A ritual is a habit, or a set of habits, which you regularly engage in and enjoy. Rituals are an important part of personal growth, as they help you learn about, and strengthen, your relationship with yourself.
According to Psychology Today, rituals can help create a sense of belonging—which can help create motivation which will keep you on the road to success.
35 Rituals For Personal Growth
Creating rituals in your life is a highly individualized task, and rituals which may work for others may not work in your life. However, there are some basic rituals, which, if you adapt them, will put you on the fast track to achieving personal growth in your life.
1| Prepare For Tomorrow
Tomorrow is a new day, but you can start the promise of this blank slate the night before, thus ensuring that the day will go as you want it to. Before you get ready for bed, you should prepare your clothes, breakfast, and work bag for the next day. And if you pack a lunch, you should do this the night before as well so you will have more time in the morning and won’t be rushing out the door.
This is also a good time to make a to-do list for the following day, so that you know what to expect of your day. If you are one of those people who is liable to forget things you need to bring places, it’s a good habit to place these things in a prominent place so that you won’t forget them in your morning fog.
2| Have A Shutdown Ritual
Once you are all set up for the coming day, it’s time to prepare for bed. In order to get the best quality sleep possible, you should have a shutdown ritual which helps your body know that it is time for bed.
This way you won’t be wasting time trying to fall asleep. Whenever possible, try to start your ritual at the same time each night so that you will go to bed at the same time. Your shutdown ritual can be something simple such as brushing your teeth and washing your face before bed, or you can work in more complicated steps such as meditation or journaling. Whatever you decide on, make sure you complete the ritual in the same order every night.
3| Wake Up Early
One of the number one ways to increase your personal growth is by starting each morning at the crack of dawn. Although this may be painful, numerous CEOs such as Jack Dorsey (CEO of Twitter), Elon Musk, and Oprah Winfrey all state they are up prior to 7am, most of them even earlier.
This is because your morning routine is just as important as your shutdown routine, and you want to make sure you have time to complete it all before you head to work without having to rush.
Getting up early also enables you to start your day without the distractions and obligations which will inevitably arise after the working hours begin. So, it’s time to ditch those late nights and start getting up with the sun.
4| Drink Water
Drinking water is a ritual which is both crucial for your personal growth as well as keeping your body physically healthy. Water is essential for the operation of your body and for the health of vital organs such as your kidneys.
Without water, you wouldn’t live very long. If you are used to drinking soda or another sugary beverage, it’s time to cut these out and replace them with water. This will also help you focus without dealing with the ups and downs of blood-sugar which come when you consume sugary beverages.
And note that drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning can be especially beneficial when it comes to your wake-up routine—as it can help get your body systems up and running for the day.
5| Wash Your Face
You’ve long be told that washing your face is an important ritual to have. But do you know why? Well, besides just washing away dirt and grime which can clog your pores and cause unsightly skin problems such as pimples and zits, washing your face is also very refreshing.
This can be especially helpful if you choose to shower at night instead of the morning, as washing your face can help wake you up and feel more alert first thing in the morning. But even if you wash your face in the morning, you also need to wash it at night as well before you go to bed.
6| Start The Day With What Is Important To You
If you’re like most people on this planet, you’ve probably got a very extensive to do list. And there is a chance that you may not get to everything once the day gets going and issues or challenges arise.
This is why you need to start your day with the tasks which are most important to you. It can help when you make your to-do list the night before, to arrange it in the order of most to least important so that you know where you want to start. This way if you aren’t able to get everything done, at least the things which are important to you will be completed.
If meditation isn’t already part of your life, it’s time you make room for it. Regular meditation has been shown to have numerous benefits on both your mental and physical health, especially when you engage in it at least once a day.
Not only will you experience lower blood pressure and lower stress levels, but you’ll also sleep better at night if you make meditation part of your evening routine. No matter where you decide to work it in, try to meditate for at least ten minutes once a day to experience the full benefits meditation provides.
According to Intermountain Healthcare, journaling can be a crucial part of maintaining emotional health and achieving goals. The act of writing in a journal on a daily basis can help you process your emotions and realize mistakes you may have made or changes which may be needed. Journaling can also increase your self-confidence and manage your reflection of yourself to help you towards achieving personal growth goals.
