So, this is usually the week when your good intentions for the year smack up against the reality of the work at hand. In the words of the great philosopher, Mike Tyson, “Everybody’s got a plan until they get hit in the jaw.” As the meetings mount and the emails accumulate, that clarity and sense of calm you developed over the extended holiday break can start to fade. So, the important and urgent question is, “What do you now to maintain your mojo and keep following through on those great commitments you made to yourself?”
I ask the question because I’m not any different than you. For the first half of last week, I was feeling pretty Zen about everything and cruising along. Then I had an honest to goodness business trip that entailed getting on a plane, being very COVID aware and, upon returning home, quarantining myself for the weekend to make sure I hadn’t picked up omicron along the way. The client meetings themselves were great and I’m happy to report that the COVID test shows I’m negative.
Still, all of that disruption had me feeling disconnected from my mojo over the past couple of days. This morning, I started getting it back. To do that, I recommitted to a number of routines that I’ve coached and written about for years. It’s that old idea of practicing what you preach. Here’s what I’m doing to maintain my mojo. A lot of my clients tell me their own versions of these routines are working for them as well.
Let Go to Pick Up: Those great mojo plans you have for 2020 likely include picking up some healthy and productive new routines or reinstituting old ones that have helped in years past. And because all of us have limited bandwidth, picking up new stuff that’s good for us requires making space by letting go of other stuff that isn’t the highest and best use of our time, attention and energy. If your mojo is fading, take a little bit of time this week to figure out a few things you can let go of to make space for the good stuff. Looking for ideas on where to start? Check out two of my more popular recent posts – How to Decide Which Meetings to Skip and How to Get Ten Hours of Your Week Back.
Sleep for Success: In spite of knowing better, I fell into some bad sleep habits in the second half of 2021 – the biggest of which was regularly staying up past my bedtime. The second biggest of which was drinking a glass of wine while watching a show or a game after 9:00 pm. The first bad habit kept me from getting enough hours of sleep and the second reduced the quality of the hours I was getting. As I’ve written about before, 95 percent of human beings need at least seven good hours of sleep per night to be fully productive the next day and to avoid the chronic illnesses that lead to poor health. So, one of my big mojo building blocks this year is early to bed, early to rise. The last glass of wine needs to be finished before 8:00 pm. Most nights, I’m in bed by 10:30 which enables me to wake up at 6:30 and start my day with some good mojo.
Ground Yourself in Good Stuff: One other thing I’ve re-picked up this year is to start the day by grounding myself in good stuff. I read a few pages in an inspirational book, review my Life GPS® to check on how I’m following through on the routines that help me be at my best, and then take a look at a list of goals I have for the year and identify one or two things I can do today to move one or two of those goals forward.
Visualize the Day: Another practice what I preach move I’ve made this year is to spend a few minutes looking at my calendar for the day before I start working. I look at each of the conversations and meetings scheduled on the calendar and do a little visualization on what success looks like in each of those exchanges and how I need to engage to make success more likely. While doing this, I’ve found it very helpful to look at a little chart I created for my Overworked and Overwhelmed book on the markers of transactional and transformational engagement (the chart is in this post) and then think through how those markers should show up throughout my day.
Keep Moving: The mind-body connection is as real as it gets. As one of my clients said to me last week, staying true to the physical routines that work for him is his key to peak performance and mojo in every other aspect of his life. That’s been my experience as well and why, for over 10 years now, my calendar has been organized around making sure I get an hour to exercise at the end of the workday. During the rest of the day, I sprinkle in “get up from my desk and move” segments every hour or so. It could be a quick stretch or getting up to get a fresh mug of tea. In the morning and at lunch, it’s a 20- or 30-minute walk. There are lots of benefits to moving (many of which I cover in this post on stress management), but I can sum it up by saying that regular movement is essential to maintaining your mojo.
So, that’s some of what my clients and I are doing to maintain our mojo. What about you? What’s working for you in maintaining your mojo? What’s getting in the way where you could use some help or fresh ideas? Let’s start a conversation. If you’re reading this through LinkedIn, please leave a comment. If you’re reading this directly on the Eblin Group blog, send me a note. In the meantime, here’s to all of us maintaining our mojo this year!
If you liked what you read here, subscribe here to get my latest ideas on how to lead and live at your best.