Episode 69: Pre-Deciding Your Day

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Sometimes we can feel like we’re at the mercy of our circumstances.

We don’t know what the day will bring (especially in 2020), and so we wake up each day hoping that things will go smoothly, but the second we hit a stumbling block or obstacle, we crumble.

It can take quite a bit of mental energy to pull yourself out of these negative emotions, and sometimes it can take over your entire day.

But there is something you can do ahead of time that will shape your life and point you in the direction you want to be moving in, NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE.

There are decisions you can make ahead of time on a daily basis that will keep you moving forward, keep progressing, and keep creating the life you really want to be living. 

Tune in and learn how you can PRE-DECIDE your day!

Welcome back to the show! So happy you’re all here with me. I have a favor to ask all my single friends here. I’m specifically asking my single friends that are 30 and older. I’m creating a resource specifically for you, but I want to get your input first. I really want to hear from you and hear your unique experiences, thoughts, and how you’re feeling. If you have a few minutes, I have an anonymous questionnaire. Some questions might not apply to you, so you can skip those, but I’m looking to get your perspective and experience. So in the show notes and on my social media profiles, you can find the link, and I’d be so appreciative! It’s anonymous, so you get to be as candid as you’d like and then keep your ears peeled for some good stuff coming your way.

Okay, before we dive into today’s topic, I just want to share a community spotlight and today’s spotlight is from Lorena0821, and she says,

“I found Hannah on the “top 40 life coach podcasts You must follow in 2020,” and it has been such a blessing. I went back to episode 1 because she is gifted not only in her teaching/coaching but also in how she presents it. Her podcast has helped me so much. I just joined her Catalyst Coach Community, and I have been sending her podcast episodes to many of the women in my life because my desire is for women to break free, and this is definitely the place to start.”

How amazing is that, you guys??? Lorena, you beautiful soul. Thank you for that amazing review and for sharing, and just for being you. I so appreciate you!

If you want a chance to be spotlighted in our community spotlight each week, just he had over to iTunes and leave a review!

Okay, you guys…ready to dive in? If you follow the guidance and tools of today’s podcast, you will be amazed at how this one thing shifts your life in the most incredible of ways. I’m talking today about deciding ahead of time – pre-deciding and designing your day.

For most of us, we just kind of go with the flow. Day in and day out, we live in this reactive type of state, going from one circumstance to the next and not knowing what the day will bring or what we’ll feel like at the end of it but just waking up, getting dressed, and diving in. And we have our normal routines and a general idea of the day because it’s largely patterned after the day before so we feel like we have an idea of what that would look like, so we feel good enough to just dive in but let me share an example of how deciding ahead of time can shape and transform your day.

Years ago, we thought it’d be so fun to surprise our kids by taking them to Disneyland. In my mind, I thought, “wouldn’t it be like a dream come true to wake up and just be IN Disneyland?” And it sounded so fun, so we drove all night, the kids were little and slept the whole way, and in the morning they were all fuzzy and just waking up, and sure enough, they were excited, and we had fun, and we stayed a couple of days but then it was done, and we went back home, and it’s just over.

It’s was rather anti-climatic…fun…but done.

So a couple of years later, we wanted to go back, and I knew I didn’t want to do that again, and so this time, we planned and prepared for months in advance. We made a countdown calendar. We would watch all Disney movies to prepare for it. We listened to the songs. We made fun food and treats. We talked about all the rides we were going to go on and what we wanted to do first and where we were going to eat and sleep and just all the things, and we were so excited about this trip. 

So this time, when we went, it was so fun and lasting, and we felt a greater capacity for joy, abundance, and connection because of the time we put in to plan ahead of time. Even afterwards, we kept that magic alive because we were still talking about it. We still were in the mode and habit of what Disney movie we wanted to watch next, what music we wanted to turn on, and instead of talking about what rides we wanted to go on, we talked about the memories, and this was one of our memorable trips because of what we made of it.

For most of us, we’re kind of like the first trip – our day to day life is getting up and just being there. Being in the day and we’re using our reactive energy instead of our creative energy.

