1. Morning and evening intention. Every morning, Benjamin Franklin asked himself, “What good will I do today?” Then at night before bed he asked, “What good did I do today?”
Simple, right? Yet you can see the power of such a simple daily ritual when you look at the enormous amount of good Ben Franklin did during his lifetime.
What could happen in your life if you took a minute before getting out of bed to ask yourself, “What do I choose to create today?” Then as you’re winding down in the evening ask yourself, “What did I create today?”
Do that for 30 days and be prepared to be surprised by the results.
2. Quiet time. How much time do you take for yourself each day? Too little, if you’re like most people. While the benefits of meditation have been touted by everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Jerry Seinfeld to Dr. Oz, what few people mention is how valuable it is to give yourself 15 – 20 minutes in the morning and evening to just be with yourself.
3. Get silly. We all know exercise is good for us, right? Fresh air—also good. And don’t you sometimes wish you could just be a kid again?
Simon Cowell’s daily ritual combines all three. What does he do? He climbs a tree! Don’t underestimate the power of adding silly to your life. What can you do to get silly? Whatever it is, do it daily and see how much more fun your life becomes.
4.Wabi Sabi. Author Arielle Ford wrote a bestselling book, Wabi Sabi Love, about it. She says it’s the secret to lasting love. What is Wabi Sabi?
It’s the Japanese practice of finding the beauty in imperfection. When Arielle got upset because her husband wouldn’t roll up the toothpaste tube, she realized how grateful she is that he brushes his teeth at all so she gets to enjoy his sweet breath.
Try it today. Next time your spouse does something that drives you nuts, see if you can find the gift in it.
5. Health buddies. When Rick Warren enrolled Dr. Daniel Amen and Dr. Mark Hyman to create the Daniel Plan at Saddleback Church, 15,000 people lost 250,000 pounds in the first year. What does he say made the biggest difference? Having a support group.
Great that you have weight loss or health goals. Now find a likeminded buddy and connect with them for a few minutes daily. Get ready to kiss those extra pounds goodbye!
6. Something hidden. “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in her shoe.” We’ve all heard the advice for brides. Can it work for you?
Take a page from actor Colin Farrell’s ritual playbook: When he starts a new movie, Colin wears the same boxer shorts covered in shamrocks saying, “The luck of the Irish.” What reminds you of how special you are that you can wear or carry with you? Make it part of your daily rituals.
7. Performance counts. Before every serve, Serena Williams bounces the ball exactly five times. Why would one of the top tennis players in the world do such a thing?
It’s all about focus. When you have to perform at your best, you need to be fully present, not worried about what others will think or if you’re going to blow it.
When you have to be at your best, before a big presentation or a meeting with your boss, press your little finger on the inside corner of the nail five times. It will help you to be focused for your important moment, and it also activates the acupressure point that will help calm your spirit and clear your mind.
8. Give it away. Who hasn’t heard of the power of giving? But why wait until you’re rich to become a philanthropist? Our friend Anna makes a daily ritual of finding something she can give away each day, even if it’s a smile and a kind word.
But you can also find things that are no longer for you and pass them along to someone who will love them. Beyond the principle that giving opens you up to receive, as Anna says, “An empty closet is a great excuse to go shopping!”
What can you give away today?
9. End email tyranny: “Emails in your inbox are just a list of other people’s agendas for your time,” says bestselling author and motivational speaker Brendon Burchard. Avoid the trap by setting your own agenda before you dive into your daily emails.
Get a sheet of paper. Divide it into three parts. In the top third write your top five big projects and what, if anything, needs to be done on them today. In the middle third write what you need to do for yourself today. In the lower third, write who you’re waiting to hear from on one side and who you need to contact on the other side.
Now, you’re ready for your email Inbox, starting with the people you are looking to connect with.
10. The appreciation game. “What you put your attention on grows stronger.” Lady Gaga puts this principle into practice by beginning each day with five minutes of self-directed love and gratitude.
Make it fun by playing the Appreciation Game with someone you care about. Take 10 turns each. “What I love and appreciate about you is… and why I appreciate that is because…
For couples, this is a fabulous preparation for making love. You won’t be able to keep your hands off each other.
Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood are co-authors of The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose, and the new book, Your Hidden Riches: Unleashing the Power of Ritual to Create a Life of Meaning and Purpose (Harmony, October 21, 2014) shows anyone how to create a life that matters, written with the help of Sylva Dvorak, Ph.D., who has a degree in psychoneurology and integrative healing.