For most of my clients, self-care and personal style have been last on the agenda for a long time. For some, both have have fallen off the to-do list entirely. If that is true for you, it may be helpful to reframe how you think about self-care and personal style altogether.
As I settle into my new home, we are creating new rituals to make our lives easier. We are figuring out how to set ourselves up in our personal spaces as well as the family spaces. For example, we installed a closet by the front door to make the transition from inside-out quick and straightforward.
When I work with clients as a personal style coach, we talk through the specific style rituals you have. Personal style becomes something that supports you in achieving your goals. Choosing the right jewelry, for example, to set your intention for the day or exercising your body to quiet your mind can make all the difference to your feeling of success.
Rituals vs Routine
The difference between a routine and a ritual is one of degree. A routine is something that can be intentional or it can happen by accident. For some, routine is a negative. “I need to shake up my routines,” you’ll hear people say, or “I’ve fallen into a rut!”
A ritual, on the other hand, honors you. It is a sequence of events — just like a routine — that you do on a regular basis. It can feel sacred but it doesn’t necessarily need to be.
For example, you could have your jewelry in gift boxes with no labels except the branding. You might not know where your favorite necklace is or the special pair of earrings your husband gave you. On the other hand, you could have tons of jewelry hanging in a huge free-standing jewelry box that you never use because it’s just too hard to choose. Instead, I choose to have only the pieces I love displayed beautifully on my dresser — ready to find and easy to put on.
When you make a switch like this, putting jewelry on in the morning goes from a “should” to something that is joyful and soul-stirring. The impact of your jewelry is made possible by the act of being able to actually put it on.
Is your necklace a conversation starter for an important connection at a networking meeting? Or are your earrings a powerful reminder of the love that carries you through before you step into that tough negotiation?
You cannot find out if you never put either of them on.
Making your personal style a ritual makes it easy — and do-able.
Using the “set it & forget it” approach I described in my last blog post, “Easy Style Everywhere“, you can create your personal style is once and learn how to action it. Once you’ve created it, you can rely on it — and you know how to tweak it from time to time.
After that initial start-up phase, you define rituals so that your personal style slots into your life and begins to carry you through thick & thin. You may already have some rituals you love. You may want to create new ones.
It’s up to you.
With my clients, I do a head-to-toe analysis of how well you’re taking care of yourself. This analysis starts with the day-to-day, rolls into the weekly, monthly, every six weeks, seasonal and yearly. You probably can already think of some style rituals you are already practicing and some you would like to incorporate.
Celebrate how well you are taking care of yourself.
Before we decide to create a new ritual, it is so important to acknowledge and give yourself credit for what you are already doing. For most of my clients, the list is a surprise — not only for the mundane things we take for granted but also the lovely ways you can care for yourself on a regular basis. Celebrate what you are already doing for yourself — it has gotten you this far!
How We Make It Happen
Rituals can be challenging to create. You need to think about them, experiment with them and allow yourself to fail more than once before you figure out the rhythm that works for you. It’s okay that it takes time and energy — it is worth it.
- Choose One. When you are starting something new, commit to just the one thing. Write it down. Expect challenges. Ask for help.
- Practice Makes Progress. The key to making your new practice stick is to give yourself enough time for the practice to groove itself into your brain so it becomes habit. You no longer need to think about it — you just do it.
- Celebrate. Once you’ve mastered your new skill, celebrate it! It’s a big deal to get to this point. That ritual is part of your life and you can count on it to sustain you.