When you plan ahead for your future day, you’re using creative energy. It hasn’t happened yet, so your molding your day into what you want, to feel how you want to feel, to think and do what you want, to eat what you want to eat instead of what’s available and sounds good in the moment which is rarely what your long-term you would choose for you.

But think about how beautiful of a day you could have – a life you could have if you decided ahead of time? If you planned ahead of time?

Now quick clarification – planning ahead of time isn’t the same as rigidity. It’s not narrow-minded, and now it HAS to be this way, and you’re completely inflexible. This planning ahead of time is about you using your creativity to decide what kind of experience you want to have and how you want to feel despite the circumstances of the day.

If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that I’m a confidence coach and that confidence isn’t a superhero cape of motivation and invincibility, but rather confidence is synonymous with certainty. Your primitive wiring, namely, your negativity bias, is always scanning for potential danger, and it doesn’t like the unknown, so it’s always on edge, ready to pull the alarm if there’s anything out of the ordinary so when you create certainty ahead of time, your negativity bias is still there, but it’s able to relax a bit. It feels like, okay, we’ve already seen this, it’s okay. 

So there are daily decisions that we can make ahead of time to create that confidence and certainty so that we can then use our daily energy and mental energy on creating what we want and being present to enjoy it instead of being stuck in mind drama or constantly running around putting out day to day fires.

And I want to talk about just ONE thing, ONE decision you can make ahead of time that will shape and change your life. 

There’s several you can do and decide ahead of time, but this one is 

The first and biggest one – and it will have the greatest impact on your day, and your overall life is how you feel.

Your feelings come from your thoughts – all within your control and your ability to create, and this was revolutionary for me when I learned how to implement this. For years I operated on what I call the mix-up – which is when there are circumstances, and then we feel something because of those circumstances, and then we have lots of feelings about those circumstances. Like waking up and seeing the kitchen destroyed and then feeling frustrated because the house shouldn’t be a mess and then I’m stuck because it’s the mess’s fault – that’s why I’m upset, and I need the mess (aka circumstances) to go away so I can feel better. But it’s so limiting that way. 

Operating from that stance, I’m at the mercy of my circumstances. I’m reactive and not coming from creation and a certain standpoint.

So instead, I plan ahead. I decided ahead of time what I want to feel like for the day. The night before or in the morning before the day has begun, I think about what I know is going to happen. I know about what the day is going to look like – appointments, classes, work, events, etc. I generally know of some potential obstacles that might come up throughout the day and things I want to accomplish, so I can use those to start. To wonder, what do I want to feel? 

I choose my top 5 feelings – but if you’re just starting, try starting with 3 feelings for the day. If you could choose any 3 feelings that you would want to feel, what would they be? 

And I think about the day and the events and what feeling would serve me best in those moments. I know there are circumstances that I might want to choose to be patient and open, and understanding. If I’m going out somewhere, maybe I want to choose to be excited. If I know the day is going to be full and busy, then I might want to choose “present” so I can stay in the moment instead of feeling the urge to feel overwhelmed.

Daily I’m pretty consistent about a few of them. I choose confidence because it always has me showing up as my best self. I choose creativity because it means I’m not limited. I choose love because love is the best feeling ever and has me operating from my highest, truest self. I love choosing abundance and gratitude.

So from here, I picture myself walking into the gym or working with my clients and what that would feel like if I were genuinely coming from a place of love, confidence, and abundance. And it shapes the experience in such a beautiful way. I think about the thoughts I’d need to think to create those feelings.

Confidence is certainty – what thoughts create certainty for me? And for me, that’s always the confidence model (ep 52 – 56)

Abundance looks like – there’s more than enough time, I have more than enough, I am more than enough.

Creativity looks like – everything is figuroutable; nothing is impossible.

So when the day comes and circumstances actually happens, my mind has already created and prepared for this experience. My autopilot already knows what to think, what to feel, and it allows you to operate from a higher plane.

What do you want to feel? What 3-5 feelings do you want to create and feel in your day?

This deciding ahead of time is such a beautiful practice because when the circumstance comes, you’re not reactive. You’ve already crafted and thought about this. It’s like all fire drills and prep time. You know what to do because you’ve prepared for it.

