According to yogic philosophy, we're born with a karmic inheritance of mental and emotional patterns—known as samskaras—through which we cycle over and over again during our lives.
The word samskara comes from the Sanskrit sam (complete or joined together) and kara (action, cause, or doing). In addition to being generalized patterns, samskaras are individual impressions, ideas, or actions; and collectively, our samskaras make up our conditioning. Repeating samskaras reinforces them, creating long term habits that are difficult to resist. Samskaras can be positive—imagine the selfless acts of Mother Theresa. They can also be negative, as seen in the mental patterns behind low self-esteem and self-destructive relationships. The negative samskaras can hinder our positive evolution.
Many humans struggle to stay motivated about doing things that create better health and well being. That could be anything from eating right, getting enough movement/exercise, sleeping, practicing yoga and meditation, or dealing with emotions. Through the practice of daily rituals we are training in creating new Samskaras that reflect our current life.
A ritual is something that is your own creation and uniquely designed for your personal growth. I have a ritual that I practice every morning which brings me peace. It involves quiet time away from technology, noise or people. Rituals evolve through practice as insights are discovered. Spend time creating a ritual that fits your current situation. It may include meditation, asana, savasana and spiritual study. Use discipline as a guide to develop something sustainable for everyday ordinary life. Start with 20-30 minutes and go from there. Stay with it for at least 40 days which is the amount of time the yogis believe it takes to create a "new Samskara or pattern."