5 Powerful Ways to Level Up
Confession, I am always actively working on myself by trying to figure out ways to be more productive, be a better person to the people in my life, be comfortable simply taking up space. To do that, I typically like to look at the behaviors and patterns of those who are excelling in the arenas that I want thrive in—why reinvent the wheel if there’s already a winning formula? That’s how a few years ago, I noticed something about some of my favorite emerging movers and shakers. This included folks like “I’m rooting for everyone black” champion Issa Rae and the ever-funny YouTube personality turned sketch writer and activist Franchesca “Chescaleigh” Ramsey. Right at the cusp of their respective big breaks, I noticed that these ladies began to exercise more routinely or lost a noticeable amount of weight. And this wasn’t an isolated incident. You’ve probably noticed it too. I find that every time someone changes a habit or develops a better one, it tends to correspond with the launch or release of something in their life.
I now believe that to reach our fullest potential, we must prioritize ourselves. Let me be clear, prioritizing self is not about being selfish or not creating time to give back and pour into others. It is, however, a commitment to self-development and personal growth. It’s prioritizing time in your day for others as well as for yourself.
Leveling up and being our best selves includes strategy, follow through, being consistent and discipline. Those qualities have to be developed and worked on—hence the need to prioritize ourselves. I know your bandwidth is stretched and your time is valuable, but imagine the value you can pour out into the world when you’ve mastered self? Here are five things you can incorporate into your day today to help you prepare for your glow-up.
The trio nutrition, sleep, and exercise have big impacts on our lives. Poor behaviors in any of these three areas can affect the body. A lack of sleep ages our brain faster, affects our cognitive abilities, and memory. A lack of exercise can negatively impact our mood and energy. What we eat affects our internal organs as well as our external features like our skin, hair, and nails. What would happen if we radically decided to prioritize our bodies and made choices that allowed us to function at our peak potential? Being our most alert, healthiest, and sharp. Being our best is not only about the achievements we make. It’s about making the big choices, hard choices, and small choices that bring us closer to the person we were created to be.
Revamp your Morning Routine
When the day gets started, it’s easy for things to pile on and get derailed. Having a consistent and robust morning routine can be a game-changer. Consider waking up an hour or two earlier to make time for the things that matter to you. Maybe you want to learn to code, speak a new language, work on a passion project, or all the above. Waking up just an hour or two earlier will give you the bandwidth for self-development. Even if you dedicate 10 minutes to 6 different tasks like reading, journaling, meditate, or exercise, that’s 6 major things you’ve done for yourself in one day before even checking your work email. If you already have a solid morning routine, look for opportunities to realign what you currently do with your goals. Deliberately set the tone for the rest of your day.
Walk into Each Day Feeling and Looking your Best
Days that I feel and look good, my energy is just so much better. I perform better, I’m friendlier, and productive. Maybe part of your morning routine is allotting a few extra minutes to piece together the right outfit. Regardless of how you choose to do this, leave your home ready to take on any challenge or any beautiful surprise that may come your way.
I often look at the habits of productive and impactful people and they often make time to read. Warren Buffet, for example, once told a student who wanted advice on how to prepare for an investing career to, “Read 500 pages…every day… That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” Like travel, reading can expand our minds and expose us to ideas we may have never come across on our own. I frequently use the hour before bedtime to do my reading not only does it force me to break away from my phone, it also allows my brain settle and relax from the day.
Make Time to Be Around the People Who Bring you Joy
I get it, you’re busy. You have art to create, projects to complete, products to launch so sometimes you sacrifice people to get the job done. But too much solitude and imbalance can be harmful as well. Being away from the people that matter most only creates barriers. Maybe you don’t go to every event, but you call to see how it went. Maybe you can’t make it to dinner, but you can join at the end for dessert. Maybe you are unable to meet for coffee, but you can connect and go for a jog together. Yes, you are busy, and your time is precious—commit to finding creative ways to fuse the work and people.
Ultimately, prioritizing yourself is an opportunity to tap into who you are, and figure out what works well for you so that you can be your most authentic self when you connect with the world. So, go ahead dream chaser, world changer, community builder… level up. Someone is waiting for you to step into your purpose so that they can realize theirs too.