One more note on the feelings. When I plan for my intentional feelings for the day, I also plan for their counterpart to be present as well.

The day isn’t all daisies and rainbows. There’s opposition in all things, so in order for abundance and patience to exist, there needs to also be lack and frustration. When I plan in the feelings and their counterpart – not necessarily their opposite but rather what feeling needs to also be present for this feeling to exist?

Now I’m fully prepared, and I’m not knocked down or surprised or thrown off balance because frustration showed up. Now it’s more like, “ah, there you are…I knew you were going to be here at some point,” only now I can process that emotion without indulging in it and then intentionally get back to the feelings I chose ahead of time by choosing to focus and think on the thoughts that create the intended feelings.

Let me give you an example. I always choose confidence and certainty because that helps me show up and be able to go and do all the things I want to do. But I also know that for that to exist, doubt will also be nearby. So I plan for confidence. When I give a presentation, I plan and prepare to feel confident, but I also know that my primitive brain is going to want to worry about what I said and if I did a “good job” or if someone interpreted it the “wrong way” or if I did something “wrong.” 

But when I know it’s going to be there – because that’s its job I can make room for it. I’m not fighting against it or shocked when it comes or even thrown off in any way because I knew it was going to show up. 

A lot of times, these negative feelings show up, and we’re not prepared for them. We’re confused why they’re there, and then we make those feelings mean all kinds of things about us and why we shouldn’t feel that way, and it just creates this negative experience and a lot of mental drama.

So plan for them, expecting them to show up, making room for them because they most likely will show up it offers you more control and certainty, aka confidence for your day. There’s a lot of empowerment that comes from this, from this practice, from deciding ahead of time what you want to feel, and then as the day and the circumstances arise, you don’t have to react or decide anything on the fly- which won’t ever give you the results you want because when you in the moment you’re coming from that reactive state and not what you planned and wanted ahead of time.

We need to remember that there is an opposition in all things, at least in mortality. Negative emotions aren’t bad or even something to be avoided, like most of us want to do. They just are. They’re a necessary part of our earthly journey, and they make the positive emotions possible. 

Without sadness, could you ever really know happiness?

Without pain, relief wouldn’t exist, and you know how good relief feels.

Without resistance, you’d never experience joy – real joy – the kind that encompasses the positive and the negative.

I read a quote just this last week that said, “Maybe we come to earth to suffer so we can learn compassion and empathy” – S. Michael Wilcox.

Without suffering of any kind, would we know compassion and empathy? Or do we know those solely because we experienced pain in our own lives?

That’s the very definition of empathy, right?

I’m getting a little off-topic – I love talking this. When you’re making decisions ahead of time, I want you to also plan ahead for the opposition. I’m telling you, this is important and will make all the difference.

Confidence is certainty. If we know at some point we’re going to experience the counterpart, we’re not necessarily looking for it, but we’re not knocked down or shocked by it when it comes – notice, not if it comes but when it comes.

The trick is not to welcome it in and invite to tea. Just know that like Amazon, at some point, you’re going to get your package, and you might have to sign for it. And you do, it’s expected. But when the delivery person comes, you don’t have a long drawn out conversation or invite them in. It’s transactional. You’re able to look them in the eye, thank them for the package, sign for it, acknowledge them, and then they’re on their way.

Emotions can be like this, as well. Remember, they only cycle through your body for 90 seconds: 1 minute and a half. Be open to it. FEEL it – really feel it, not think it. The difference here is not, I feel like crap because I shouldn’t have said, did, whatever, and it’s so hard, and it feels like I’m in a dark cave. That’s thinking your feelings.

It’s like this. It feels heavy on my chest. It feels slow and sluggish. I feel a lump in my throat, and it’s difficult to swallow. 

That’s feeling the emotion. It’s described physiologically, just like noticing how the vibration is passing through your body. And then…you’ll notice that it eases up and starts to move on.

Then because you’ve made the decision ahead of time, you can focus, intentionally focus your thoughts on what you wanted ahead of time. 

If you wanted to feel peaceful, then ask yourself from that clean space, what would peace be thinking right now? What would peace do?

