Have you ever tried to make a change in your life to find you just didn't have the willpower to carry it through?
Well, today I have a simple six step framework for making changes in your life called "˜The Life Enhancing Framework'
Before I go on to show you the framework I'd like to explain it a little more to help you get the most out of it.
If I were to ask you what rituals you have in your life, what would your answer be?
A lot of us don't even know we have rituals in our lives, but think about these rituals that most of us perform: brushing our teeth, showering, having breakfast, lunch and dinner, going to work, taking the kids to school, going to bed at a certain time "“ that's only a few, I'm sure you can think of many more.
A ritual is something you do every day, or most days, without consciously thinking about it.
Good and bad rituals
There are a lot of good rituals we have in our lives, but there's also a lot of bad ones we could be getting rid of. With this framework you won't have to focus on getting rid of bad rituals as the good ones you are going to create will push the bad rituals to the side.
As an example I consciously created a life enhancing ritual of becoming an early riser and it has really helped push my productivity up and helped with relaxation and exercise. Now, getting up early is not everyone's cup of tea, but it gives you an idea of the power of rituals..
The Life Enhancing Framework
The first step of the framework is to identify nine rituals in your life that you would like to implement. Don't worry we aren't going to implement all nine straight away, that would be overwhelming 🙂
Write down life enhancing rituals that you might like to introduce in your life; meditation, yoga, more exercise, walking, drinking more water, actively listening to people, That's 5 or 6 off the bat straight away and you will come up with others; spending time with family, hobbies, anything that you can think of.
Just make it nine at the moment. This is the first step of creating a new ritual.
The second step is to reduce the nine life enhancing rituals down to three life enhancing rituals.
The way you'll do that is to identity the three most important ones to you. So take your list and pick out the three that are most important to you, and the most likely ones you'll implement straight away. Remember it's the most important ones to you, not to anyone else, just to you.
Now prioritise them, with most important one at the top of the list.
The fourth step is to look at the top priority ritual and look for the path of least resistance.
By that I mean which path is most achievable i.e. You want to implement a new exercise routine at 5.30pm on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, look at the path of least resistance. If you've got children to take to afterschool clubs, perhaps your partner doesn't come into after 5.30pm or perhaps you have working commitments so 5.30pm might not be a good time to implement that life enhancing ritual.
Whereas if you look at the path: 6 am in the morning, you don't necessary have to go to the gym but you could go for a walk every morning at 6 am before anyone gets up, so you are available and no one is demanding your time and you can still get the exercise that you want every day. Now this would be the path of least resistance.
If you choose a harder path to follow there are going to be roadblocks that get in your way. This makes it less likely that you will succeed in making this a ritual.
Number 5 in the framework is to set a specific time every day to implementing this ritual in your life.
As I said in the previous example if you want to set a specific time of six o'clock to start walking in the morning for half an hour, which means every morning without fail you get up about 5.30am, get dressed, have a shower, get your clothes on, relax for 10-15 minutes then at 6 am you go out for a walk for half an hour.
The reason it's important that a specific time is set is to condition your body clock, and if you miss doing your life enhancing ritual, your body, mind and spirit will almost start to yearn for it.
The sixth, and final step, is to carry out the life enhancing ritual every single day, if you can.
If it's a form of exercise it would be great if you could do it every day, that's if it's a gentle exercise. If it's a gym routine it may not be possible to do every single day.
There will be other life enhancing rituals that you can do every day; drinking more water, perhaps a litre or more, but do it at a specific time every single day. You have to try and do it every single day if you can, that way you're body, mind and spirit will get used to it.
I hope you understand the framework for introducing a life enhancing ritual into your life. What will happen over the weeks and months is that your life degrading rituals will start to diminish as more and more life enhancing rituals come into your life.
I also want to speak about willpower.
Studies have shown that you only have a certain amount of willpower. It has been shown that we haven't got a limitless supply of willpower because it takes mental energy to force your will on something, and this is what you are going to be doing when you are creating a life enhancing ritual
. You are going to be forcing your will, and yourself to start this ritual. It's going to take a lot of mental energy at first. After maybe three or five weeks it's going to become an unconscious habit. This is the state we want to get to, we want the ritual to become an unconscious habit because when it becomes an unconscious habit you no longer have to think about it. It means that you are expending much less mental energy on it.
The more life enhancing rituals you have in your life the less mental energy you will be expending while still gaining all the benefits of having life enhancing rituals.
To try and explain a little further here is an example, when you first start to drive you had to concentrate really hard; on the wheel, peddle, gear stick etc. You couldn't really let your mind wander at all when you first started to drive because you had to concentrate so hard. You had to force your will to concentrate on all the other drivers on the road, as well as focusing on what you were doing. However, once you become an experienced driver you no longer have to concentrate so much, it becomes an unconscious process. You can listen to the radio; you can concentrate on a CD or audio book or the person speaking to you next to you.
There are lots of things you can do when you're driving. You shouldn't be driving when you are fully concentrating on something else but your mind is really split in two places at one time. This is because the driving becomes an unconscious act so you don't have to expend the mental energy on driving anymore.
So that's the place we want to get to when we are creating life enhancing rituals in our lives.
It's unbelievable to identify what rituals you have in your life and it's unbelievable what we can achieve if we can develop more life enhancing rituals in our lives.
Please leave any comments or questions down below about you life enhancing rituals.