Your best day will start with your perfect morning, and instead of going through your whole morning routine, I want to concentrate on morning affirmations.
Affirmations are basically little notes to yourself. You can use affirmations to remind yourself how great you are, be grateful for certain things in your life and set intentions for the rest of your day.
In my experience, when I set good intentions at the start of the day, my day flows better and I’m more focused and aware of what I’m doing. Setting intentions or going through your morning affirmations doesn’t have to take up a huge chunk of your morning routine. Just a minute or two is enough – whether you’re writing out your intentions in your journal, or just saying them to yourself out loud, or in your head.
I’ve created a worksheet for you, which includes some of my favourite affirmations and space for you to create your own. To help you out, here’s some examples of how you can start your affirmations:
Today, I am…
I am grateful for…
I am ready to…
Today, I will consciously create…
I am mindful of…
Commit to your morning affirmations for a week and see how it effects the rest of your day. And don’t forget to let me know how it went!
Back in the day, Sunday was a day of rest… In the ‘laptop lifestyle’ times we are in, Sunday is rarely a day of rest. It boggles my mind that some people don’t have a single day of rest throughout the whole week!
I regularly work on Sunday, but I have strict boundaries around what type of work I do. I think it’s important to start your week right and that’s why I use my Sunday to dream, plan and ultimately style my week for success.
Most weekday mornings I am jumping out of bed into a flurry of breakfast, uniforms, school letters, last minute homework and usually an argument with my seven year old daughter over why she isn’t allowed to wear glitter tattoos to school.
So on a Sunday, I like to wake up slowly. I wake up earlier on a Sunday than I do on a weekday, because I like to have the house to myself before everyone wakes up. I lie in bed for a good half an hour, setting intentions in my head about what my day will look and feel like.
Once I get out of bed, I make my way into the kitchen and make myself a huge mug of very strong coffee. I’ll do some reading (currently reading Being Boss by Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson), and then I’ll write a couple of pages in my journal.
It’s during my journal writing that I usually come up with my plan for the week. Then I’ll get my Passion Planner and Productivity Planner out, write out my weekly to-do list and slot those items into my daily plans. I also give each week a theme or focus. Sometimes it’s something lofty like ‘abundance’ or ‘compassion’ and other times it’s something simple like ‘Get Shit Done’.
Once I have my plan for the week, I feel so much lighter, but styling my week for success doesn’t stop there. I know that in order for me to smash my to-do’s during the week, I need to do certain things to help myself along the way…
I’m one of those people that can’t relax around mess or clutter. It makes me anxious. I am also the Procrastination Queen, so if I have an important deadline looming but there’s housework to do, the housework will get done first. So, I’ll make sure that all of the housework and domestic chores are done to give me the best possible chance of success. I also love to go into my office and have a good de-clutter and deep clean. That way, when I walk into my office on Monday morning, I’ll feel clear headed and actually want to spend my day in there.
All of the above probably doesn’t sound like a day of rest to you, but the satisfaction and peace it gives me far outweighs a day in my pj’s watching netflix and eating junk food.
This Sunday, I invite you to try it. Style your week for success and let me know how it goes. Did you get more done and feel more calm and productive as a result?
Want to build a wildly successful business around your family?
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In this episode of the Dream Plan Achieve Podcast, I talk about why having an email list is a great asset to your business, how to create an irresistible lead magnet, how to actually get subscribers onto your list and how often to communicate with your list.
I started building my email list from scratch, and even though I thought I had great opt-in’s, it was very slow going… Now I have learned how to grow my email list and I share some tips in this episode of the Dream Plan Achieve Podcast.
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I keep seeing coaches on social media posting about the 3-hour work week – boasting that you can run your business by only working for 3 focused hours per week. This may be okay if you have a day job and you work on your own business on the side, but let me tell you now… If you are serious about building and running a successful business, that earns you a serious salary, you can not do this by working for only 3 hours a week!
I’m a massive believer in working smarter, not harder. You really don’t have to work twelve hours a day, seven days a week to make your business a success – but you do have to work. Having a structure to your day and focusing on specific tasks, one at a time, is the key to productivity.
