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The alarm sounds, and you are ‘off to the races’! Before you reach the shower, your mind is already filled with planning, worries, and ruminations. Your heart starts pumping faster and your breath gets more shallow. You haven’t started your day, your day has started you.


When your day starts you in this way, it is not only exhausting, it is often unproductive. Your mind and body are almost immediately in a state of high alert, and that state is then continuously fed by back to back meetings, no time for lunch, a constant stream of inner critic and judgmental thoughts, and blurred lines between work and personal time. There is little or no time to set priorities or think strategically before the day is taken over by whatever is screaming the loudest (which is often not what needs the most attention). This is not leadership excellence. This is not a life well-lived.


What if a morning cup of coffee or tea could make all the difference by allowing you to ‘choose how you want to start your day’ rather than letting your day start you?


Try this experiment for just one week:

  1. Before you do anything for work, prepare a cup of coffee/tea. Bring your full attention to what you are doing. Put down the phone. Listen to the sounds, smell the aroma, feel the warmth in your hand, etc.
  2. Find a place to sit or stand and sip the drink. Again, no multi-tasking, just enjoy the experience for the few minutes it takes to consume it. Let go of any intruding thoughts for now. Feel the groundedness and calm of ‘single-tasking’.
  3. As you near the bottom of the cup, ask yourself ‘what is my intention for the day?’ Some answers might be-to be strategic, to be kind, to be creative, to be open-minded, to be available to my family, to take care of myself, etc.
  4. Finally, choose one step you will take today to support your intention.


It is a simple routine many of the professionals I have taught over the years point to as a powerful way to more fully inhabit their lives, take charge of what is important, and break through the constant, draining busyness. What do you notice?


To learn more about bringing mindful leadership into your life join us at our one-day workshop in June or our five-day retreat in October. Click Here to learn more.