The new year is upon us and with that comes a time to feel into the rituals and routines you want to make part of your daily way of living. While there is nothing magical about January 1st, many people love the collective energy of renewal. Personally, I use the Medicine Wheel and check in with myself throughout the year at the solstices and equinoxes. There is nothing wrong with doing it either way!
There are three things I like to arm myself with for this time of year. The first is the simplicity of having a new ritual. Secondly, I anchor my new habits to something I’m actively committed to doing, like my ritual of tea. I also like to reset and cleanse my system after the holidays with a good anti-inflammatory diet.
The simplicity of the Single New Ritual.
I believe we should change the idea of New Year’s Resolutions to Single New Ritual. I’m sure you’ve heard this before: most people give up on their resolutions by February. Or they don’t even bother to reflect on the year past and try something new in the following.
I’ve noticed the most success when I introduce meaningful changes one at a time. Using the energy of the Winter Solstice from earlier in December, I like to reflect on what happened in the past year (ideally with a quiet blanket of snow outside when the world feels still!) and dream of what’s going to happen in the new season.
The hardest thing to remember is that change won’t happen immediately. It’s really tricky to wrap your brain around slow but meaningful progress as opposed to doing one thing with great intensity and then quickly running out of energy. We aren’t conditioned to think much of the former, rather we want instant results. When you think of slow and steady progress, though, your energy can last longer than those intense bursts where you have to gather yourself more often and for longer periods of rest.
Simplicity and choosing to be intentional carves a greater path for sustained rituals and habits.
Add in new rituals by anchoring them to an existing habit.
It’s no secret that I love the ritual of tea. Feeling the cup in my hands, watching the leaves unfurl in the hot water, focusing on breathing in the scents while the tea steeps… All of these parts of the ritual of tea are powerful anchors for me.
It helps for me to add new rituals into my routine when I’m performing one that is a “no-brainer” or one that is now simply a part of my day. That way, I’m able to turn these new routines into things I do habitually, too.
Because I’m dedicated to taking a few mindful moments during the day for my ritual of tea, I find other rituals I add into my day are more likely to happen when I anchor to this ritual as opposed to wishing for a “meditation habit,” for example, to appear on my schedule.
Bringing a new habit into an existing ritual almost begs for the new habit to be simple. It helps when it flows easily into your existing routine. That way, you’re more likely to keep doing it.
Anti-inflammatory ingredients will reset your body, too.
The holidays are an indulgent time. When good food and drinks get away from me, supporting my body with anti-inflammatory ingredients feels so necessary. There’s nothing worse than feeling bloated and tired, unable to digest things that add inflammation to your body.
While I’d never say, “Give up cheese 100% (unless your doctor says you must for your unique health needs),” I do know it tends to inflame my system. Then, it doesn’t work (or feel) as well as it should.
A powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient I always have is turmeric. A pinch of this adds a warm, earthy flavor to soups, rices, stews…almost anything!
Like I shared in Four Summer Herbs to Preserve:
The addition of black pepper to my Warm Turmeric Spice blend helps absorb the curcumin in turmeric. It also is a fat-fat-soluble compound, so I like to make sure there’s fat present in the milk I use with the blend so I get the most out of the goodness of turmeric.
This time of year, you don’t have to feel like you have to completely reinvent yourself. There’s beauty in simplicity and making meaningful changes to your rituals and routines in slow, steady movements.