How you start your day sets the tone for the day ahead. Start it with a focus on inspiration, self-nourishment and goal-setting, and it’s likely you’ll have a highly successful day. On the other hand, if you kick your morning off frantically checking your emails and social media notifications, you’ll be on the backfoot from the get-go.
“One of my favourite expressions is ‘don’t start your day with emails or you’ll end up as someone else’s priority’,” says Chantal Brodrick, host of The Fitness Business Podcast. “That’s exactly how many of us start our day – thinking we’ll quickly check our emails to see what came in overnight, then all of sudden time rolls over and we’re still there replying to emails.”
Instead, Brodrick recommends allocating a specific block of time to emails (for instance, 1 hour at 11am), and being strict about it, and instead filling your precious morning time with the following five rituals:
- Learning and professional development
Committing to doing some type of learning and expansion of your skills and knowledge – whether it’s reading up on the latest fitness science or listening to a business podcast, will enrich you professionally, and put you in the headspace for a productive day.
“It doesn’t mean you need to commit an hour; it might just be 15 or 20 minutes of time spent learning something new every single day,” advises Brodrick.
- Move your body
Yes, it’s likely that as a fitness professional you’ll spend all day running around coaching clients, but even if you’re not desk-bound, it’s still a great idea to kick-start your day – and energy levels – with exercise. “It can be as simple as a couple of squats when you get out of bed or it could be doing some form of structured exercise,” suggests Brodrick.
“We know as fitness professionals that movement and nutrition are huge part of how well our clients function, but all too often we’re so busy we neglect our own personal wellbeing,” says Brodrick.
Rather than racing out the door to your first client session, toast or coffee in hand, make a healthy breakfast (think a veggie-packed omelette, homemade bircher muesli or a superfood smoothie) a morning self-care ritual.
- Plan your day
Rather than writing down a massive ‘to do’ list that will leave you feeling overwhelmed and scattered, Brodrick recommends a goal-setting practice called the 3x3.
“Write down the three major tasks you need to accomplish that day that will move your business forward or you forward professionally in the role that you do,” she says. The second aspect of the 3x3 is identifying three overarching, long-term goals that you want to achieve, for instance setting up a website, writing a book or expanding into online training.
Keep your long-term priorities somewhere you can see them easily (for instance, on a whiteboard). “It might not be that every single day you chip away at them, but every few days you should do some type of action that contributes towards you reaching those goals,” says Brodrick.
- Practice mindfulness
Taking even a few minutes to calm and centre your mind at the start of the day can help you better ride out any stresses or challenges that the day throws at you.
“You might use a meditation app, do a few simple breathing exercises when you wake up, or writing down your 3x3 might be part of your mindfulness practice,” suggests Brodrick.
“Meditation comes in many different forms, so it’s about discovering what is that place for you where have clarity.”
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