The Reset Ritual

The problem with motivation is that although it can carry you on a good streak with the productive stuff, for example, a workout streak, but it can also carry you on a bad streak, for example, if you’ve started binge-watching a TV show on a Tuesday morning (no not me I don’t know what you’re talking about). Sometimes when you get off track because something extra fun or urgent comes up to derail you it’s not too terrible to get back to it, but other times it can feel almost physically impossible to force yourself back to what you “should” be doing.

We tend to think of time in chunks of days or weeks. This can work against us because it’s too easy to declare a whole week lost on a Wednesday or write off a whole day at 2:00 pm. But that’s your mind lying to you because it wants to stay in the low-effort zone. 

Many of us are master negotiators in our own heads to get out of things we don’t really want to do. 

Don’t get caught thinking that you can only reset and start fresh either “Tomorrow” or “Monday”

What is the Purpose of a Go-To Reset Ritual?

Having a go-to Reset Ritual makes it easier to break out of a non-productive streak because:

  1. You know exactly what step one is going to be.
  2. The reset ritual helps you forgive yourself for having fallen off course because it’s focused on future possibilities.

The Reset Ritual

The Go-To Reset Ritual involves the following steps:

  1. Physically move your body to a new location. For example, you can walk to a park or a coffee shop, or even just move from one room to another.
  2. With pen and paper, make a list of everything you think you need to do (might be in general, might be a specific reset in one area of life). This is not to be done on a laptop, the pen and paper component is non-negotiable.
  3. Write out the purpose of what you are trying to achieve. Why does the outcome matter to you?  This is important because if you are doing a reset and the truth is that you don’t care about the outcome that much, even if you “should”, you won’t succeed.
  4. Once this list is complete, prioritize and make a list of 3-6 things that you can realistically accomplish today with room to spare. It might be one item from the master list broken into small pieces.
  5. Spend two minutes imagining what it will feel like to have those things done. Imagine yourself doing the work to get there. Don’t skip this mindset work, I wouldn’t have it in the ritual if it didn’t add value. It reinforces the action of keeping your commitments to yourself (so many people are better at keeping their commitments to others than to themselves).
  6. Set your alarm for a minimum of 20 minutes, turn off all notifications and distractions, and immediately launch into the scariest/hardest/most dreaded item you have committed to doing today.

And that’s the (no longer secret) secret sauce. If you are procrastinating right now by reading this, why not try it out?

Let me know how it goes, or let me know if you have a Reset Ritual!

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