Personally, I work for 5-6 hours a day, 4-5 days a week as a rule – but this is flexible and can change on a weekly basis. I can work more on particularly busy weeks, and less on other weeks. It all depends on my business at the time. At the moment, I am in a flurry of creating content for my new training course, which is launching this Summer, so it’s not unusual for me to work 8-10 hours a day.
It’s important for you not to take what someone else is doing in their business and try and fit it to your own. Your business is unique to you – so the next time you see someone touting on social media that you can run a successful business by working for 3 hours a week, don’t take it literally. If you want to scale your business, make consistent income and reach the success you want, you will have to work hard. There’s no way around it.
Have you got any thoughts or opinions on this subject? Drop a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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I completely believe that having a solid morning routine can change your life. ‘But what if I’m not a morning person?’ I hear you ask… Neither was I, until recently. I read ‘Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod, which I totally recommend, by the way. If you look forward to your morning routine, you’re more likely to want to get up earlier and without pressing that dreaded snooze button.
So, what does a ‘miracle morning’ look like? The answer is entirely personal to you, but according to the book, you should include some meditation, exercise, journaling and learning.
To help you out, I’ve included my own ‘miracle morning’ below.
5am – Rise and shine!
Use bathroom, brush teeth – 5 minutes
Make Coffee! – 5 minutes
Meditation/affirmations – 20 minutes
Freewriting in journal (brain dump!) – 5 minutes
Exercise (change it up so you don’t get bored) – 10 minutes
Reading (personal development) – 10 minutes
Review planner and make to-do list for the day – 5 minutes
This routine takes around an hour and takes me to 6am, when the rest of the house wakes up and I jump in the shower. My ‘miracle morning’ is flexible and I like to change it up regularly to stop it from becoming boring. The aim is to make your ‘miracle morning’ enjoyable and something you look forward to.
5 ‘Miracle Morning’ Top Tips
Get enough sleep! If you want to wake up at 5am, going to bed at 2am is a sure-fire way to fail. Only you know how much sleep you need to wake up refreshed – make sure you get it.
Keep your ‘miracle morning’ flexible. Life happens.
Don’t jump in too quickly. Try waking up 15 minutes early for a week, then work your way to your ideal wake-up time.
Don’t give up! And don’t feel bad if you miss a day or two. Just get back to it and keep moving forward.
Switch it up. Keep your routine fresh and exciting so that you look forward to jumping out of bed in the morning.
Bonus Tip: Read Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning.
Do you have a miracle morning routine? I love learning how other people structure their day, so please, share it below.
When you’re passionate about something – especially when that something is a new business, it’s very tempting to keep working, even when you feel tired. We’ve all done it… You work through your lunch break and sometimes forget to eat all day. I’ve even forgotten to go to the toilet, then at 8pm I realise that my bladder is about to burst.
It’s not good for our bodies and it’s certainly not good for our mind. Working yourself to the bone might get you results faster, but you aren’t going to be well enough to enjoy the success. Your work will suffer and all of that extra time you put in when you weren’t looking after yourself will be wasted anyway.
Here are some of the main signs that you’re heading for burn-out and what you can do about it.
* Feeling tired and lethargic all of the time. This is a sure sign that you aren’t getting enough sleep, but also that you aren’t feeding your body the right things. You need nutritional food to get you through the day, so make sure you are eating small meals regularly throughout the day. Five or six small meals are much better than one or two large meals. Make sure you are getting enough fruit and vegetables and if you can’t include more in your diet, take some multi-vitamins. Getting enough sleep is also extremely important. Every person needs a different amount of sleep to stay healthy, so I’m not going to tell you how many hours sleep you should have. Experiment with different amounts and see what works for you. For me, 6-7 hours’ sleep is ideal, but whatever your number, be sure you make sleep a priority. It should be just as important as that meeting you have scheduled. Get sleep in your diary!
* You get frequent headaches. This is one of my main symptoms of dehydration and is a tell-tale sign you’re not drinking enough. As with sleep, everyone needs a different amount of water to be fully hydrated, so there is no magic number. Try keeping a bottle of water with you at all times and sip from it consistently throughout the day.
* Forgetting things on a regular basis. Being forgetful and frazzled means your brain isn’t focusing properly and that is a major sign you are heading for burn-out. Take regular breaks, get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water. Taking a couple of days’ off work will do you the world of good and could be the difference between you coming back fighting strong or having a melt-down.