You can journal either the old-fashioned way with paper and pencil, or on your computer, but to receive the maximum benefits, scientists recommend you sit down with a paper and pencil. This is because the world is already overflowing with technology and it’s good to give your brain a break, and the physical act of writing has been shown to be somewhat therapeutic.
9| Always Be Learning
It may be weird to include learning as a ritual, but you need to find a way to make learning a daily ritual. Consider downloading one of those new word every day apps, or maybe trying to learn a new language.
But either way, you need to try to learn something new every day. This will help to expand your mind, keep it active, and even offer you chances to experience personal growth which you may not have realized were even there.
10| Clean Your Space
Even if organization isn’t your strong suit, it’s time to make a change. You need to clean your space, identifying a place for everything. Then, make it a ritual to always return that item to its space. This way you will be able to spend time on other activities besides searching for that one thing you may need.
For activities which may pile up on a regular basis, such as the dishes, it’s time to incorporate these cleaning tasks in to your nightly shutdown routine.
This way you can start each day with a clean space instead of frantically trying to clean up the mess from the previous three days before a guest is supposed to come over. And making your bed should be a part of your morning routine to help you start your day on a positive note.
11| Eat Mindfully
Make it a ritual to eat mindfully. When you eat mindfully, you are aware of everything you are eating and why. This will help you to not only be able to stick to diets easier, but you’ll also be aware of the reason you are eating (i.e., because you are actually hungry and not just because you are stressed or sad etc.).
Another critical aspect of mindful eating is focusing on eating when it is time to eat. This means you put your phone away, shut off the TV, and actually focus on the task at hand. This will help keep you from overeating, and who knows, you just may find you enjoy your meals a little more when you focus on them instead of the latest trendy TV show.
12| Analyze Your Behavior
Ask key question, such as “what made me do this,” “what is the payoff of this action,” “how did that make me feel,” provides you with key answers that can help you work on yourself and your issues. Introspection and behavior analysis promotes a high level of self-awareness which can then be used to promote the highest level of personal growth.
13| Identify Negative Behavior Patterns
What actions get you into trouble? What actions cause you pain? What actions cause issues in your life? This analysis helps you identify those behaviors that you need to change in order to become your best self and live your best life.
14| Identify Your Feelings By Name
Become aware of your feelings on a continuous basis throughout your days and identify them by name. If you need help with naming feelings, here is a resource that can help.
Doing so helps you greatly improve your self-awareness and helps you stay in touch with your emotional state. Also, acknowledging and identifying your feelings helps begin the process of dealing with them.
15| Look For Growth Opportunities
Opportunities for personal growth are readily available in our lives, sometimes even on a daily basis. All our experiences can point to us areas where development and work is needed, the key is to be open, aware, and actively seeking these learning experiences.
To make this a ritual, check in with yourself and stay aware on a regular basis so you can identify those situations in life that are lessons and indicators of opportunities for personal growth. For example, the inability to take in constructive criticism with objectivity is an opportunity for you to learn about yourself, how you feel about yourself and the reasons behind this defect. This can open many doors to issues you need to work on.
16| Dress In Clothes Which Are You But Also Promote Success
Now the ritual of how you dress can be a sore subject for a lot of people. Of course, how you dress should promote your individuality as a person, but you should also dress for the success you want to have. For example, if you dream of working in a corporate office, then you should definitely start wearing business casual clothes and ditch your basketball shorts and t-shirts.
This is because, even if you don’t yet have the job, you never know when you may run into someone who can connect you to your dream job, so make it a rule to always dress as the person you want to be in order to make a good impression.
17| Burn Your Worries
Make a list of all your worries, especially those over which you have no control. Then burn that list. Do this regularly to promote inner peace and avoid frustrations with lack of control.
18| Greet Others
In the modern age, the courtesy of greeting everyone you meet has definitely gone by the wayside. But, as mentioned above, you never know when you may meet someone who will become an important network connection for you to have.
Saying hello to others, even if you are just passing them on your daily exercise, can go a long way into building your local community and helping you feel as if you belong. And even if greeting others isn’t your thing, never underestimate the power of a simple smile—as it can go a long way towards making someone’s day.
