These days, I’m practicing making the “first three hours” of each day all about my own health, personal growth, creativity, and learning. If you don’t prioritize time and space for such endeavors (and the specific chunk of the day when you do them will vary for each individual), you’ll only get to them sporadically because the demands of life and work–including pets yelping for food as soon as your feet hit the bedroom floor–are often in stark opposition to health, personal growth, creativity, and learning.
My first hour is dedicated to exercise, as well as mindfulness activities that produce calm and perspective, such as meditation and reciting mantras. The second hour is for new writing efforts, usually related to whatever book I’m currently working on or a blog such as this. The third hour, finally, is for reading: typically, content that relates in some manner to my professional coaching, consulting, and facilitation work. Daily reading in my professional field serves as a helpful bridge into the flow of my work day, with fresh ideas and insights leading the way as I prepare myself to invest in other people.
I feel a little off when I don’t begin a day by investing in myself. It’s not always possible to put in the full three hours, but I’d be disingenuous if I believed there’s even a single day when I can’t at least invest a little bit of time for health, personal growth, creativity, and learning.
When all is said and done, investing in yourself is a decision. You can’t rely on being inspired to do it, or having someone else schedule it for you. You simply practice it, and before long it becomes as sustainable a routine as brushing your teeth.
But a lot more interesting and satisfying.