Do you ever get to the end of the week and cannot really remember what you actually did for your own business? You might remember the interactions you had with your clients, or the work you did for them, but how about all these day-to-day things you do to move your own Health Coaching business forward?
They might not happen all every day and in the same order, but each of us usually does most of these at some point during the day.
And similarly to your Beginning-of-Day Routines, you’ll probably have some sort of End-of-Day Routines as well: check emails one more time, sign off in your team communication, maybe it’s just closing your laptop at the end of your business day.
Unfortunately, you may not be fully aware of these individual actions.
They’ve become habits, for better or worse.
Here is thing about habits:
The good news is, they run on auto-pilot and you hardly think about them.
The bad news is, they run on auto-pilot and you hardly think about them.
So it takes an intentional approach to change something once it becomes a habit.
Building Good Habits
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear talks about the importance of habits and the right systems around them to make sure you’re building good habits and breaking bad ones.
James introduces the 4-stage Habit Loop: Cue, Craving, Response and Reward.
In order to break a bad habit, you need to “Make it invisible. Make it unattractive. Make it difficult. Make it unsatisfying.”1
In order to build a good habit, you need to “Make it obvious. Make it attractive. Make it easy. Make it satisfying.”1
By building better habits, you’ll slowly but surely improve your life and your business. And I’m all for better habits for your business.
Habits vs. Routines vs. Rituals: What’s the difference?
I see both Routines and Rituals, as a collection of habits, done back-to-back. But to me there is an important difference:
Routines are highly focused on the outcome.
Getting the tasks done quickly and efficiently.
Rituals on the other hand require a different mindset. They focus more on the experience and the meaning behind those actions.
Yes, they eventually still lead to the same result, but how you get there is different. I see a ritual more as the scenic route to your destination. A way to be more mindful and to make sure you enjoy the journey.
A habit is something that you do repeatedly and usually on autopilot.
A routine is a collection of habits, done back to back.
A ritual is a routine with added mindfulness and an enhanced experience.
3 Steps to turn your routines into daily rituals
How can we use that knowledge to shift how we work each day?
1 – Document for a week what your daily habits actually are.
Your habits may shift based on the day, so don’t just pick a random day. Do it for a whole week. And yes, even on the weekend because you might be surprised how much you still do for your business on the weekends.
Write it down immediately while or after you do something, otherwise you’ll not remember later. Write it down even if the action you take seems small. It’s important to become aware about our autopilot tasks again.
2 – Evaluate what you’ve documented.
Are these ‘‘good’ or ‘bad’ habits? (Side note: only you determine what’s a good or bad habit based on what your intentions are, nobody else can make that decision but you.)
3 – Come up with ideas how you can shift bad habits into good ones. Think about how you can enhance your experience with them.
Maybe you feel better starting your workday with a clean desk. Add that e.g. to your End-of-Day ritual so you’re already starting with a clean desk the next day.
Maybe a simple change in order might do the trick, e.g. journal a bit before you check emails so you can stay with you and your business for a little while longer before you get sucked into somebody else’s drama.
Maybe you’ll need to add something to help you be more mindful like doing a 5 min breathing meditation or going for a short walk around the block before you even sit down to work.
Now it’s your turn!
Go ahead and get creative. Develop your own beautiful business rituals that you cannot wait to go through each day!
1. Quotes from Atomic Habits by James Clear. https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits