We need structure to have freedom.
Does this make sense?
Growing up as someone who resisted structure at all costs, I have experienced the before & after of this. I’ve found that the more routines & structure I have, the more space & opportunity blooms in my life. To avoid any misunderstanding with the word, structure doesn’t mean rigidity, which can lead you away from the goal. The best formula is:
Structure + Adaptability = High Levels of Joy & Success
We have structure for freedom. We’re adaptable because we’re embracing all that it means to be a successful human being.
We already have intentional & unintentional routines happening through our day. If we can find super easy ways to add self-care into these routines, we’ve begun to create a more balanced, fulfilling life. (Sidenote: If we don’t, no one else will.)
It’s our responsibility to put ourself first.
When we have new babies, this looks different than when we have more independent, self maintaining children.
When we’re 23 it looks different than when we’re 53.
How might it look for you?
These tips will help you become the most successful person you can be. Without our self worth, which we get from putting ourselves first, we’re not going to be as valuable to others or to our business. Let’s jump right in with the #1 way to start putting yourself first.
#1 Be Prepared
Successful, confident women share certain qualities & this one’s high on that list.
Think of someone rushing late into a meeting, apologizing, uncomfortably making excuses. This person has given away their power – before the meeting even started. From this starting point, they better be damn good because they’re behind the ball & the only saving grace may be if they think very quick on their feet & possess exceptional skills that stand up against their lack of professionalism.
We never want to be “that guy.” I know this ‘guy’ well because I used to be him until I committed to being prepared. By making this commitment, my whole world changed!
At first I was a little uncomfortable, not sure what to do with all the extra time! Once I got over that, I began to fully enjoy the experience.
Then… I had kids.
This skill took a major backslide but after 4 years & two kids, I’m finally back on track. It’s not always perfect but for the most part it’s once again become the norm.
And for realz, it always (always) feels better to have two crazy kids running around an airport as we wait for boarding, than running to a flight, feeling (& looking) like a lunatic, praying we’re going to make it.
So how do you do it? There’s a few steps in being prepared.
I remember reading a CNN’s routine for having an early call time. She slept in full hair, make up & wardrobe! I thought it was crazy until I tried it the next week for a super early flight. I was determined to sleep face up but even rolling onto my side in the night, curled up in a cozy little ball, everything looked great in the morning.
I travel with two small children & always prep their things in advance, why not me?! Oftentimes I put myself last, yet when I have hair & make up done I feel tons better. This particular 12-hour day, filled with a delayed flight & too many unexpected twists, did not derail me. I was Batman. By going the extra step to be fully prepared, I was more confident & handled everything that came our way.
• Plan on traffic. Unless you live in a rural area, traffic happens. I live in Los Angeles so this is a biggie for me. Even when I travel, there seems to be traffic more & more everywhere I go. Plan it into your schedule accordingly.
• What did you eat for breakfast? What will you eat through the day? Healthy eating is one of the very best ways to put yourself first. Anyone who does this will tell you, it requires preparation. Meal planning is an amazing way to get what you need nutritionally, keep your stamina up, your mind clear & bypassing the last minute choices that usually lead to crap. Putting yourself first equals not eating crap! PSA: please don’t eat crap.
• Pick your clothes out the night before. I can go nuts trying to decide what goes with what when I’m rushing out the door. I can’t tell you how many times successful people have said they lay their clothes out the night before. It’s time to be part of that club!
• Know your day. Know your month. What’s on the calendar? What do you need to know or do to be prepared for those things? My husband & I look at the month before it starts. I have my social media calendar & my marketing & business calendar (mostly) planned in advance. Here’s the thing. There’s always going to be unexpected. Always. And we want wiggle room. Wiggling’s fun. The best approach is to have a plan, have routines, have structure. Then go with the flow.
A final thought on being prepared: Don’t just busy yourself with getting ready for something, commit to loving the process of preparation. I know, sounds crazy but let that sit with you a minute.
#2 Water Fun
Water is healing. Hot salted baths or natural Hot Springs might come to mind but how can you realistically work it into your every day? Our showers can be sanctuaries. If yours isn’t, create one. If you share a shower with others, figure it out. As Marie Forleo says “everything is figureoutable!” If there’s lots of kids toys, use storage nets or google ways to keep that stuff contained! If it’s not clean, bring a sponge & dish soap the next time you take a shower, or use shampoo/body wash that’s already in there, keep it simple. (Consider some resources from the list in this article to simplify & keep your entire home clean.) Breathe in the steam. Take the time to let this ritual care for you. Purchase products that make you feel good. (I love these!) Even if you only have 10 minutes, enjoy every single second, it’s yours. Some other water activities that we already do during the day but can take these moments & literally soak them in (get it?): • Splash your face with warm or cold water • Wash your hands & take your time, let it be a relaxing, meditative ritual (my favorite hand soap) • Drink water. Add strawberries, oranges, cucumbers. Use water for healing the inside & outside of your body.
#3 Saying No is Actually Saying Yes
Huh? Let me explain. When you say no to something you’re really saying yes to what you believe to be better for you. You’re telling the universe, I know you got my back. I know I’m safe. I know there’s something – some situation or opportunity, some relationship that’s waiting for me. Trust, trust, trust. This better, higher vision you have IS being prepared for you. By saying no to something you know in your heart isn’t the best for you, you’re saying “I’m willing to say yes to that better thing, situation, or relationship.” You’re saying YES to what you want more of in your life. To what you truly desire. It’s not saying no to close out opportunities, have no fear. Set boundaries. Say no with confidence & you’ll begin to see how you’re really saying yes to so. much. more.
#4 Breathe Baby, Breathe
Feel it go down to your chest.
As you expand these airways, breathe deeper until you’re breathing into your belly.
From there, breathe deeper, down to your lower abdomen.
You can breathe anytime, anywhere.
The gift of your breath somehow gives you clarity, confidence & a greater capacity for life. Such a simple thing to do but if you’re not paying attention to it, your breath becomes shallow & unsteady, the opposite of power & putting yourself first. It’s something you can do anytime, anywhere.
Powerful. Open. Positive.
Get in the right frame of mind. Start your day, start your meetings, start your conversations, start your life with the right frame of mind. Visualize the best of what you want, how you want to feel, how you want things to go & how you’d like to see the outcome.
“What you let your mind think, you will be.”
No, not Buddha, Becca said that one 🙂
By not choosing your thoughts, by not being aware of them – we give up so much self-care & power that is freely available to us.
Choose your mindset at the beginning of the day & before every meeting or conversation.
End your days with gratitude.
Putting your mind first will light your vision & path ahead.
Spiritually, I encourage you to connect with your higher power & keep this first. It’s up to you what spiritual path feels right to you. What loving, higher power feels right to you? If it’s a sticking point, go out in nature, talk to the sky or to a tree, something that’s not you.
Being spiritually centered is something that helps me, my husband & so many other super successful people not just create more money or opportunities, but more joy & more love.
I’m a big believer in Positive Power Statements. These aren’t just old-fashioned affirmations. Replace negative thoughts with positive, powerful statements that kick those bad thoughts ass! Make up your own or use some of mine:
#6 Balance Your Checkbook
Money matters in your inner & outer world. We are powerful women who are choosing to put ourselves first. Financial freedom & creating wealth are amazing ways to do this.
It might feel good in the moment to splurge (speaking from personal experience), if we do it a lot & breaking the bank to do it, ultimately, it doesn’t feel good at all.
Keep track of what you’re spending. Have a Spending Plan & each month be accountable to it.
Unless you pay off credit cards each and every month on time, stop using them. This is a huge way to put yourself first. Borrowing money equals no good. Saving consistently equals very good. ((Abundance and wealth workshop link))
#7 Have a Plan
This is the first and last step. Have a plan. A 90 day plan, part of this package link, and break it down.
Look at the month & the week. When you start each day look at your current plan for the week and go to your higher power, be with God. Ask for information and inspiration. What is it you can do today to get closer to the reality of your vision? Do that. Write it down. Check it off.
There’s so many other things we can do. This is a snippet. If you’re ready to create more self-love, self-improvement, self first routines, strategies in your life, comment below & let us know what you’re commiting to! If you have strategies that help you, share them below & as always, if you like this article, please pass it on!