Routines and Rituals Build Habits | How To Create Healthy Habits

We all know that it is very important to create healthy habits for our overall health and well-being. Any habit that we develop affects our physical, mental, and emotional health.

The starting point of habits is routines and rituals. I’m sure you have your own set of individual routines and rituals that you do with your special someone or your family, and you have a different set of routines and rituals that you do with your friends.

Having this set of routines and rituals are actually very helpful in creating healthy habits that will benefit you throughout your life. They also help in providing structure to your life and building momentum.

It’s a given that everyone, including you, has their own set of routines and rituals. The question now is, will these routines and rituals help you develop healthy habits?

Unfortunately, not all routines and rituals lead to healthy habits. Some routines started without much thought and have really become ingrained habits for you. However, these routines will move you farther from your goal of creating healthy habits.

tea time healthy habits

So now, it’s time to rethink and evaluate your own routines and rituals. Ask yourself: Is this routine positively enhancing my life? Will it be helping me create healthy habits?

Let’s look at this example:

As part of your everyday routine, you immediately turn on the television as soon as you come home.

Generally, this routine is not bad. Perhaps, you just want to take a few minutes to check out what’s going on like news or weather.

It only becomes negative if after you turn on the TV, the next thing you know is you’ve gotten sucked into an hour or two or three of mindless television.

That’s counterproductive. That’s not going to create the space in your life to really help you achieve what you would like to achieve.

So, as we look at the rituals in our life we’re going to look for those rituals that are actually contributing positively to our lives.

Let’s take a look at this Sunday ritual, for example:

walk_on_the_beach_healthy_habits_BQC451Every Sunday, you walk on the beach with your special someone, go to a nice lunch in a nice restaurant, and just talk and bond. This ritual, no matter how simple it is, would bring a lot of joy and fulfillment. And this will evolve into one of the healthy habits that will go down in your history as a couple.

However, there are those rituals that started out as a nice ritual and eventually realize that they are no longer contributing to enhancing our lives. 

Like traveling to a certain place, for example. Probably for the first few times you visited that place, you felt excited and happy about this ritual. However, after so many trips to that same destination, visiting that place starts to lose its luster.

So sometimes, there are rituals in your life that you need to come back to and evaluate if it’s really worth your time anymore.

Ask yourself, did I really miss it? Am I really glad to be back into this space? Or wow, I didn’t miss that as much as I thought I would and I could really let it go. This is taking up space in my life that I don’t have the resources to indulge in. If you decided that it’s not worth your time anymore, then it’s definitely not a healthy habit anymore.

Routines and rituals definitely take up time and space to build, and any of those components of our lives are the resources that we have to work with.

Rituals, again, can be positive. They can be less than positive. They can be something that we would like to amp up or something that we would like to kick to the curb. So it’s up to us to decide which stays and which goes. If it’s not helping you build healthy habits, then perhaps it’s time to let it go.

Ritual is a very personal thing. If it’s not serving you, then it’s up to you to make a change. The ritual might be perfectly buying for another person, maybe somebody that you’re in a relationship with, but it’s just not serving you anymore.

This is about getting to know yourself, becoming aware of how you apply your resources to daily living and take control over increasing the level of joy and fulfillment and happiness that you’re experiencing in life.

book reading healthy habits
Here’s a challenge for you: Scan through your week and each individual day and what routines do you find that you participate in on a regular basis. Like turning on the TV when you walk in the door.

Just begin to be aware of what kind of things do you do just on autopilot without even thinking about it. And then once you’ve become aware of those rituals and routines, it’s really easy to apply some thought and mindfulness and determine whether that’s something you could add more of, that you’re happy with just the way it is, or that you’d like to release.

This is a great opportunity for you to just spend a little time in contemplation and in awareness training.

About the author

Dr. Gala Gorman is a licensed Acupuncturist, Naturopath, and Author who offers expert advice and programs to help people prevent disease. She uses advanced techniques that "reverse the clock" on aging. She founded the Delta Discovery Center with her partner, Charlie Frangos, to provide a place for self-discovery and healing on Hilton Head Island and beyond. Dr. Gala helps people learn to be their own health advocates.