The Importance of Daily Rituals In The Pursuit Of Excellence

Photo by theimpulsivebuy

Photo by theimpulsivebuy

Our Instant World

We live in an instant world. Quick mp3 downloads from iTunes. Instant oatmeal. Movies on demand. Kindle book downloads from Amazon. Instant cup of soup.

In our instant everything world, it’s hard to have patience for much of anything, anymore. The challenge for us is that the things which have true meaning and lasting value in our lives, take time to develop.

If we want to have a growing spiritual life with our Lord, then we have to spend time in His Word and in prayer. If we want to have meaningful relationships, then we need to carve out quality and quantity time to make those happen. If we want financial peace in our lives, we need to spend time doing a budget and working on a solid financial plan.

Excellence Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Photo by r0sss

Photo by r0sss

The same is true with the principle of excellence. If you want to excel at anything, then you have to set aside regular, consistent time to work on whatever you’re trying to be excellent at.

Excellence is not a “one and done” proposition. Excellence takes time. There are no shortcuts.

The best analogy I can come up with is playing a musical instrument (I’m a trumpet player). If you’ve ever played an instrument, then you know what I’m talking about. You can’t just practice your instrument one time and be done with it. If you truly want to excel at that musical instrument, then you have to develop a regular practice routine (such as an hour a day) and stick with it.

Here’s another life example of growing in excellence and appropriate rituals.

If you want to be in excellent health, then you will need to put an exercise regimen in your daily schedule. You will need to schedule regular doctor check-ups to monitor your overall health. You will need to determine a healthy meal menu and shop at the grocery store, accordingly.

Daily rituals are the best way to grow in excellence in any area.

Got Rituals?

How about you? Do you have regular routines or rituals that you practice on a regular basis in order to be excellent in specific areas of your life?

If not, here’s my recommendation. Pick just one area of your life that you want to be excellent at. Focus on that one area for several months. Establish 2-3 rituals in that area. Make these rituals a regular habit in your life. Get this one “plate” spinning really well.

Once you feel like you have the rituals firmly established in that area, then consider another area of your life in which you would like to excel. Follow the exact same pattern.

Before you know it, you will have several “plates” spinning, a number of rituals established in your life, and you will be growing in your personal excellence.

Question: If you had to pick a specific area that you need to focus on excellence in your life, what would it be? What rituals do you need to establish in order to get growing in excellence in this particular area?

Setting Goals That Inspire Action In 2013

Photo by lululemon athletica

Photo by lululemon athletica

It’s That Time, Again

It’s hard to believe, but 2012 is coming to a close in just a few days. A new year is already knocking at the door! Have you given any consideration to your current goals from 2012 and any new goals for 2013?

How did you do this year? Did you accomplish what you wanted to accomplish? Do you have some current, incomplete goals you’re going to need to carry over into the new year?

This week, I’ve been in the process of reviewing my goals from this year and deciding my goals for next year.

In this post, I’d like to challenge you to think differently about your goal-setting process for 2013. I’d like to offer a slightly different approach that will inspire you to take action next year.

3 Words | 3 Pictures

For 2013, I’d encourage you to take a different approach to goal-setting than the “normal” routines that are published everywhere. The typical approach always seems so lengthy, making your goals difficult to remember. And, in order to remember them, you need to flip open a notebook and read through them at least once a week!

I believe there is a simpler, yet broader approach that still gets the job done in an efficient manner. Let me give you a personal example.

In 2012, I had a goal I was trying to accomplish. This specific goal was to achieve washboard abs in one year.

In a more traditional, goal-setting approach, I would have written out a goal that probably looked something like this:

By December 2012, I will achieve the physical look of “washboard abs.”

Now, that in itself is a pretty simple statement and easy to remember. But, I decided to take a different approach to my goals this past year then just sentence building. I used one word and one picture per goal set. So, I jumped online, found a picture of washboard abs and typed the word “healthy” over it.

I will admit right now that I don’t exactly have the “washboard” abs look I was going for in my picture. But, I will tell you that I am a whole lot healthier at the end of this year then I was last year. Back in January, I went to the doctor for a much-needed physical exam. All my blood work looked great. I’ve been eating much healthier for the entire year (more greens and proteins; fewer carbs). In May, I started working out 3-5 times a week, with a good balance of cardio and strength training. I have kept up this pace for the remainder of the year, and now I’m addicted to my workouts!

As a result of this one word “healthy” and washboard abs picture, I now have a “swimmer’s body” physique. I lost about 10-12 pounds of excess body fat. I gained muscle mass in my chest and arms. I have more strength and stamina. I have way less stress in my life. I have not been sick at all for this entire year. One word and one picture helped me achieve a healthier, better physical life in 2012.

As a result of this awesome success, I’m currently sorting out 3 big, hairy, audacious goals that I would like to accomplish in 2013. I’m fine-tuning the 3 words and 3 pictures I would like to link to these goals for the new year. I’m super jazzed about what I will be able to accomplish next year. I plan on “crushing it” in 2013.

One word associated with one picture for each life goal. Try three big goals for next year and see how it works for you!

Are You Setting Goals?

So, are you in the process of reviewing your goals from 2012 and preparing a new set of goals for 2013? How did you do this year? Are you getting excited about a new year and a whole new world of possibilities?

What goal-setting plan are you using? Have you ever used a similar approach to the one word, one picture per goal that I have mentioned in this post?

I’d love to get your thoughts on goal-setting for the coming year. Feel free to leave me a comment below.