Creating a 3-Minute Ritual to Improve Your Results on Any Project

We all have projects to do, things to accomplish. Sometimes they’re fraught with worry, we may get exhausted, and while we may get something accomplished, there isn’t much ease or grace to the process. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

When we worked with the marketing and publishing team at Crown Publishing in New York who helped to get the word out about our book, Your Hidden Riches – Unleashing the Power of Ritual to Create a Life of Meaning and Purpose. We wanted their experience of working on this book to be unlike any other. We wanted them to enjoy working on this project like no other book they’ve worked on before. So, we invited them to create a ritual and use it as they worked on getting the book out far and wide.

You can use the same process to create a sense of flow and ease in your own projects. Rituals can help you manage your time, your energy and your thinking. Plus, they allow you to acknowledge and connect with the unseen forces of life that are often more significant than the ones we can see. If you’d like to learn how to create a simple ceremonial ritual to create more ease and grace in whatever you may be working on, then keep reading.

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Using Ritual to Create Flow, Direct Attention, and Improve Your Results

The accomplishment of any task is a function of the clarity of the awareness that you bring to it. If your mind is fuzzy, you’ll get fuzzy results. Creating a simple ceremonial ritual to support you in focusing your attention and creating the outcomes you’re looking for only takes a few minutes to create and a few minutes to perform, but we predict you’ll be surprised by the impact it can have on your experience.

Ritual is a wonderful way to set a particular activity apart from the rest of the day. By performing your ritual before you begin, and again just when you’re ready to stop, you can save yourself from carrying the project into your time with family or other activities where it may not be welcome. Beginning and ending your work on a project each day with a ritual also makes that time feel special, and will help to focus your time and attention.

7 Aspects of Ceremonial Rituals

As we looked at ceremonial rituals from cultures around the world, we observed seven (7) aspects that were common to almost all of them. These rituals create a special feeling of ease and grace in performance. We suggest you incorporate these 7 elements as you create your own 3-minute ritual:

1) Intention
One part of your daily ritual will involve reading out loud the intention you set for your project.

2) Preparation and Purification
Create a special spot in your office, or on your desk where you keep the elements for your ritual. If it doesn’t disturb others and you would like to, use camphor to purify your space before beginning. Camphor is a traditional way of “cleaning the air” when doing a ritual. Also, take a few moments before you begin to clean up and wipe off your ritual space.

3) Use of Symbols
Symbols allow you to take what is unseen and bring it to conscious awareness. In your ritual space place symbols that are meaningful to you and will inspire you as you work on this project. These could include photos of your family who will benefit from your work on the project, your goals for the project, inspiring quotes, and anything else that will give personal meaning to your work on this project.

4) Activating the Senses
Have some fruit or a healthy snack to represent the nourishment you gain from your work (you can also eat it after you finish your ritual), treat yourself to daily flowers to add richness to the environment (they don’t have to be expensive), if you’d like and it won’t disturb others, you could get some scented oil, an aroma diffuser, a candle, a special scarf or cloth. Keep these things in your ritual space, and then light the diffuser, put on the scarf, etc. when you’re performing your ritual. If it feels funny to you, try it for a few days. If it still feels uncomfortable, then adjust to something that feels comfortable and natural. The magic of your ritual is in the meaning it has for you, the regularity of your practice of it, and the feeling that this is something special as you do it, not from any particular element you use or don’t use.

5) Prescribed Performance
Create a specific order to what you’ll do during your ritual. An example would be:

  1. Prepare the space: take a moment to clean the area, light camphor (if you want), light an aroma diffuser, arrange your fresh flowers, your fruit or snack, and put your scarf or cloth on
  2. Sit quietly in silence for 30 secs
  3. Open your eyes and read your intention for the project out loud
  4. If you’re beginning your work, write out 3 things you’d like to accomplish today on this project; If you’re ending, list 3 things you accomplished
  5. Read a quote or passage that is inspiring to you and reminds you of why you’re happy to be working on this project (a fun way to do this is to have a book with you like The Passion Test that is filled with great quotes and just open to any page in the book and read what your eyes go to—you might be surprised by what you discover).
  6. Quietly speak out one thing you’re grateful for – find something you have not expressed on previous days
  7. Speak out one thing you appreciate about yourself – again find something you have not expressed before
  8. Put out the incense and begin working on your project if you’re beginning, or close up and quit for the day when you’re done.

6) Repetition
Repeating your ritual over and over will help to ground your intention and create new neural pathways so that your work on the project will always be connected to the intention you set.

7) Invoking the Unseen
This can be as simple as acknowledging that you need help to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself and you’re willing to accept that help from wherever it may come.

Using these 7 aspects of ritual as a guide (and you do not have to include them in the order above), take a few minutes now to design your personal 3-minute ritual for your project. Just write the points below down or copy them into a document:

1) Intention
At the beginning of my daily ritual I will read my intention for this project which is:

2) Preparation and Purification
I will prepare and purify as part of my daily ritual by:

3) Use of Symbols
The symbols I will use in my daily ritual will include:

4) Activating the Senses
I will engage my senses during my daily ritual by:

5) Prescribed Performance
The steps of my daily ritual will be as follows:

a. ________________________________________________________

b. ________________________________________________________

c. ________________________________________________________

d. ________________________________________________________

e. ________________________________________________________

f. ________________________________________________________

g. ________________________________________________________

6) Repetition
I will repeat my daily ritual at approximately these times each day (start time and end time for this project):

7) Invoking the Unseen
I will invoke the unseen aspects of life in my daily ritual by:

Taking consistent action is essential to create new, constructive patterns in your life and this is where most people stumble. Your daily ritual is for the purpose of helping to reinforce and remind you of the intention you’ve set. Doing this daily as you’re working on a project will keep you focused on your intention. By concluding your time on the project with this short ritual as well, you formally conclude that session so you don’t have to think about it while you work on other things.

From our experience, rituals like this will create a specialness to your day and your work. You’ll find you’re more focused when you’re working on the project, and you don’t obsess over it when you’re not. And we look forward to hearing what your own experience is. At the very least, having fresh flowers and a snack in your office has to feel good!

For now, commit to performing the simple, short ritual you’ve designed in this exercise, at the beginning and end of each time you are working on your project. A valuable way to do this is to write out the following on a piece of paper, sign it, the post it above your ritual space on your desk or in your office.

My Commitment:  I hereby commit to performing my 3-minute daily ritual at the start and end of my work on the ______________  project each day.

Signed by:  ________________________________  Date:  ______________________

You’ve done it!!! See if doing this daily doesn’t create more ease and grace in your life.

Thanks so much for being part of our world.

With love

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Janet Bray Attwood

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