The difference between habits, routines and rituals
The main difference between habits and routines is how much aware and intentional you are. A habit usually manifests itself as an automatic urge to do something, often triggered by a particular cue. The stronger the connection between the trigger and the habit, the more ingrained the habit.
Both habits and routines are regular and repeated actions, but habits happen with little or no conscious thought, whereas routines require a higher degree of intention and effort.
The difference between a routine and a ritual is the attitude behind the action. While routines can be actions that just need to be done—such as making your bed or taking a shower—rituals are viewed as more meaningful practices which have a real sense of purpose.
Applying mindfulness to daily routines is a great way to create rituals for yourself.
In the end, it boils down to the classic habit loop.
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As much as we wish for each day to be different, the cycle of repeating the same actions day after day is pretty common. Habits and routines are an important part of our lives. Making your bed in the morning, that first cup of coffee, grabbing a croissant on your way to work, listening to your favourite podcast on the train.And while we tend to use the words “habit” and “routine” interchangeably, they both mean two distinct things. Understanding their definitions can help you design good routines and build good habits.
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