Have you ever wished for something, then got it and then realized that it was going to be more work than you thought?

Well, one of the things I decided to focus on this year was to do more talks. I love to write, I love to research and I love to speak in front of large audiences. It stretches me, it scares me and it demands that I keep learning. So when I set the intention, signed up for a writing course, and soon after booked 3 keynote speeches, I was thrilled and also very scared. In my mind, this was something I was really good at and I expected it to come easily. Well, if easy means stress free, then let me tell you that, no, this is definitely not easy.

When I feel that I don’t have enough time to do something that’s important to me, I get stressed and irritated, which isn’t conducive to writing, especially when writing about mindset. I understand very well that if I want to write a speech, I have to be in a mood where I can tap into creativity, and that is certainly not a state of irritation.

My writing time kept getting interrupted by emails, phone calls, meetings, picking up the kids, snow days, sick days, vacation days. Being a stay at home mom and trying to change the world is quite an undertaking and I realize that it’s time for an upgrade. My current habits are not going to work for my next level of life, and if I don’t up-level my confidence and down-level my stress, this is not going to turn out well for anyone.

So I have picked three habits that I believe will help me to be more in control of my mood and will help me feel more confident:

1. Increase Me Time

I just need more hours in the day, and since clearly that is not happening, I have committed to going to bed earlier and waking up at 4:30am to get an extra 2½ hours of work time in while my kids are still sleeping. This is earlier than I am used to getting up, but that extra undisturbed hour in the morning is golden, and it is really helping me feel less stressed.

In a study of 177 millionaires, research found that 50% of them woke up at least 3 hours before their work day began. That’s good company to be in.

2. Reduce Decision Making Fatigue

Between having to decide what is for dinner, planning Girl Scout meetings, doing kids’ homework and managing bedtime after an extremely full day of decision making at work, I have decision making fatigue. This is a real thing, and it refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making.

The average person makes more than 200 decisions each day. Just reading that number is exhausting. One way that I’m working on automating my decisions is by cooking in bulk. Whenever I prepare food, I make enough for at least 4 meals. I make big pots of oatmeal, roast tons of vegetables, cook heaping bowls of rice and beans and prewash all my greens. That way, the food is ready, and when it is time to eat, I have one less decision to make.

3. No Big Deal

One habit I have that needs an upgrade is that I often let the small stuff get to me. Between noisy kids, tough family situations, and every day family stresses, there are quite a few opportunities where I could stand to just let things go. My current mantra is No Big Deal. If there is nothing I can do about it and yet I feel my blood start to boil I just say, “No big deal.” She doesn’t want what I made for dinner? NBD. Kids are off school today? NBD. Traffic? Rain? Long line at the grocery store? NBD. I just stepped on a LEGO? No big deal. I don’t want those things to escalate and set me back hours. Not worth it.

I am not perfect but I am truly practicing. And I know that if I want to grow, I really have to up-level some of my habits. I think these three are pretty solid and will serve me well. It’s clear to me that my current habits won’t be good enough for my next level of life, so it’s absolutely worth it.

Do any of these 3 habits inspire you to up-level?