Mentality coach Jacq Gould chats with us about how she maintains a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Prioritizing yourself allows everything else in your life to become stronger. It’s as simple as that. I always say that self-love is a lifelong journey, and in my opinion, the first step is knowing your worth. I know it can often feel like we barely even have 10 minutes to eat during the day, but trust me when I say, putting yourself first is the key to being the best and most confident version of yourself. It’s a lesson at the center of my coaching programs and an absolute necessity if you want to find Your Inner Babe, ignite her and set her free.
Let’s take it step by step. Here are four ways I prioritize myself every single day:
1. My morning routine is non-negotiable
I wake up at 7:00am, or a little before so I can give myself two hours minimum before I start work or go to the gym. I lock myself out of all social networking apps until 8:30AM, just to ensure I start my day in a clear headspace. My morning routine consists of: hot water with lemon and ACV, a big cup of coffee with my mom’s homemade nut milk, harassing my puppy, Mercer, and finally a 10-minute body scan and meditative check-in. Some people say I’m crazy for giving myself this amount of time in the morning, but having a strict routine helps me start each day with a clear mind and gives me the space I need to show up throughout the rest of the day as the best version of myself. Before I started taking these two hours for myself, I tended to wake up late and spend my entire day feeling like I was catching up. Then when I got back into bed that night, my mind would race, affecting my quality of sleep.
Morning routines are not one size fits all, and there’s no perfect recipe for a perfect day. But find what works for you and commit to it. Even before your feet hit the ground, try starting with what I call, “a feeling check-in.” Keep your eyes shut, place your hands over your heart, and take a long deep breath. Maybe you’re feeling more than one feeling, but just notice. Stimulating that personal connection first thing in the morning can be insanely impactful, and all you have to do is listen to yourself!
2. "I am" statements
When I’m with clients, I always start sessions by asking them to tell me what’s going well. They often start with something small, like making the bed (my favorite life-hack) or grocery shopping for the week, but the emphasis on the small stuff, leads to them recognizing more and more of the good in their lives. The same goes for ourselves and drawing attention to all that we already are. Positivity has a very real snowball effect and I truly believe that writing things down makes it even more real. Things like: I AM A POSITIVE FORCE IN THE WORLD. I AM MOVING FORWARD IN MY JOURNEY EVERY DAY. I FORGIVE MYSELF FOR NOT BEING PERFECT, BECAUSE I KNOW I'M HUMAN. These are tangible reminders to love ourselves as we already are. I love to write these out in my journal right before I go to sleep. It grounds me back into myself and makes me feel empowered, even under the covers. If we say it, we create it.
3. Set boundaries
I’ve learned how to say no, and I refuse to feel guilty or shameful about it. Be unapologetically okay with doing what you need for yourself. It’s like my 2-hour morning routine. I’m not exactly sure why I need that exact amount of time, but I do, so I go with it. Your gut instinct is your greatest asset. When you realize that, you realize you have complete control over your life. It’s not up to anyone else.
4. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude
Above all, I always bring myself back down to earth by being grateful for what I have right now. Not what I want, what I think I need, or what I’m going to get in the future. This is what I have in my life, and these are the people around me who support me. Sometimes that’s all it takes to realize how beautiFULL our lives really are. Although it won’t happen overnight, I’m a big believer that how you go to sleep is exactly how you wake up in the morning. I write this list out before I go to sleep, right underneath my “I AM” statements. Think about it, what keeps you up at night? For most of us, it’s worrying about something that might have happened during the day, or something coming up later in the week. Maybe it’s a negative emotion like resentment or regret. But gratitude helps you drown out all those negative thoughts and emotions, and gives you almost no reason to be kept up at night. Start small. Write down three things that you are grateful for each night and feel the gratitude grow within you.