Hit the Ground Running…or Not

By Pat HeydlauffPat Heydlauff

Do you hit the ground running in the morning and never stop until you drop back into bed exhausted at the day’s end? Does your view of peak performance begin the moment you get into your car, set foot in your office, or have that first sip of coffee?

If yes, you are missing the two most important things you need to do to set the tone for a successful day: what you hear and what you do during the first few minutes of your day. The first thoughts you hear in your head, the first things you see in your personal surroundings upon awakening set the tone for success, failure or mediocrity.

Are You In Control? What exactly happens in the first few minutes of your new day? Have you ever noticed? What are your first thoughts? Are they a negative loop swirling in your mind that always include can’t, won’t or shouldn’t? Do you think more about past difficulties, future impossibilities and failures or the good things that have happened, the positive accomplishments and the possibilities in the day ahead?

What do you see when you first open your eyes? Is your bedroom filled with clutter, stacks of stuff, unfinished work from the night before or piles of laundry? Is the room dark and foreboding or light and encouraging? Is there a clear welcoming space on the floor for your feet to land solidly so you can hit the ground running?

Cultivate Peak Performance: Leadership and professional peak performance begin in the bedroom at the precise moment you engage your mind and open your eyes. It is your first thoughts and visual imprints that set the tone for your success or failure, peak performance or mediocrity.

Program Peak Performance: Everything you do, every word you speak and every action you take is the result of a thought. Some of the thoughts that regularly loop through your mind may be the result of words spoken by a well-meaning upset parent or teacher during your early childhood such as, “you’ll never amount to anything.” Other pre-programmed negative performance thoughts stem from teenage years, for example “you’re ugly” or “you’re stupid” or “who would want to pick you for their team?”

These examples are responsible for the negative loop of thoughts going forward such as, “It’s going to be a bad day;” “I won’t get that promotion;” “I won’t get the sale;” or “The deal is going to fall through.” You need to control and eliminate the negative thinking in order to pre-program your mind for success and peak performance. Try the following exercises:

  • When going to bed at night, instruct your mind to allow only positive thoughts to flow in the morning

  • For the negative thoughts embedded in your memory over a period of years or even decades, remove them from your thought loops by writing them on a tablet and shredding the list; should those thoughts try to return, instruct them to leave for good and mentally post no trespassing signs to keep them out.

  • Keep a small notepad and pen nearby while sleeping in case you wake up with a great thought – write it down and go back to sleep – additional information may come to you upon awakening so be ready to record it quickly

  • Pre-program your mind at bedtime to solve a nagging problem and provide with you the answer when you awaken

  • Eliminate “should” thinking and replace it with “will,” “can” and “am” thinking

Create a Focus Fostering Bedroom: A dark gloomy bedroom leads to negative thinking and a lack of creativity. A cluttered bedroom fosters chaos. Peak performance needs a path that sheds light and clarity on the future with nothing standing in its way.

  • De-clutter your bedroom – remove everything from the corners, under the bed and on top of dressers and night tables to make room for new thinking and clarity

  • De-clutter your closets and dressers – keep only those items that fit well, make you feel great and are suited to the future you wish to create

  • Organize your closet by color and function so you can make instant good decisions about the clothes you  wear for specific events and to meet specific goals

  • Ignore current décor trends and fashionable colors; instead paint your bedroom a soft light color that is uplifting and encouraging to the spirit and creative for the mind – pastel green is great for good health and income generation, and pastel peach helps improve relationships

The first step to peak performance always begins in your bedroom before you engage with the outside world. It is those critical first few minutes of the day that determine the success of your day and the quality of your performance. If you want to hit the ground running, make sure the “soil” is fertile and nurturing, both physically and mentally. 

Pat Heydlauff speaks from experience. She works with organizations that want to create an environment where employees are engaged, encouraged and involved, and with people who want to be in control, anxiety-free and confident. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Engage: How to Lead with Power, Productivity and Promise and Feng Shui: So Easy a Child Can Do It. She can be reached at 561-799-3443 or engagetolead.com.

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About editor

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan shares his passion for life and faith through words. Peter DeHaan’s website (www.peterdehaan.com) contains information and links to his blogs, newsletter, and social media pages. Peter DeHaan is the president of Peter DeHaan Publishing, Inc., (www.peterdehaanpublishing.com) the publisher and editor of Connections Magazine and AnswerStat, and editor of Article Weekly.