“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” – Steve Jobs, late CEO of Apple, commencement speech at Stanford, 2005

Earlier this year, I noticed how I had slowly dropped my morning habit of quietly journaling, getting grounded, and setting my intention for the day.  Instead, I started to work. And I gave away my power first thing in the morning to the pressure of productivity.

“Oh just this blog post,” I’d say to myself as I’d reach for my phone that was sitting on my nightstand.

“I have to get back to that coaching client and check in with her,” I’d say to try and justify why I reached for my phone first thing.

“I need to make a note about the upcoming speech I’m giving,” I’d rationalize my way to picking up my phone.

And soon enough, those first few sacred moments of the morning were gone. I gave away my power to my agenda and my “to do” list.

I gave away my power to the underlying beliefs of “I’d better hurry” and “I’m not doing enough” and “If I don’t do this then…”. These toxic, fear-based beliefs crept in and took over.

As a result, I started to feel more anxious in the morning. I felt more tired and drained by the time I got the kiddos to school and I was sitting at my desk.  Usually when I’d sit at my desk to get ready to see a client or write a blog post or work on a speech, I’d feel focused and energized.  I started to notice that instead, I was feeling fragmented, unfocused, and uninspired.

Do you know what had changed?  Something seemingly so harmless: I had started to keep my phone on my nightstand.

I kept my damn phone on my nightstand where, for several decades, the only things on my nightstand were my journal and a pen.

This slippery slope of having my phone in the very same place of my journal and pen became a mud slide right into anxiety. Right into fear. Right into amping up my nervous system.  Right into overwhelm for my eyes and brain. All before 6 am.

I justified having it close to me. What if my parents or inlaws call in the middle of the night?

I talk to my children about the “gamification” of video games, how they literally have programmers creating an experience where you get addicted and you don’t want to stop.  We talk about having limits in place that help us in maintaining balance.

Well it’s the same for our phones, at least for me. The lure of my apps is strong. I justify it with “Oh but it’s work and it’s good for our family.”  But that’s just an excuse to get the dopamine fix of going onto my phone first thing in the morning.

I talk a lot with professional women and men in coaching and when I’m facilitating workshops about our how we access, ground ourselves in, and claim our personal power.  I talk about reclaiming our time and seeing ourselves as CEO’s of our lives.

I realized that I was giving away my power first thing in the morning by reaching over to my nightstand for my phone. I was exhausting my nervous system. Forget a shot of expresso; I was becoming addicted to that shot of morning dopamine!

What did I do to reclaim my morning time and be the CEO of my life?

It’s so simple but it took effort to change this habit!

I put my phone in another room.  It is NOT in my bedroom.  It is not on my nightstand.

I only put things on my nightstand that are sacred to me: my pen, my journal, glasses, and a little clay heart with “love” printed on it by my daughter’s sweet little fingers to remind me of what really matters.

I made the change a few weeks ago.  I went back to my morning habit that had kept me sane through writing Gems of Delight, that kept me grounded as a new mom, and that helped me navigate the messy and miraculous of everyday life.  Because I am reclaiming my time, I feel empowered.  I feel like I CAN make positive changes in my life.  I feel more grounded and centered.  I feel ready for the day – rooted in my choice and intention about how I want to live and love.  I am less distracted as I start my morning work of writing or seeing clients.  My intuition and attention are focused.

I want this for you, too.

Here’s what you can do to reclaim your power and be CEO of your LIFE:

Don’t give away your power first thing in the morning to the pressure of productivity.

Those first moments in the morning when you wake up are sacred.  Don’t give them away to your email or social media. Don’t give them away to your agenda.

Reclaim your time.  Remember that you are the CEO of your life.  Decide how you want to rise!

Claim those first few moments of the morning as YOURS – your precious time to align yourself with what is most sacred to you and decide the mindset and heart posture for how you want to live and love each day.

Dear Ones, if you want to go deeper, get my 7 Steps to Rise and Thrive with a New Morning Habit.  I created this handy printable of this blog post and seven life-reclaiming, soul-nourishing steps to help you rise and thrive in your morning.


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