* Getting emotional or your mood shifting rapidly. Another major sign that you’re on the path to burn-out. My top tip for this would be to take a relaxing break. Try a warm bath with aromatherapy oils and a good book or relaxing music, then get plenty of sleep. A good remedy for this is a long walk. Try going for a walk a few times a week and your mood should level out.
Obviously, if any of these symptoms persist for more than a week or two, you should consult a doctor. These remedies are only suggestions to help you avoid burn-out and are in no way medical advice.
My best tip for avoiding the road to burn-out altogether is to plan effectively. If you plan your days in advance and keep your to-do list short and sweet, you are much less likely to get stressed or be worrying about deadlines.
Do you have any tips for avoiding burn-out? Let me know! You can leave a comment here, drop me an email, or tell me telepathically.
It’s not always easy to get motivated, especially in the morning. It’s coming to that time of the year when mornings are dark, damp and cold, and some days it’s a struggle to get out of bed. All you want to do is curl up on the sofa and binge-watch Gossip Girl.
It can also be hard getting motivated to start a new project or do something that’s out of your comfort zone. The most common reaction to fear is to procrastinate. This is why I’ve compiled some of my top tips to get you motivated and then get you being insanely productive – using that motivation wisely.
* Read, listen or watch inspiring content at the start of your day. There are some amazingly inspirational people out there creating YouTube videos, podcasts, blog posts and books. Use them! I have a blog post here listing all of my favourite inspirational content by category. Check it out.
* Exercise in the morning. Listen, I have six children and I know that most people can’t fit in an hour gym session every morning… but anything is better than nothing. Do squats while you’re brushing your teeth, do as many star jumps as you can while the kettle is boiling, or stretch those calves in the shower. You’ll be surprised at the difference small but often bursts of exercise can make.
* Practice gratitude. Every day, write three things in your journal that you are grateful for.
* Visualisation. Spend at least a couple of minutes every morning visualising your dream life. What are you working towards? Actually feel yourself living that life and engage all of your senses – what does it look/smell/taste/sound/feel like?
* Review your goals and achievements. Looking back on a month and seeing how much you have achieved is the best way to get motivated. It doesn’t matter how small the achievement is… Write it down!
Get insanely productive and slay those goals:
* Plan your day the night before. If you wake up knowing exactly what you need to do, and in what order, you are much more likely to get them done.
* Keep your to-do list small. Try and give yourself a ‘top three’. Three things that you want to achieve that day – and if you achieve them, you can consider your day a productive one. Having a to-do list that’s never ending is one of the biggest causes of procrastination. You feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. I have a blog post here all about creating your ‘top three’.
* Do the hardest or most uncomfortable tasks first. It’s very tempting to do all of the tasks you enjoy doing first and the hard ones get put off until another day. If you tackle those difficult tasks first, you are more likely to get through them because you are building up to the ones you enjoy.
* Reward yourself! Completed a goal? Treat yourself to a chapter of your new book, an episode of your favourite show or even just a coffee break.
* Take a break. Working yourself to the bone is only going to end in burn-out. Take regular breaks throughout the day and make sure you have at least one day a week where you switch off and take some ‘me’ time. Check out my blog post Sunday is Funday for more info on self-care.
Do you have any top tips for getting motivated and being productive? Let me know! Leave a comment, drop me an email or send a carrier pigeon.
I have exciting news… The Dream Plan Achieve Podcast is now available! You can listen to the podcast right here on the blog, on Soundcloud, and it is now available on iTunes. Please take a few minutes’ of your time to go and subscribe to the podcast and give us a rating.
My goal with the Dream Plan Achieve Podcast is to bring you expert advice on starting up your business, living life as a Girlboss and tips to help you become more productive in your business by creating systems and simplifying your daily tasks.
Some of the podcast episodes will be based on posts from this blog, so you can listen to the episode within the blog post, however I strongly recommend subscribing to the newsletter so that you never miss an episode.
This first episode welcomes you to the Dream Plan Achieve Podcast and tells you what to expect from the series. Please let me know what you think – but be kind! I’m still getting used to this podcasting malarkey…
If you have any suggestions on what type of content you would like to hear in the series, or any questions you would like me to answer in an episode, please get it touch. You can leave a comment here, drop me an email, DM me on Instagram or send a message in a bottle.