Essential Takeaways

  • Make it easy for yourself - big lifestyle changes come from small daily rituals
     
  • Self-affirmation will be the best motivator for you to keep increasing the difficulty of your task
     
  • New rituals should begin with a small simple action that can be easily accomplished with little motivation, which we are prompted to accomplish via a cue in our environment

Create your own self-love ritual - you deserve it! 

New rituals can be hard to stick with, just think of how many people adhere to their new year’s resolutions - very few! One issue is that many people come up with lifestyle goals that are too broad, challenging, and/or unrealistic to stick with in the long term. Making a commitment to exercise 5 days a week when you don’t remember the last time you worked up a sweat is a recipe for disaster. According to researcher BJ Fogg, Stanford academic and author of the book Tiny Habits, this approach to behavior change has us doomed from the beginning. It takes a lot of motivation to suddenly make radical changes to our life, motivation that tends to wane quickly. So how can we make sustainable positive lifestyle changes that stand the test of time?

The thing about new rituals is that in order to make it into a long term daily habit we should start small. I’m talking baby steps, we’re in it for the journey not the destination! New rituals should begin with a small simple action that can be easily accomplished with little motivation, which we are prompted to accomplish via a cue in our environment.  We can then build upon each action incrementally until it becomes an instinctual ritual. Make it easy for yourself - big lifestyle changes come from small daily rituals!

This approach changes our self-narrative by creating positive experiences where we are able to accomplish what we set out to do, leading to more positive self-talk and confidence (skills many of us probably need more practice at). This self-affirmation will be the best motivator for you to keep increasing the difficulty of your task. 

Here are some tips on how to create your next lifestyle ritual:

  1. Think of a lifestyle behavior that is important to you that you would like to make a daily ritual. What is it that you want to achieve? 
  2. Break that behavior down into the smallest simplest baby steps that you can accomplish easily with little motivation  
  3. Next attach that simple behavior to something that you already do everyday - like take a shower, take the dog for a walk, brush your teeth, make a morning cup of tea
  4. Once you complete that simple ritual consistently, celebrate the success, then make the task a little bit harder
  5. Rinse and repeat until your desired lifestyle behavior is a daily ritual 

Example:

  1. You want to start building more strength and get stronger because you’ve heard that’s a key to maintaining good bone health 
  2. A push-up is an exercise that’s simple to do - start with one push-up a day
  3. You brush your teeth every morning, so use that as your cue to do one pushup
  4. After a week of doing one push-up before brushing your teeth you can either do one pushup each time brushing your teeth or up the morning push-up count 
  5. Keep increasing the amount of pushups until you’re happy with the daily ritual count 

Here are some tips that the team at Elix uses to help them create a daily ritual around using Elix products:

  • Start small: If you’re like Maddie, our Head of Customer Care, and struggle with remembering to take your Cycle Balance the week before your period, take the daily dose (½ tsp daily). 
  • Use a cue: Our Head of Operations, Katie, drinks coffee every morning, so she puts her Elix next to her coffee maker and drops it into her cup as the coffee brews, so she never misses a dose!
  • Set a reminder: Lily, our Head of Marketing, uses her Oura ring to track her period start date. It notifies her 5-7 days before her period and that’s when she remembers to start Elix. 

When all is said and done life is about taking delight in the small joys, so when starting a new lifestyle ritual try to make it fun, you won’t continue with a ritual if you hate doing it. If you find yourself straying away from any small daily actions you’ve come up with, reassess and see how you can make that task even easier to accomplish. Change is a process, it’s not a quest for perfection, so go easy on yourself! All we can do is try and be a teensy bit better than yesterday. Start small and build on each ritual slowly, celebrating each small success.  Remember - big lifestyle changes come from small daily rituals!

If you want to learn more about creating new rituals, join us for our Community Check-In chats where we dive deeper into ritual building - discussing any successes, challenges, or learnings with other community members as well as Elix TCM Health Coaches and our Head of Community Care! 

 

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Sources 

1 https://behaviormodel.org/
https://doi.org/10.1145/1541948.1541999

This article was reviewed by Dr. Liem Le.

Dr. Liem Le is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Functional Medicine Practitioner, and Nutritionist Integrative Medicine Department at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. He is a part of the teaching staff for the Masters program for the Functional Medicine and Human Nutrition program at University of Western States. Dr. Le is currently working on his fellowship in Integrative Medicine with the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine via a scholarship from the White House to complete the initiative.

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