Rituals Unraveling

It’s been ages since my last post here at Productivity Tomorrow. Last time you heard from me, I was on top of my game. Having been two weeks into establishing some very positive rituals in my life, I felt very much in control. I was touting the joys of going to bed on time, planning out my day, journaling and taking vitamins. Unfortunately, I was completely oblivious to how each habit would slowly come unhitched shortly thereafter.

I was about 4 or 5 weeks into my habits and I was still doing well. I’m not sure exactly the point in which I got derailed, but I believe it was missing a daily guitar practice or getting sick of my breakfast smoothies. Reviewing my journal notes, I also thought I would be more productive and feel so much better than I actually did. Instead of adjusting slightly, I let those small items completely ruin everything.

At the time, I was also tracking my food intake. My Wife and I saved pictures of everything we ate in an app so we could hold each other accountable. I didn’t consider it part of my ritual, but when we quit using it, it too added to the feeling that I was coming unraveled.

It’s actually kind of funny. As I review my journal entries, I was actually doing pretty good. Heck, I was at least still journalling and setting daily goals. My mind was convinced that I was failing, which brought about even more negative change. It took just over 6 weeks for me to stop doing all my habits. I’ve tried once or twice to get back on the horse, but I couldn’t get any momentum started. That is, until the promise of a new year.

I’ve felt hopeless letting it all slip away, but at some point you need to pick yourself up and try again. As 2017 approached, I knew it would be the perfect time to reboot those rituals. New Years Day was the time to do some goal planning, regrouping, and getting those habits instilled once again. I downloaded the Productive iOS habit tracker app and started adding my rituals back.

So what am I doing differently to avoid running into the same problems? I’m just not doing quite as many of them, at least not right off the bat. I’ve left the easy ones in there like drinking water when I wake up and putting my clothes out the night before. I’ve also kept my nightly journal entry and setting up my 3 goals for the next day as well. While the last two do take a good amount of willpower, they are the two most important. I haven’t added any food related habits or my guitar practice back yet either. So in a nutshell, I’m starting smaller and taking it one step at a time.

In the coming weeks, I plan to ramp up and add other habits back in slowly. I’ll let it sink in for at least two or three weeks and then add another. The possibility of losing momentum is extremely high right now. I need to stick with the things that are working. If I get off track, I need to realize I’m off track and make a slight course correction so I don’t crash and burn again. It’s a New Year, and I plan to make it one filled with growth and productivity.

Photo of Bob Butterworth

Hello, I'm Bobby; a web developer, designer and serial procrastinator from the suburbs of Chicago, IL.


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