Three for Thursday – Pete Leibman

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Mornings, Evenings, and Everything In Between

Pete Leibman is a consultant, speaker, and bestselling author who has been featured on Fox News, CBS Radio, and CNNMoney.com. Before writing his latest book, Work Stronger, Pete worked as an executive recruiter for Heidrick & Struggles (H&S). Currently, Pete is working with H&S on a new client offering called The Work Stronger Signature Program – a program that helps leaders achieve and sustain higher performance.

I’ve recently had the pleasure of getting to know Pete when he interviewed me for “Work Stronger.” The subtitle of Pete’s book is “Habits for more energy, less stress and higher performance at work.” Pete has studied this topic and spoken with dozens of leaders to get their insights. His Three For Thursday are the pillars that he looks to for a more balanced, productive and relaxed life. Read on for Pete’s insightful comments.

End The Day Strong
A stronger morning begins the night before. I’ve learned that properly approaching bedtime and sleep is more important in terms of morning performance and well-being than being a “morning person.” I now have a very specific bedtime ritual, though this wasn’t always the case. I used to be pretty scattered in terms of my bedtime ritual. I’d surf the web, answer emails and just plain waste time before bed. Now, I have three core activities.

First, I do five to ten minutes of journaling. Each night I pose three questions to myself:

• What are five things I’m proud of having done today?
• What are five things that I’m grateful for today?
• What did I learn today?

In terms of number one, they can be as simple as having called an old friend or completed a tough workout. But, they are all positive, and make me feel good.

Second, I do light stretching with the lights out. This helps me slow down and get peaceful before sleep. Others may use yoga or meditation in a similar way.

Third, I try to think of everything I’m grateful for in a general way, not solely with respect to the day that has just ended. Friends, family, health, education. I typically fall asleep before getting through the list.

Start The Day Strong
My mornings used to be chaotic and without order. Now, I get up early, usually between 5:00 and 6:00 AM. I typically begin with an intense, focused exercise session. That’s what works best for me, but it could be different for others. The point is to take control of the morning and set the tone for the rest of the day. I come back from the workout and have a healthy protein shake, some vitamins and supplements. By 8:00 AM I have worked out and had some solid nutrition.

A morning routine could include meditation. It could be journaling. It simply needs to be a ritual that works. It should be deliberative and thoughtful.

My first two Three For Thursday are bookends to my day. My third one is…

Take Breaks During The Day
Powering through isn’t the best way to do things all the time. I find that strategic breaks allow me to manage my energy level. I rarely work more than 60-90 minutes at a time. I get up, take a break for stretching, water, etc. It enables me to prepare for the next session of intensity. I’m not rigid about it. If I’m in the middle of something that just needs another ten minutes I’ll finish. But, most of the time, I can tell when it’s a natural moment to re-charge.

One For The Road…Take It One Habit At A Time
I’ve learned not to try to bite off more than I can chew. I pick a habit to focus on for each month. As I get that new habit to truly fall into place and require less energy, I undertake the next one. This requires less willpower and is more sustainable in the long term. It may not feel as life-changing in the short term, but it’s more likely to work and be life-changing in the long term.

Three For Thursday is a feature of Epicoach, LLC. If you would like to be considered for Three For Thursday please contact us at bob@epi.coach.

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