19| Spend Time Outdoors
Make it a ritual to spend time outdoors each and every day, no matter what the weather may be. This can be a short evening walk after dinner, or, if you can, try to move your daily exercise routine outdoors. Nature can provide a calming affect which is hard to replicate.
Beyond that, nature has also been shown to help with feelings of sadness or depression as well as boosting the body’s immune system naturally. Additionally, the sun provides vitamin D which is an essential vitamin that your body needs. So instead of parking yourself on the couch after dinner each evening, resolve to spend some time each day basking in the effects of nature.
20| Have A Mantra
A ritual which is especially important for personal growth is developing a mantra, or perhaps more than one, depending on your thoughts. A mantra is a positive saying which can help redirect your thoughts if they start to head in a negative direction.
This is especially critical, because no matter how positive your outlook on life is, everyone is faced with trying situations at times which can lead to negative thoughts. Having a mantra which you believe in and helps turn your thoughts around can go a long way to surviving an unforeseen crisis.
Reading something every day is a critical part of personal growth. If you can, you should aim to read for at least thirty minutes each day. This will help stimulate your mind, reduce your stress, and increase your knowledge—which can help you conquer any challenges you may face. It’s best if you read non-fiction books, but you can also read fiction occasionally as a reward for yourself.
You can read the news daily, and while this can be beneficial at times, make sure you don’t spend too much time invested in the news. This is because the news is often negative, and if you spend too much time watching it, you will find it affects your mood negatively. Try to spend ample time reading positive media instead.
22| Have A To Do List
As mentioned in a few of the previously listed rituals, having a to-do list is important. Not only does it help keep you on task, but it helps you stay focused on your ultimate goals. Besides a daily to-do list, which you should be making as a part of your shutdown ritual, you should also have active to do lists for each of your goals so that you can check items off as you achieve them and keep up with your progress as you go. You can keep these to-do lists in your journal for easy reference, just don’t forget to check back with them regularly to help keep yourself motivated.
Whether you like to engage in the practice of yoga or not, it’s high time you make stretching a part of your daily ritual. According to Harvard Health, stretching plays a crucial role in keeping your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy.
And if you work out frequently (which you should) regular stretching can help keep you from injuring yourself during strenuous exercise. Stretching is especially important if you suffer from join problems, because it can help strengthen the muscles which surround the joint, also helping strengthen the joint at the same time.
Make sure when you first begin stretching that you find an instructional video or app to follow, and start slowly, so that you don’t injure yourself.
As mentioned above, exercising needs to be a daily ritual in your life. And the above stretching doesn’t count, as it needs to be in addition to your daily exercise in order for you to reap the full benefits of both.
Mayo Clinic recommends that healthy adults get at least thirty minutes of cardio a day, which is any exercise which raises your heart rate consistently, such as jogging or biking. This thirty minutes of cardio a day will help control your weight, as well as your risk factors for a number of deadly diseases such as heart attack and stroke.
And you may even find that exercising regularly helps boost your mood and energy in a positive manner. Just ensure that you start at a pace and in an activity, which suits you, as starting out too difficult or fast could lead to you to injure yourself.
25| Practice Gratitude
The ritual of practicing gratefulness is an important one when it comes to personal growth and maintaining a positive mindset. This is because if you are always focused on the things you don’t have in life, you’ll find that this is a breeding ground for negative thoughts. And if you let them run rampant, all the great things you have in life will pass you by before you realize it.
- Promotes healthier relationships, both with self and others
- Promotes physical health
- Promotes mental health
- Improves life satisfaction and inner peace
- Enhances empathy
- Reduces aggressive behavior
- Boosts self-esteem
Make a list for all the things you are grateful for, and if you can do this on a daily basis, that’s even better. The ritual of gratefulness is easy to incorporate with your daily journaling routine or to do list making, wherever it fits best for you.
26| Light A Candle
This one may seem a little weird, but there is something very calming about lighting a candle and then blowing it out. You can decide just what this ritual means to you, but many people report that to them, lighting a candle represents the burning of their negative thoughts or feelings, and that when they blow the candle out, that they are leaving them behind.
This ritual is best incorporated with another ritual, such as meditation or journaling. Whichever you choose, light a candle at the beginning of the activity, leave it on while you relax or write, and then blow it out at the end.
