For years I wanted the perfect morning routine.
One which would ensure a successful day. However, I could never get it going.
I was aiming for perfection and therefore didn't start anything. Ironically, during lockdown, I’ve introduced some practices to help with feeling extra overwhelmed.
Perfection is not the aim here. What makes this work is consistency.
"Choose consistency over perfection"
So here are three things I do which set me up for the day.
Personal affirmations - This can seem quite technical and leave you questioning how on earth do you write an affirmation?! For me, I allow myself some stillness - even if it’s just five minutes. I take some deep breaths and consider the question ‘What do I need today?’. This will be different each day depending on my mood, what’s in the diary, the type of work or the volume. When I have identified what I need, I create an affirmation to support me in my day. For example, I might need strength to get through a particularly busy day. Or I may need to be kind to myself to ensure I don't berate myself for not being good enough. I then flip this to an affirmation such as ‘I am strong and I can handle whatever the day throws at me.’ or ‘I treat myself with kindness and compassion. I am doing the best I can’.
Move my body - I take some time to stretch my body out of my sleep zone - even if it’s just 10 minutes. I move in a way that feels good, tune into my breathing, I notice how I’m feeling or what feels uncomfortable. It doesn’t sound like this would do much but I can’t explain how transformational this can be.
Plan my day - This is not arduous and is not the perfectly colour-coded schedule I had once envisaged I needed. Writing out a list of appointments, things on my mind and priorities is game changing. Rather than just ‘cracking on’ as I have done for many years, this helps me take control of my day and not allow my day to control me. It helps me manage overwhelm when I have a lot on, or helps me factor in extra time for me.
These things do not require much time, a serenely decorated yoga studio or an expertly created spreadsheet. They need intention and consistency and a desire to create a little more calm.
How do you start your day?
Gemma Brown is an associate certified coach with the International Coach Federation, working with people to navigate successfully through transitions - be it career, relationships or life in general. Her belief is that when we confidently bring our whole selves to all areas of life, anything is possible. Transitions exist in both our personal and business life, and so often, the two fiercely overlap. Coaching with Gemma focuses on you as a whole, enabling you to identify your strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. Gemma is based in Cambridgeshire and carries out face to face coaching in the area as well as 1-2-1 coaching via Skype and Zoom. For more about Gemma, visit her 'About' page or contact her directly.