🌼Four 10-Minute Rituals That Helped Me Achieve my Yearly Goals
No, it’s not about productivity cheat codes, goal management strategies, or motivation
Rituals That Finally Helped Me Achieve My Yearly Goals
After failing my new year goals numerous times, I’ve realized that:
“It’s not what you do on day one. It’s what you do on day 100 that really counts.”
Success is not winning the lotto or making “one” life-changing decision. It’s about creating a domino effect.
And it’s so effective, not because of the math (though that helps). But because of practicality, feasibility, ease of doing, and sustainability.
The simplest way to create a domino effect is to make all your days “alike.”
If there’s the slightest imbalance between your days, that imbalance will carry over to the end of the year.
If you have one day that’s jam-packed with productivity, and then two days of slacking, it won’t add up to a successful year. But the workload is an unpredictable variable — you can’t regulate it.
So, the only working variable is “energy.”
When I realized this, I stopped making major overhauls or life-altering decisions. Reason?
Mental resistance and overwhelm occur when I abruptly try to change my lifestyle habits. The brain doesn’t like habitual changes because part of the brain—the amygdala—interprets change as a threat and releases the hormones for fear, fight, or flight.
That’s why I introduced 10-minute rituals into my day that would keep me energized to work on my goals. The major benefits included:
a). All my days were alike: I could work with a balanced attitude and a stable productivity level.
b) It was easier to kill overwhelm and preserve focus: The rituals were repetitive, so they kept me engaged and in the flow.
c). I didn’t have to manage time: Managing my mental energy ensured I didn’t waste time.
The First Activity of The Day
Most people talk about morning routines such as making the bed, drinking water, stretching, etc. But, by the time you engage in those practices, the mind has already begun thinking — about work, commitments, negative self-talk, etc.
That’s why the first 10 minutes of the day can make or break the entire day.
Research says that our willpower reduces as the day progresses. The first thought in the morning impacts your overall mood for the day. That’s why putting it to full use is a recipe for an accomplished day.
If I wake up with a distressing thought of work or pick up the phone or check my emails first thing, I get overwhelmed and anxious. And that’ll keep adding till the end of the day, affecting my energy, time, productivity, and quality of work.
But if I use the willpower to set an intention for the day, it helps to keep me grounded and focused on what’s important.
Studies also suggest that setting an intention increases your chances of achievement.
It could be something as simple as “I will stay present” or “I will trust myself.”
Setting an intention helps shift my focus from being reactive and overwhelmed to being actively engaged at the moment — exactly what I need to be productive.
Setting an intention for the day is a powerful way to ensure that you stay on track and focused on what’s important.
My morning routine involves:
Programming My Subconscious Mind
Meditation: Connecting With a Higher Source
I’ve discussed them in detail here:
5 High-ROI Morning Habits To Develop (Instead of Picking Up Your Smartphone)
My learnings from five years of practice
If you can take a moment each morning to set an intention, you can remind yourself of what you are trying to achieve throughout the day.
Whatever it is, make sure it is something that you can realistically achieve in a day. And don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t meet your intention perfectly — start the next day again.
10 Lines in a Journal
Get a notebook and dedicate it to your growth.
Every day, write down 10 things that you want to accomplish. They can be big or small, but they should move you closer to your goals.
Writing these things down will help to crystallize them in your mind and make them more real and tangible. And as you accomplish these things, you will be reminded of your power and ability to create change in your life.
But more than that, the simple act of writing will allow you to access a part of yourself that is creative and alive.
It will give you a space to express what you’re thinking and feeling without judgment or interruption.
Writing is a form of self-care. It’s a way to nurture your relationship with yourself.
When you make time for writing, you are making time for growth. You are making time for your future self.
10 Minutes of Stillness Anytime During the Day
The final piece of the puzzle is stillness.
In our constantly moving and constantly connected world, it’s more important than ever to schedule regular periods of stillness into our lives.
Managing your energy is more important than managing time.
But unlike popular opinion, we don’t need hours of contemplation. Just 10 minutes.
I use an Insight Timer app to regulate my 10 minutes of stillness, and it has been a game-changer.
In those 10 minutes, I disconnect from the world around me and reconnect with myself. I use this time to process my thoughts, reflect on my day, or just be in the moment.
It’s like hitting the reset button, which keeps me going throughout the day.
And at this point, it has become a habit — a daily ritual that I look forward to and cherish.
When we allow ourselves the opportunity to do nothing, we open up space for creativity, solutions to problems, and a deeper connection to ourselves.
Stillness allows us to recenter ourselves, connect with our breath and bodies, and remember what is truly important.
It’s in the still moments that we can access our intuition — that small, quiet voice inside of us that is always guiding us if we allow it.
Make time for stillness every day, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Sit in silence. Breathe deeply. Listen to your intuition. It will never steer you wrong.
10-Minute Bedtime Introspection
This one is a non-negotiable for me.
At the end of each day, I take a few minutes to reflect on what happened and how I am feeling. It helps me to process my emotions and close off the day before transitioning into sleep.
It’s also an opportunity for me to be grateful for all the good things that happened throughout the day: from small wins to moments of joy.
And if I have a difficult or emotionally draining day, this is my opportunity to be kind and compassionate with myself.
Think about the things that went well and the ones that went north. Be honest with yourself. And then let it go.
What did you do today that moved you forward? What could you have done better?
This nightly reflection will allow you to become more aware of your patterns — the things that help you move forward and the things that hold you back.
You will be better able to course-correct as you move forward, ensuring that each day is a step in the right direction.
End each day with this reflection so that you can wake up each morning knowing that today is another chance to move forward. Another chance to do better than yesterday.
Which idea resonated with you the most? If you have something to add, I am all ears.
Contributed by Darshak Rana
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