27| Take A Break
In the modern age, everyone leads a busy life. But it’s critical that you remember that rest is important too, as it can help you relax and save you from damaging conditions such as burnout. But make sure whatever break you decide to take each day, that it is both restful for you as well as constructive.
For example, you could take a thirty-minute break at work and stretch, or maybe even read. Be very cautious considering TV time as break time—this is because it’s difficult to turn it off once you have it on, and you already spend so much time a day in front of a screen—try instead to make a ritual break of something more constructive.
28| Put Down Your Phone
This goes along with taking a break, but you also need to make a ritual of putting down your phone. This is because copious amounts of phone time isn’t good for your mental or physical health.
Try to make at least an hour of your day phone free, and if you’re incorporating other rituals on this list, that could easily be meal times, while you are exercising, or enjoying your daily outdoor time. If you want to benefit even further from this ritual, try to scale back your phone time overall, scheduling certain times each day which will be the only time you spend on your phone for the day.
29| Be Mindful of Your Finances
Gone are the days where you should just mindlessly spend on every little thing. Make it a ritual to keep track of your finances, whether this just means regularly checking your bank account, or setting a budget for yourself. This is because finances can be an important part of personal growth, and if you are always playing catch up with your debts, you’ll never be able to put money towards your goals in life.
30| Treat Yourself Occasionally
If you develop a good routine of rituals and habits that you stick to for an extended period of time, it’s okay to have the ritual of rewarding yourself for a job well done every now and then. This is because rewards can help keep you motivated and on the path to success.
But, rewarding yourself doesn’t mean over spending your budget or doing something which will destroy all the hard work you’ve put in. Try instead to indulge in free treats which fit into your rituals, such as reading something fiction after finishing a non-fiction book, or maybe taking a class at the gym with a friend.
31| Cook At Home
Cooking at home is another good ritual to get into. Not only is eating out all the time usually unhealthy, but it can also wreak havoc on your finances and savings. But don’t look at it as a negative, instead, make it a positive ritual in which you try new recipes or maybe try to cook one of your favorite meals you usually get from a restaurant. You may just be surprised just how therapeutic and fun cooking can really be.
32| Spend Time On Your Passion
Make it a ritual to spend time on your passion, no matter what it may be. This can be a hobby, an activity, or even volunteering for a cause you care about. This may not necessarily be a daily ritual, but try to spend some time at least one day a week doing something you truly enjoy. You can even consider taking a class to further your knowledge in your passion which can help you with incorporating the aforementioned learning ritual into your life.
33| Spend Time With Loved Ones
Sometimes your life may get so busy, that you forget to spend time with your friends and family. It’s time to turn this around. Spending time with loved ones is an important part of happiness and personal growth. This is because, as a human, you will naturally learn from those around you.
Also, possessions such as cars and houses can never love you back, but your friends and family can, so it’s high time you try to spend time with them on a regular basis. You can easily accomplish this by bringing them in on some of your rituals, for example, maybe your after-dinner nature walk becomes a family affair, and maybe you do your daily gym time with a friend. Chances are, they’ll appreciate having you involved in their personal growth rituals as well.
34| Volunteer Regularly
Volunteering is a critical ritual which is a part of personal growth. Now this one is hard to incorporate on a daily basis but strive to volunteer your time at least once a week, or once every other week.
Volunteering helps improve your empathy, as well as opens your eyes to new situations and people. You never know what new friends or passions you may find while you are completing volunteer work. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider calling a local church or food bank and seeing what you can do to help.
35| Spend Time Visualizing Your Success
Whether you visualize success during meditation, or prefer to make a physical vision board, spending time visualizing you achieving your goals will definitely keep you on the path to success.
Not only will it help you see that your goals really are possible, but it will also serve to motivate you, and give you the critical thinking skills necessary to conquer challenges which you may encounter on the way to achieving your goals.
However, you decide to spend time visualizing your success, just make sure you make it a ritual to do so with some frequency, such as once per week or month.
Overall, adopting rituals in your life is a critical part of experiencing personal growth. So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to start incorporating rituals into your life today. Whether you decide to use the rituals outlined on this list, or start some of your own, just make sure the rituals you are practicing are leading you to be your best version of yourself.