Stop being someone you’re not by following a routine that doesn’t serve you.
I know we just met, but let’s be real with each other.
You’re not a morning person.
You have never been a morning person.
You’d rather swallow a handful of razor blades then voluntarily wake up at 5 am. This may mean a self-induced comatose state, but isn’t that exactly how you feel anyhow when you wake up at 5 am?
So on second thought, no razor blade swallowing needed because you’re very good at smacking yourself in the face with self-sabotage.
Your alarm is beeping its satanic ritual tune because you have guiltily bought into a miracle 5 am morning routine as the cornerstone of a successful life.
The problem with that is we are all wired differently.
Right from birth, our personal biological clocks are already wound. Genetics establishes a person’s “chronotype,” which is pegged to when his or her body feels up and at ’em.
By ignoring this fundamental truth, you will succumb to the latest How To Be Successful craze creating unnecessary barriers that block your natural skills and abilities to be fully recognized. Unless of course, you have read one of my how-to articles and that already makes you an exceptionally bright human being.
The adage of playing to your strengths never holds more truth then at this very moment. Why take someone else’s lead when you’ve already proved you can call the shots? It’s the difference between having a Worker vs. Leader mindset.
I too fell victim to this same mindset trap. The stress, guilt, and work-life constraints to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by 9 am was taking its toll on me. I was mentally and physically exhausted by noon. I was overeating and over-caffeinating to compensate. When I would come home, I took out all my pent-up frustration out on my poor unsuspecting husband.
If I was going to be this miserable working for myself, why didn’t I just stay at my 9-5?
That’s when the foghorn for the impending burnout storm began sounding in my head.
I left my 9-5 because I was tired of being treated like a worker. I was ready and willing to set my own course. To decide my own destiny or fate. So why in the hell was I blindly operating on a set of rules I hadn’t yet vetted for myself?
I know why.
I was completely overwhelmed with all the other decisions I had to make as an entrepreneur. As a result, I lazily fell into a routine rhythm that others were spouting off as, “This is the way to entrepreneurial salvation.”
Just as meticulous as I was about my business mission statement, I should have been even more adamant about how I would healthily and successfully move the needle with a vetted-out routine.
The first thing I did was envision how I would set up my perfect workday that would harness my leadership capabilities. By just asking basic questions of myself, I was able to quickly come up with the routine musts I needed to be for leadership success.
What do I need to do to not feel rushed in the mornings?
How much sleep do I need to feel rested?
What meals should I pack to energize me throughout the day?
What’s the most efficient way to exercise?
How do I align my day to stay focused on the immediate ROI tasks?
What did I need to foster emotional intelligence and leadership mindset?
The answers to these questions helped me dig deep into defining what my successful routine would need in order for me to thrive. I certainly didn’t want to work myself to death nor alienate everyone close to me.
To show up as the leader I wanted in my life, my routine needed to promote a positive mindset, physical health, professional growth, and work-life balance for my family. My routine musts or constants became known as my Pillars. Each Pillar blossomed into committed actions known as my Routine Items. To stay motivated, I went one step further and followed up each Routine Item with a Business Deliverable.
I certainly didn’t start with the vetted-out routine above. It was a coupling of time, commitment, mindset, and habitual changes to organically arrive at what I refer to today as my steadfast leadership routine format. Your routine will and should evolve with you and your business’ ever-changing needs.
But once you land on the secret sauce that gives you that edge, you’ll become unstoppable.
If you are rushed for time and looking for 1-2 takeaways, here’s my 30-second sound bite: