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I help motivated women eliminate unfulfilling obligations to do more of what they truly desire.
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If you pay at least half of your attention to business books about efficiency and achievement, then you’ve heard of The Miracle Morning. The book promises life-altering changes by following six simple steps. I know some individuals who implemented these steps, loved how their days were shaped, and can celebrate specific wins from those times. In all truth, I’m happy for them.
In my years as a business and life coach, I’ve noticed that half the world is filled with people who thrive on routine and time blocking and relish knowing their calendars are complete. Their meetings are scheduled with the appropriate amount of drive time or hair and makeup time for Zooms. Their workouts are scheduled, and so is their family time. These individuals accomplish everything they set out to accomplish and find comfort in knowing everything is accounted for on their calendar. Everything is under control. When their life doesn’t happen as planned, despite having all the necessary steps accounted for, they get out of balance and seek support. They benefit significantly from strategy calls and mindset work. Inevitably, they embrace a new approach, adjust their schedules, and voila! Goals are met as expected.
But what about the other half of us who couldn’t complete a Miracle Morning routine daily for a week if our life depended upon it? What about those of us who feel queasy at the thought of sticking to a time-blocked calendar? Yes, I used the word, ‘us.’ I’ve never been much of a routined person. Though my parents and brother both thrive on routines, even as a child, I was the odd man out when it came to schedules. You’d think if a child was raised by a former military father and school teacher mother that the wisdom of daily structure would be nurtured and internalized within the household. You know the age-old conundrum, nature versus nurture. At the ripe young age of 48, I must declare that nurturing routine was lost on me. My nature is to reject the principles of The Miracle Morning and scheduling every minute of my day. The thought makes me feel like I’m suffocating inside a small box, and I know I’m not alone.
Now, I actually have a little bit of a morning routine. I lay in bed for at least 15 minutes after waking, go downstairs, turn on the Keurig, feed the cats while it’s warming up, make my coffee, and the rest is whatever I’m in the mood for it to be. Whether that involves catching up on the news, answering emails, planning a vacation, paying the bills, texting with friends, or just sitting on my porch and enjoying the peace and quiet. I’ve tried putting ‘workout’ on my calendar at 6 or 7 AM, but unless I’ve paid a lot of money for a private Pilates lesson, that just isn’t going to get accomplished by my own free will.
Here’s the thing about scheduling, it’s a very male-orientated, left-brained, logical way to be. However, this isn’t an invitation to misconstrue anything I’m saying as a putdown or judgment of The Miracle Morning. My purpose is to celebrate both ways of being in the world; those who fit right into the male-orientated way our society is organized and those who love to create space in our day to simply flow into and out of what resonates with us at the moment. There is another way of being in the world that taps into the right brain, which is more feminine, emotional, and creative. Ways of being that have not historically been associated with success. But the time has come to embrace a balanced approach of the feminine and right-brained flow with the masculine, left-brained order.
Sometimes, I coach individuals who feel very down on themselves for not having enough structure in their days. They compare themselves to all the other successful people they knew who, in their minds, had achieved greatness and believed if they set up a routine and stuck to it, they’d accomplish everything they wanted.
I counter that belief with the following questions:
What if you’re not meant to follow routines and schedules like the others?
How long have you been doing this work, and how long have you been telling yourself to set up a pretty, color-coded, and time-blocked schedule in your calendar and stick to it?
What happens when you set up a schedule and don’t stick to it?
The final question provides the big reveal. When a goal is set and missed, no matter how big or small, the Negative Nelly’s in our minds start their disdainful harping at us; ‘Well, what did you think would happen? You’ve never stuck to a schedule before, so why did you think it would work now?’ ‘You already missed the half-hour window to do (fill in the blank), so you might as well try again tomorrow.’ Now, we’ve concluded all kinds of negative things about ourselves, which causes us to feel worse. As a result, we aim to complete menial tasks, so we are at least accomplishing something. But we reach the end of the day and realize we didn’t achieve the most important things we needed to complete to meet our goals. So, we feel bad about ourselves, mentally berate ourselves, and the cycle continues until something external snaps us out of it.
Suppose you identify with me as a person who appreciates having days and weeks filled mostly with variety and has beat yourself up for not just sticking to routines as taught in The Miracle Morning. In that case, I have a serious question for you to contemplate. What if you gave yourself permission to simply be YOU? What if you gave up trying to fit yourself into someone else’s idea of what you should look like inside a Western society’s projection of success?
How will I meet my goals, you wonder? I wouldn’t take you this far and not offer a solution. It is 100% possible to be successful and achieve your wildest dreams just by being your beautiful, uniquely-made self. I invite you to consider implementing these four steps into your life and see how they transform your days.
I realize the four-step solution I’ve offered may be stirring up all kinds of resistance in your minds. That is a normal reaction and what your brain should do. If you have fully embraced the idea that success looks like someone who sticks to the same daily routine long enough, your brain has created a neuro pathway for that belief. Anything contrary to it will make you feel uncomfortable.
For others, just being granted permission to go with your own flow is enough to make the change. Consider this your permission. You don’t have to enact an elaborate morning routine to be successful. You don’t need a minute-by-minute schedule to achieve your goals. You need to know YOU, work with your strengths, and shore up your weaknesses.
The path to success is personal and should be personalized. Cookie-cutter approaches may help some, but more often than not, they leave others feeling less than others and like they don’t measure up.
If you could use support around this topic, a life coach could help you. Schedule a free solutions call on my website or do an internet search for Life Coach – hundreds of thousands of us are ready and willing to help you create your life as unique as you are.