I knew when I walked into his office that something was off. There was a clear lack of energy on his part and that was definitely not normal for this client. We started with small talk and he asked me how my day was going. When I said it was going really well, he asked me what made it so good.
I was taken aback, as I hadn’t really thought about why my day was going well, just that it was. Almost without thinking, I answered that I had finally gotten a couple of my “normal” morning routines back in place. It was a Monday, and I was pleased to get the work week off to a strong start.
His eyes widened and he said, “That’s probably what’s going on.”
Almost immediately, he identified a series of events from the week prior that had bumped him out of his normal routine: Traveling to a different time zone; lack of proper nutrition; extra alcohol; less sleep; no exercise; and fewer chances to meditate. Even upon his return home, a shortened weekend due to work events hadn’t allowed for adequate downtime.
Mind you, none of these facts came across as excuses from the client, he was just ticking off things that had him feeling, well, off. The coaching session provided a safe forum to process all that was going on in his world. Because of previous sessions devoted to understanding his purpose, his priorities, and his methods of self-evaluation, he was able to quickly identify solutions with very minimal prompting from me.
He came up with a plan to end his day with a healthy meal, a long walk, and time for reading. The next morning was his first opportunity to restart and refocus. His morning routine is the key to setting the tone for his entire day.
His final words as we wrapped up were: “This was exactly what I needed today.” Understanding what each of us needs at the most basic level of self-care and self-nurturing is important, and yet also so challenging, especially for those in leadership positions.
What does a good day look like to you? I’d enjoy hearing from you.