Be open, listen, ask more questions if you need to but turn your focus back to what you decided ahead of time. There’s no wallowing or pity party because you had a negative emotion. It’s living life and knowing what it means to be human and a mortal with human emotions. 

You can observe your negative emotions without diving into a painful story about them. 

There’s a cartoon drawing of two men sitting in a car driving on a road that’s between a cliff and a mountain. So on one side, there’s the mountain and really from the window perspective just rock – very limited, not too much to see. And on the other wide-open spaces, endless viewpoints. And one man is miserable, only looking out at the rock and the giant wall of a mountain, and the other is in awe looking out at the endless scene before him.

Same car. Same journey. Same options. But it’s all about what you choose to focus on.

One of my favorite emotions that I plan for each and every day is creativity – which is closely related to curiosity because creativity is asking what else can I do, try, think, create?

I find it’s such a versatile and limitless feeling because no matter what the day brings, no matter what happens, what the circumstances are, I know because I’ve decided ahead of time that I’ll choose to focus on creativity and looking for ways to figure it out.

I do this with people, my family, conversations, with my work, with my callings, with everything, and each circumstance. 

Marie Forleo says, “everything is figuroutable,” and I love that because it is. It is because I believe it is, and as long as I believe that to be true, it will be. I will always find a way. I will always keep asking, questioning, trying, and creating. It’s a beautiful feeling that serves me so well and keeps me productive and not in pain.

I also know that when I choose creativity, the feeling that I’m blocked or blank will also come to me at some point. My brain will want to offer the, “I don’t know…” thought, or when I sit down to write and create content, my brain that was so full of a million ideas all of a sudden is like, “uh…I dunno anything anymore.”

So I allow it. It’s actually kind of entertaining. Like, “yup…I knew you were coming,” and so I welcome it. I notice it. I notice how blocked feels in my body- have you ever allowed yourself to experience that? It’s an odd feeling but doable. And then once I feel it dissipating, I get back to work. I utilize more creativity and think, “okay, if I did know, what would I think?”, “If someone asked me a question right now, how would I answer them?”

And immediately, the ideas start to flow, and I can capitalize on creativity and forward progression.

If at the moment I had to come up with a feeling – like if I didn’t decide ahead of time what I wanted to feel, it’d be a totally different experience. I wouldn’t have the energy to feel the negative emotion and then positive emotion to come up with what I want to feel in that moment. I’d probably be looking for relief and find myself distracted and dawdling. But because I chose ahead of time, I don’t have to expend all kinds of mental energy or have huge amounts of self-discipline or control. It’s been pre-decided. 

I want you to think about food for a minute. We pre-plan and pre-decide what we’ll eat for the week. It’s so helpful because we don’t have to think about it. I don’t have to wonder what sounds good in the moment because that’s such a hard question to answer, and most of the time, we’re not really sure, so we throw out 10 ideas, and each of those don’t really sound good, so you get tired thinking about it, so you opt for the chips and ice cream instead because they’re quick, easy, and there. They don’t require finding a meal, then wanting to muster up the energy to cook the meal. 

But when it’s decided ahead of time, you’re already planning for it. You don’t have to think about what sounds good – you’ve already decided. It makes everything so smooth and easier on you because you decided ahead of time, and when you decide ahead of time, most likely, you’re not going to plan for chips and ice cream because you don’t really want that. You want foods that will fuel you, that are good for your body, that afterwards you won’t be regretting.

You make better decisions ahead of time than you do on the fly. It’s the same thing when it comes to your emotional state.

When you make decisions ahead of time, you’re using your prefrontal cortex and your highest brain functions. This is where you want to create your life from.

It takes some practice like all of these tools do but little by little when you start keeping those feelings at the forefront of your mind, you can ask yourself in each moment, what would abundance think right now? What would abundance do? 

And then, most importantly, listen! This alone is a game-changer and so incredible to implement. 

Okay, you guys, that’s what I’ve got for you this week. Plan, plan, plan. It’s so fun to do this, and it’s even more fun to practice. When you start doing this, you’ll be amazed, like, “why didn’t I do this before?” It’s so good! 

Have a fantastic week! And I’ll talk to you later!

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