to you to decide which of these or others contribute to the vision of your ideal ritual. But the goal is to make your life easier, improve your workplace mindset, and enhance your treasured relationships. Don’t overthink and remain open-minded. Try a few on for size, or ask a friend you admire for ideas. If it doesn’t suit you or support your vision, try something else.
It’s a fluid process, ever-changing just like you are. There’s no one right answer. Go with your intuition, go with what feels right. The results you see and feel will let you know when you’re on the right track.
We’re rooting for you!
The OWL Fam
Julie is a self-made writer on a forever journey of fitness and health. As a high school music teacher, she has seen and experienced the challenges of maintaining good health while simultaneously balancing a career and healthy relationships.
Julie has always lived a healthy and active lifestyle. She loves the outdoors, hiking, and camping. Over the years she has continued to learn smarter and better ways to take care of her body while continuing to do the things that make her smile. Naturally, all of her teacher friends wanted to know how she did it - what was her secret?
Julie found herself explaining over and over everything she'd learned in her research, and sharing her experiences through trial and error. Her friends would take her advice, try some new things, and then come back to ask how to take it to the next level.
"You should charge for this kind of information!" Became a constant phrase, and so began her career of writing to share her knowledge with the world through health and wellness companies looking to spread healing and healthy habits within their communities. Now Julie gets to combine two of the things she enjoys most - writing and wellness - and use them to affect change in a real way.
When not making music with her kiddos, or writing wellness tips for a higher quality of life, you can find her reading, hiking, drumming, and fitnessing