Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
— William Shakespeare, Macbeth 2.2
Greet each morning well-rested, ready to embrace the day and tackle your goals. Take care of yourself by prioritizing ample sleep and then fully enjoying your health and sunny outlook (even on cloudy days) as a result.
It’s hard to live a positive and inspiring legacy-filled life when you’re tired. Think about it: when I’m tired, I find myself cranky, more easily annoyed, and definitely more negative. My loved ones – the people I care about the most – feel the brunt of my paper-thin patience, and I certainly don’t treat myself with the kindness and respect I deserve. It’s almost as if I drag my feet through the day, with my own little black rain cloud overhead. Everything feels heavy and tinged a shade of gray, instead of light and airy and full of pizzazz (the feeling I’d like to have all of my days!). I am definitely not my best self when I am lacking sleep – towards others and towards myself – and it snowballs from there.
In light of Cary’s inspiring journal entry last week on setting goals and taking small and realistic steps to achieve them, I think prioritizing sleep is a perfect start and complement to our objectives. We often think we need to do more, add something, or move a mountain to make a change, when something as simple as getting more sleep can make a huge difference in each of our days. Again, the same snowball effect will apply – but this time, in the positive direction! The quality of the time you spend on any activity will be better when you are well-rested and fully present. You will be far more successful at reaching your goals, not to mention a kinder and more patient human being along the way, when you feel awake and alive as you blaze your own trail and ignite your life from all angles. The Weekly Intention Guide can help you write out how you can prioritize sleep each day this upcoming week a way that works best for you.
That being said, I have to admit that I really struggle with this. Every night I plan to get to bed early, and then I find myself sitting at my computer and suddenly hours have gone by. I have great intentions but am not taking the steps to put these intentions into practice. On the rare occasions I have been successful, I feel so rested and amazing in the morning that I vow to make a habit of this early bedtime. I see first-hand what a difference it makes in my day: my eyes actually open when my alarm goes off; I am cheerful, positive, and energized; my body feels great and my workouts are therefore better; I make smarter food choices; and so on. We have all heard the numerous studies about sleep and how incredibly important this time is for our health, and yet we easily and often neglect good old shut eye. This is the time for our bodies to heal, and as I mentioned, you will see greater results from your iGnite workouts when you can put more energy into them. In return, you will sleep better from exercising… it is all intertwined!
We know we want to enjoy good health and live a legacy-filled life, but I’ll bet “getting more sleep” was not anyone’s first thought in working towards these goals! However, it will make a world of difference and is a gift we can give ourselves every single day; so you can really LIVE and get the most out of every interaction and every endeavor. This will support all of your goals and assist you in being your best self, so you can live your legacy with flair! Read Baby Steps to Our Best Selves to think about the legacy you want to leave and the steps you can take to start living your life accordingly.
Take the small steps to incorporate ample sleep into your daily life – it sounds a lot easier than it is. Perhaps you need to set a bedtime and/or some guidelines to help. For example, I know that it always takes me far longer to “get ready” for bed than I think – so I have to set my bedtime earlier to account for that time. I could also shut down my computer at a certain time every night, so I don’t get caught up in the land of email and Facebook. Find us on Facebook, (but don’t let it keep you awake!!), and send us a message hello.
Whatever it is for you, prioritize this important time for your body, mind, and soul to rest and replenish themselves. As Shakespeare wrote, sleep is the “chief nourisher in life’s feast.” And these animals sure know it!