Hey there, Leading Ladies! It’s AliceAnne Loftus, your certified professional coach for all things leadership and work-life balance. Today, I want to share with you a simple yet powerful morning routine that can transform your day. I call it the “3 P’s” and it’s all about setting your intentions for the day ahead. I use this strategy myself, and I teach it to many of my clients to help them start their day. Let’s dive in!
The 3 P’s: Proactive, Proud, Purge
Starting your day with intention is like setting the GPS for your life. It helps you navigate through the chaos, distractions, and demands that come your way. It’s not about rigidly sticking to a plan. By setting my intentions, I can focus on what’s most important in the day and accomplish what I said was my top priority. Asking yourself 3 P’s, Proactive, Proud, and Purge, each day can help you set those intentions. Let’s go through each P.
Be Proactive Towards Your Goals
The first question to ask yourself is, “What can I do today that is proactive towards my goals?” This shifts your focus from being reactive to being proactive. Instead of getting bogged down by the urgent but unimportant tasks, you prioritize actions that move you closer to your long-term goals.
I used to ask myself, “What can I do today that will be most productive?” And I found that as a high-achieving woman, I was measuring myself on how I produced each day. I was used to crossing things off a to-do list. However, that’s a dangerous way to measure happiness, success, or value because it can lead to overwhelm and overworking. So, I changed the question to “What can I do today that is proactive towards my goals?” That allows me to look at the bigger picture. I don’t have to get everything done in a day, but rather I just need to take a proactive step forward.
So how does this question look in action? Let’s say you have a goal of creating your third-quarter marketing plan. Instead of adding “create third-quarter marketing plan” to a to-do list, you can think about the steps you going to take that are proactive toward reaching that goal. You don’t necessarily need to reach your goal in a single day, but rather you can set your intention to take proactive steps that will help you reach that goal. It’s a subtle but important mindset shift.
Make Yourself Proud
The second question is, “What can I do today that will make me most proud of myself?” This is about acknowledging your worth and giving yourself permission to take pride in your actions. Whether it’s taking time for self-care, showing compassion, or simply getting out of your pajamas, do something that makes you proud.
As women, we are taught not to feel proud. We are taught not to show pride. Joy, pride, accomplishment, and success are good feelings. We need to celebrate ourselves, and we need to give ourselves a pat on the back when we’ve made ourselves proud. That doesn’t mean that we do things others give us accolades. We’re not looking for compliments from others here. We’re simply asking ourselves what will make us proud that day.
Oftentimes, answering this question can be something very small. For example, you might feel really proud of yourself for taking 30 minutes to meditate or call a friend. like I will be really proud of myself. Or, you can be really proud if you didn’t yell at my kids over their homework! Some days it might be as simple as feeling proud of yourself for putting on real clothes instead of spending the day in your pajamas as you work from home. There’s no judgment with this question! It’s what needs to happen today that you’re going to feel most proud of yourself. When you put your head on your pillow that night, you’re gonna say yeah, I’m really proud of myself and how I showed up today.
Purge What No Longer Serves You
The third and final question is, “What can I purge today that no longer serves me?” This could be physical clutter like that stack of magazines by the door, or mental clutter like negative thoughts or toxic relationships. Purging creates space for what truly matters.
This is oftentimes the hardest question, at least for me. I’m kind of a minimalist when it comes to tangible things, but I have a very hard time letting go of things in my mind. I think about a fight that I might have had, or I hold on to negative mind chatter, or I beat myself up over something I said that maybe I wish I had thought through a little bit longer. I hold on to those things, those negative thoughts in my mind. So, when I think about what I need to purge, I often think about how I need to let go of those thoughts. When answering this question, you can answer with anything that no longer serves you. For example:
- That recycling bag that has been sitting by the mudroom door for weeks
- A toxic friendship
- The pile of papers on your desk
- Fighting with your teenager about homework
How to Implement the 3 P’s
You can implement the 3 P’s any way that works for you. Make it formal or informal. Here are a few suggestions:
- Morning Coffee Time: Use the quiet moments in the morning, perhaps while sipping your coffee, to reflect on these questions. This is my personal favorite.
- Write it Down: Jot your answers down in your day planner or the notes section of your smartphone.
- Share with a Friend: Sometimes saying it out loud or texting it to a friend can make it more real, and give you an added dose of accountability. You can partner up with a friend to encourage each other to do this exercise daily.
The Impact of the 3 P’s
Since implementing this morning routine, both my clients and I have noticed a significant improvement in our focus, productivity, and overall well-being. It’s a quick exercise that packs a powerful punch. If you implement this practice, let me know how it helps you.
So there you have it, Leading Ladies! The 3 P’s are a simple yet effective way to start your day with intention and clarity. Give it a try and let me know how it transforms your day. Until next time, take the leap and lead yourself; the rest will follow.
Feeling inspired? Want to dive deeper into setting intentions and leading with purpose? Join my Leading Ladies Facebook group to continue the conversation and get more tips on leadership and work-life balance.