Routines vs Rituals: What’s the Difference?

Routines vs Rituals: What’s the Difference?


The word ‘routine’ gets thrown around a lot.

I’m sure I have used it a ton.


One underrated word is ‘ritual.’


Doesn’t ritual sound more powerful?

There is a color to it.

While ‘routine’ sounds boring.


It’s more than the color of the word though.

It’s about the narrative.


Start off with routines, sure.

Keep repeating a routine until it comes alive.


Is this routine personal to you?

If so, then you may have a ritual in the making.

Once you have a ritual, it’s hard to stop your progress.


What is a Routine?


A routine is a series of repeated actions for an ideal goal.


When you wake up in the morning, what do you do?

‘I go take a piss.’


I mean what actions do you do that are not tied to bodily functions and hygiene?

Acts that are executed for a bigger goal.


‘I go to the gym.’

Why do you go to the gym?

‘Because it makes me feel better.’


There may be a series of activities you do before the gym.

Like taking a pre-workout.

As the pre-workout kicks in, you read a chapter of your favorite book.

Then you drive to the gym while blasting loud music.


There are a series of steps that are systematically happening.


It can be a morning routine.

A night routine

Or a routine for your overall day.


The main takeaway is that a routine is a series of steps.


What is a Ritual?


A ritual is a routine plus a narrative.


‘A narrative? That seems unneeded, no?’



A narrative is potent because it gets you more involved.

  • A matured routine eventually becomes a ritual.


A lot of routines initially come from adopting behaviors from an outside source.

Preferably an outside source who we respect.


Your favorite author writes first thing in the morning.

So you’re like:

‘Let me write first thing in the morning.’


Your favorite bodybuilder lifts in the evening.

So you’re like:

‘Let me lift in the evening.’


Outsiders are helping you cultivate this routine.


After doing these routines for a while, you’re like:

‘Some of these activities are not right for me.’


That’s when tweaking happens.

You add your personal twist to these routines.


Earlier, you were slapping a bunch of disparate acts together.

After tinkering, there is a method to your madness.


Eventually, you find a routine that’s perfect for your lifestyle.

The routine is repeated…


There comes a time if you miss the routine, something feels off.

You feel guilty.


That guilt is very important.

That guilt is the determining factor of the difference between a routine and a ritual.


Why Guilt is Powerful


Guilt is a strong feeling.

The feeling of shame.


There are different moments when you can see guilt.

The criminal gets sentenced to prison.

‘You are guilty!’ says the judge.

The prisoner is shocked.


The emotion of shock is primal.

The body hates guilt.


With rituals, we feel guilty for not doing them.


Have you ever heard the quote:

  • Character is what you do when no one is around.



With routines, if no one is around, you may skimp on them.

You’ll be like:

‘I don’t have to do it today, but I’ll do it tomorrow.’


There’s not that much guilt.

There’s actually a wave of relief because you didn’t get caught.


While with a ritual, even if no one is around, you want to do it.

If a ritual task is missed, then there’s guilt.

That gnawing feeling of:

‘Damn, I can’t believe I didn’t do it.’


That guilt is a determining factor of the narrative coming alive.

The narrative is personal to you.


Example narrative:

  • These tasks are laying the bricks for my future.


You discovered a ritual.

Therefore, stick to it.


How to Turn Routines into a Ritual


Crawl before you can walk.

It’s difficult for someone to stumble into a ritual.

Instead, start off with a routine.


The routine stage is a good place to spot the right tasks from the wrong ones.


Initially, we were motivated by others.

But after factoring our life into the mix, we discovered certain tasks that moved the needle forward.

While other tasks left us more drained than empowered.


Once those relevant tasks are repeated for a long time:

  • Your creativity, desires, and lifestyle begin to permeate this routine.


There’s more tinkering and experimentation taken.

In this phase, you are adding YOUR personal touch.


Soon, a ritual is born.


To aid this process, leverage words.

Once you feel guilty for missing certain acts, call it a ‘ritual.’

The body will feel tingling sensations.


To leverage words even more, say :

‘This is MY ritual.’


The word ‘my’ engages the ego.

When the ego is invested, you are invested.


Obsession is Focus’s Older Brother


There are certain athletes who eat a particular meal before EVERY game.

‘Spinach and salmon, please. No other meals will do,’ they say.


Why? you ask.

Isn’t that weird? you wonder.


Maybe for you.

But for them, that’s their personal touch after years of refining.


One person’s quirk is another person’s ritual.


So, do not try to get validation from others.

If it works for you, then it works for you.

If it moves the needle forward, keep doubling down on it.


Eventually, that fear of guilt turns into pleasure.

The pleasure is released as you stack up a series of days without missing a beat.


That’s when the focus turns into an obsession.

All obsession is not bad.

Obsession is good when you channel it into the correct things.


For more practical tips to boost your productivity, be sure to check out:

  • Level Up Mentality: A Guide to Re-Engineer your Mindset for Confidence

In this book, you will learn:

  • How to use words to rewire your perception.
  • Tips to be more disciplined.
  • Ways to monitor your progress.
  • How to turn destructive emotions into constructive fuel.
  • The paradigm of daily 1% progress.

And much more!



– ArmaniTalks 🎙️🔥


Share This On:


Level up your communication skills with a new email everyday at 7pm EST


Armani Talks: Level Up Mentality : A Guide to Re-engineer your Mindset for Confidence - Book By Armani Talks


Follow Me on Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Join the
ArmaniTalks 🎙️🔥

Stay updated with all latest tips , tricks & strategies to build communcications skills.



Get the Free eBook by signing up below.​
You can unsubscribe anytime
Build communication skills with daily tips
Join 10K subscribers


Level up your communication skills with a new email everyday at 7pm EST