How do you start the day? Full of energy the minute you get out of bed or groggy, annoyed, and frantic.
Truthfully, I’ve always been the latter… I know, coaches are supposed to be bright eyed and bushy tailed from the second we ingest our hot lemon water! I, however, tended to feel unfocused, sleepy, and wondering when I could get back into bed. That is, until I understood why.
When I think back, I have always disliked mornings. I associate them with the stressful, chaotic, rushed, traffic-ridden energy I’ve always known them to be.
Running into school from the parking lot just under the wire of the bell for first period in high school. Running across campus to my 8:00AM class in college, spilling Diet Coke and dropping notebooks in the process. Driving like a crazy woman down I-65 to make it to my 9:00AM work meeting before 9:05.
In my corporate days, when I had to get up at 5:00 AM to be at the gym by 5:30AM, I HATED getting up in the morning. I managed to get two speeding tickets in one summer at 5:30AM to show for it! Even after a hard workout, all I wanted to do was come home and go back to sleep on the couch. (And I hate to admit, that happened more mornings than I can count.)
Contrary to popular thinking, you aren’t “hardwired” to be an “early bird” or a “night owl.” I wish I’d known what I know now: that becoming a “morning person” is a choice, and that the choice to do so can change your life — and the trajectory of your business.
As I look back at my years of early morning workouts, I can see that I had some good habits in place, but didn’t have the right mindset about them. They were “shoulds” and “have to’s” instead of “intentions” and “choices.”
I didn’t see the perspective of intention and choice because I didn’t even see that the way I was living my life was entirely my choice! I didn’t see that I chose any of it!
All I saw was what I was supposed to do. What I was supposed to study to make my parents happy, what I was supposed to do for a living with my degree, what you’re supposed to do to be an acceptable employee, what you are supposed to do to get in shape.
I could go ON and ON and ON!
So I lived my life by dragging myself from one “should” to another.
And that included dragging myself out of bed every morning.
Do you feel like you are living your days from one “should” or “have to” to another? If so, you certainly aren’t alone, my friend!
When I finally got the memo that I could actually CHOOSE what I wanted to do with my life, lots of things began to change.
This included making a bold decision to leave the certainty and security of my lucrative career to pursue a path that felt more exciting and more resonant with who I really am.
When I finally made the transition, I was SO excited. I felt so FREE! I can just do whatever I want now, YAY!!
So one of the first things I let myself do was to SLEEP IN.
Get up whenever I wanted. Take things at my own pace. And it was FABULOUS!
I’d wake up at 9:00AM and think, “Everyone else is at work right now and I don’t have to be. I can do what I want. This is AMAZING!”
Here’s the thing. The excitement of sleeping in actually wore off quickly, I just didn’t see it.
The days flew by and I never felt like I was making any forward movement. I was restless inside myself, like you get when you’re spending your 10th day sunbathing on the beach and don’t know why you can’t sit still and enjoy yourself!
And yet when the morning came, I never felt like getting up any earlier, so I’d hit snooze again hoping I’d be more awake in the next 10 minutes.
Spoiler alert: I wouldn’t be.
Eight hour nights became nine hour nights bordering on 10 hour nights here and there. If it wasn’t for the inner voice telling me to “Get the Hell out of Bed!” I might still be there.
Then, I had a HUGE epiphany. I realized that my subconscious mind had associated getting up early with stress and overwhelm and rushing to something I “had” to do. That I was “supposed” to do. And my inner rebel wanted NOTHING TO DO with that!
What a revelation!
I just didn’t see it at all. Until I did. And when I did, I knew I could change my story by CHOOSING new beliefs and actions.
Choosing to wake up early and get my mind and body in the right place for the day has been a HUGE game changer for me.
I don’t mean barely giving myself enough time to squeeze in a quick run (who has time for a full workout?) before zipping off to an early morning appointment or to get a jump start on email and social media before the day of coaching begins.
I mean having time to settle into the day. Set my goals and look at my appointments. Plan for what’s ahead.
Don’t you feel much less stressed just reading that second paragraph as compared to the one before it?
I’ve learned that engaging in only those “shoulds” and rushed activities won’t necessarily help accelerate my business objectives and personal goals. (Neither will sleeping in, though it does feel great!)
By choosing to wake up with the alarm, at a time that’s reasonable to accomplish everything that I want to happen in the morning, I’ve become a morning person. And a better business person.
Instead of just doing the “have to’s,” leave yourself time to get up and do the “want to’s.” Committing time to the things that GROW you and your business is much more beneficial than hitting snooze for two hours, trust me.
Here’s what my morning looks like now:
Stretching my body, connecting with my breath and inner wisdom, setting my intentions, journaling for insights, and reading something that grows me personally and professionally.
Once I’ve taken the time to do these things, then I jump into some form of exercise: walking, running, elliptical, bike, lifting, yoga, or whatever I have on my fitness agenda before hitting the shower and the rest of my day.
Do you have a morning routine that includes some time for personal growth? What do you notice happens when you make the time to commit to these practices? I’d love to hear!
For me, it sets the tone for my day. I’m living in the energy of intention, growth, and clarity, which sets the tone for my week, which sets the tone for my year, which sets the tone for my whole life (my business included!)