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Stop Making Resolutions—Create Lasting Change With Rituals Instead

December 26, 2022

The New Year is a time for new beginnings, and for many people, that means making resolutions. But according to research, only 9% of people who make resolutions keep them. Strava, a running app, says that most people quit their goals by the second Friday of January, a day they’ve coined “Quitters Day.”

This year, consider ditching the resolutions and starting some rituals instead. Rituals are actions that we do regularly to bring about a desired outcome. They can be simple or complex, but the important thing is that they are meaningful to us and help us achieve our goals.

In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of rituals and how you can use them to improve your life!

Why Resolutions Fail and How Rituals Can Help

When setting goals, many people rely on resolutions. Resolutions are a promise you make yourself to do something different or better in the coming year. For example, a common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight.

However, resolutions often fail because they’re unrealistic and pressure-filled. They become a burden instead of making our lives better. One study found that people focusing on goal outcomes while completing tasks were counterintuitively less successful at achieving their goals!

Rituals combat the problem with resolutions by removing the focus on the intended goal and making repeated behavior the focus instead. For example, if your goal is to improve your health, you might create a ritual of going for a walk every day after dinner.

The Benefits of Rituals: How They Can Improve Your Life

Some people see rituals as outdated or superstitious, but there is a lot of value in incorporating rituals into your life—there’s nothing superstitious about making new habits! New practices can help to improve your mental and physical health, boost your mood and energy levels, and increase your overall sense of well-being.

In our fast-paced, constantly connected world, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and stressed. Taking time each day to do something that makes you happy—whether going for a walk, spending time with friends or family, or reading a book—can help increase your overall sense of well-being.

Rituals can also help to increase your motivation and commitment to a goal. When you have a set ritual that you perform regularly, it becomes easier to automatically reach your goal because you’ve developed a new habit. Additionally, they feel good! You feel a sense of accomplishment and progress every time you complete your commitments to yourself. Who doesn’t want that?

3 Tips for Creating Effective Rituals

When creating effective rituals, there are a few key things to remember. First and foremost, your ritual should be aligned with your intention. To uncover what a good intention is for you, reflect on the past year.

  1. What are you proud of from last year?
  2. What are you ready to let go of from last year?
  3. What do I want to see happen in the New Year?

Once you know what you want—and don’t want—to bring into the year ahead, creating a repeatable habit will be easier.

Second, make sure that the ritual is something you enjoy doing. It should be something that feels good and makes you feel positive.

Third, use the present tense when talking about your rituals. Instead of saying, “I will run three times a week” (future tense) say to yourself, “I am running three days a week” (present tense).

Examples to Help You Reach Your Goals 

Here are a few examples of rituals you can use to achieve your goals.

If you want to lose weight:

Engage in a regular exercise routine—make it something you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like a chore. It could be as simple as committing to moving every day or going to an exercise class on a regular basis.

If you want to save money:

Figure out what you’re overspending on that isn’t aligned with your intentions or priorities. Then create a ritual around saving money in that area. For example, if you’re spending too much money on takeout, but your intention for the year is to go on a big vacation, make cooking dinner instead of eating out a ritual to help you save money for vacation.

If you want to spend more time with family:

Make a list of what is taking up your time and see what you can delegate. Many Taskrabbit users report using the platform to spend more time with loved ones instead of doing chores around the house! Setting up a recurring task and using that time to spend with family is a ritual that can help you reach your goal.

Lastly, remember: there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating rituals and habits. What works for someone else may not work for you. The key is experimenting and finding what works best for you and your life. 

No matter what new habits you try, don’t forget that we’re here to help make your goals a reality. Book a Tasker for your home projects, so you have more time to focus on your priorities this year.