No, it’s not easy, but WOW, is it worth it! Imagine a day when you awaken in a great mood from getting a good night’s rest. You get into the shower and perform your usual morning routines while singing gleefully. From your closet, you are easily able to choose what feels like the perfect outfit for the day. You enjoy a pleasant, non-rushed breakfast. You get to work and everything goes your way. You’re happy; you have no trouble keeping a smile on your face and greeting everyone around you cheerfully. Bottom line: You shine, and everyone notices.
Okay, before you start sending me hate e-mail and comments listing all the reasons why you can’t, (and believe me, I’ve heard them all already anyway), give me a couple of paragraphs to remind you why you should. After that, if you’re convinced, we’ll discuss how.
Let’s consider the alternative. You jump out of bed after hitting the snooze button five times realizing that you’re now running late and will have to take some shortcuts. Maybe that means not shaving your legs this morning, or maybe that means skipping a shower altogether. Still running late, you decide to skip breakfast, or have breakfast in the car since you have a long commute. You arrive at work at 8 AM on the dot, stained from breakfast, a little smelly from not having showered and feeling frazzled from all the rushing around. But you get right to work and soon forget about your harried morning. Around 10 AM, you take a break, go to the bathroom, look in the mirror, and WHOAH! Where did that person come from? Is that you? It couldn’t be! You go back to your desk, grab your purse containing a brush, some makeup, and a tiny can of hairspray, and try to salvage what you can of your looks. “Oh, well. It’s just one day,” you think to yourself. “I’ll do better tomorrow.”
At noon, your boss brings a new potential client to your office and wants to know if you’d be interested in having lunch with them to discuss your work on the latest big project. You notice he hesitates after seeing how you look, so you make up an excuse of having too much work to do and politely decline. Meanwhile, he asks one of your co-workers, (who always looks great because she must have all the time in the world to get ready in the morning), she accepts, they land the new account, and she gets a promotion.
Now you’re upset because you’ve worked for the company longer, you’ve been more hands-on with this project, you know more people, and you have acquired more business than most of your co-workers. “I shouldn’t be judged based on how I look,” you think. Have you ever stopped to consider how your looks affect your performance?
In the first paragraph, I had you imagine a day where you were perfectly dressed, feeling fantastic, and everything was going your way. Have you ever considered how all of these things work together? Did you notice that I started with waking up after a good night’s rest?
Now, I’m not trying to imply that all this is easy, but presenting your best self every day is a skill that you can develop. With a little planning and motivation, you too will be living a joyous life. Let’s get started.
- Lose the attitude. Stop thinking that looking your best every day is just for women without children, women without jobs, or women who can afford the luxury. There are plenty of women who have children, work full-time, started out making little money, who still manage to look like they just stepped out of a magazine. Why do they go to all the trouble? Because they know it’s worth it. Looking your best is not a luxury - it’s a necessity.
- Organize your wardrobe. Set aside a day to try on everything in your closet, your dressers, storage, etc. Try on shoes, belts, accessories, outfits, both business and casual. Eliminate everything that makes you feel lower than you want to be. Don’t try to convince yourself that the item would work if everything else in your closet were dirty – that’s not going to happen anymore! If you wouldn’t wear it in front of your best client, give it to charity. Organize what’s left in a system that makes sense to you so that you can easily put together an awesome outfit every morning. You might find that deciding what to wear the night before is helpful, or even creating a section for this week’s outfits. Remember to create a shopping list of any items you need to replace to make an outfit perfect, and set a time to take any necessary mending to your tailor. (Yes, if you don’t know how to mend items yourself, you should use a good tailor.)
- Plan your morning routine. Seriously now, imagine how your morning would flow if you could wave a magic wand and make it go exactly as you want it. What time would you get up? How long would you spend in the shower? How long does it take to apply your makeup and fix your hair? Be sure to allow time for breakfast, and your commute time. Factor in any necessary stops and tasks for children and ideally, a little time for yourself for journaling, meditating, or whatever makes you feel calm, relaxed, and in control.
- Get a good night’s sleep. As I stated earlier, getting a good night’s rest is essential for making all of this get off on the right foot. Do whatever is necessary to achieve this important step. If your husband’s snoring keeps you awake, sleep in the guest bedroom or on the couch if necessary. See your family physician about the appropriate sleep medication for you on those nights when you just can’t turn off your brain and go to sleep. You might try taking a bath before bed, or eating a high carbohydrate snack, no protein.
- Get up when your alarm goes off. So easy to say, so hard to do, I know! I’ve been there! Several theories abound as to why so many women have trouble getting up when their alarm goes off. I’ve found two things that really help me. The first is getting a good night’s sleep. That does not necessarily mean 8 hours. Sometimes 6 hours leaves me feeling more energized than 8 – you can get too much sleep. But I know that on average, I need about 7 hours per night. The second is having the morning planned, knowing that my life has a purpose, and that I’m fulfilling that purpose. Having goals that inspire me helps as well, but sometimes I get up just because I’m looking forward to the breakfast I decided on the night before! Hey – whatever works – use it.
- Work your plan. This is actually the easy part. At first, you will want to have your plan written out until this way of living becomes a habit for you. Anytime you’re feeling stressed or having a difficult time dealing with either home or work pressures, a written plan of action will help you feel in control. Once you get the hang of this and start reaping the rewards, you’ll naturally settle on routines that work for you, work quickly, and get you going. Before you know it, you’ll forget about how you used to think it was so much trouble to look and feel your best every day.
- Take care of yourself. Exercise, maintain your ideal weight, get regular massages, manicures, pedicures, read, relax, reflect, journal, do anything and everything that makes you feel your best. When you feel great, you look great; when you look great, you feel great.
When you look and feel great, work is great, and life is great. Isn’t that what you want?
GET THE BOOK If you’d like to read all my latest success tips and how I’ve applied 20 years of solid business principles and the law of attraction to acquiring the life of my dreams, and am helping others do the same, you’ll want your own copy of Wake Up and Create the Life You Want: A Self-Empowerment Guide. It comes with my free report on “The Science of Getting Rich.” Both are downloadable, so you get them immediately.
This post was written by Debra Moorhead, Motivation, Education, Inspiration on January 22, 2007