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“What Successful People Do Before Breakfast” – My Five Commitments, Travel or Not.

It is Sunday night and I just finished listening to the book What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam. I purchased this book looking for solid ways I could get my days off to a great start. With traveling so much, often working another country’s hours even when I am back in the US for meetings and calls, this is an area I definitely want to focus on to improve both my personal and business success.

My current morning routine tends to revolve around rising so that I have just enough time to do what I have to do: coffee, shower, read email, maybe take my vitamins and maybe eat breakfast, get to meetings/work/airport. No slack time and certainly no relaxed time.

Getting consistent with a morning ritual is a challenge when some days have early flights, early meetings, or a late-night flight arrival the night before. Can you hear my excuses starting already?

My overall goals are to be healthy and fit, organized and productive, with a relaxed mind. Quality time with my family in a beautiful home, with a good financial plan in place, and oh, let’s not forget travel, are also in this list.

As for practical changes I commit to beginning tomorrow morning, which will help me move towards these goals:

  • Work out at the beginning of my day. Instead of wasting valuable minutes coming up with all the reasons why I can’t do this (hotel gym isn’t open; hotel doesn’t have a gym; early morning meeting, etc.), I commit to doing something upon getting out of bed each morning. Whether this be yoga stretches, exercises with bands, lunges and squats in my hotel room, or a good workout at the gym… something each morning; no matter what!
  • Determine my top 5 goals for the day. I commit to writing these down, whether it is in Evernote, on hotel notepaper or an email to myself. In fact, I will copy these into an email and send it to my husband for more accountability. I will ensure my goals are actionable and achievable within the day, such as “write an article on How to travel when you have a cold” vs. “implement a social media strategy.”
  • I commit to determining these goals and reflecting on the day ahead by allowing myself 15 minutes to sit and relax with a cup of coffee or tea while doing this. No more having my phone nearby for note taking and email replying while I’m drying my hair, listening to the morning news and downloading updates to apps.
  • I also commit to identifying one thing, no matter how minor, that I can delegate to someone else (namely my assistant). My nature is to want to do everything and to do it all myself … both are impossible.
  • Last by not least, I commit to taking better care of my health. Eat a protein breakfast and take my vitamins. Simple enough. Just do it.

When I realized the book wasn’t going to give me solid how-to ways with action steps to get my mornings going, I was disappointed. I wanted a checklist. (I’m the queen of checklists!) Though what the book did provide me with is how to think through the excuses and negotiate a win-win for the areas important to me. And this the book successfully accomplished as you can see by my commitments which I now publicly share.

As for my plans in working on the rest of my goals, those will remain for another day. No overcommitting right now. The five items above are a great start and are realistic and achievable no matter if I am at home with my family or alone in a hotel room; no matter if I have an early flight or a mid-morning meeting.

For that, I thank Laura Vanderkam for the thought-provoking content of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.

How about you? What’s one before-breakfast task or ritual you do that gets you off to a great start?

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