In yesterday’s blog post I announced some changes in my life for 2017 that will hopefully lay the foundation for my life over the next decade. I explained my WHY for this — to be and feel well, start a family and make a difference to the difference-makers in our education system.

Today I want to talk about the WHAT. What I will be creating, what services I will be offering and what I want my days next year to look.

For a start, I plan to create a lot more helpful and useful content here for the blog. I hope to also start a podcast, and between the blog and podcast I want to become a go-to resource for stressed, exhausted and burnt-out teachers, as well as for school administrators and proactive teachers who want to prevent burnout and promote wellbeing in their lives. I am writing a book about burnout and proactive wellbeing, which I plan to have available by my 30th birthday in June next year. I also have some ideas for other ways to provide information and support via the magic of the internets, but those ideas are still taking shape and not ready to be discussed in the open yet. So that’s a short list of the ways I plan to engage with my creative, knowledge worker side.

Of course I will also be expanding my coaching practice so that I can support even more teachers to improve their wellbeing and prevent burnout through one-on-one coaching. This will be an extension of what I already do, just I’ll have more time and I’ll be able to take on more clients than I currently have room for. On top of this, I’ll be working with school leaders and staff groups to promote wellbeing practices in schools. This will be in conjunction with my husband Stuart from Toowoomba Exercise Physiology.

Lastly, though, I want to talk about my ideal 2017 morning. As I discussed yesterday, my health and wellbeing is the number one reason I’m making this change. I have learned over the last 10 years of various levels of health that I’m fairly high maintenance. Given my health history, prioritising my health and wellbeing takes a lot of time, effort and disciplined self-care. Thankfully, since reducing my fraction to 60% this year, I’ve been able to live out at least part of my ideal morning a couple of times a week most weeks this year. Next year, I want to increase that to be as near to everyday as possible.

My ideal morning goes something like this:

I wake early, around dawn, feeling refreshed and alert. I take my thyroid medication with a big glass of water and get up quietly so as not to wake my sleeping husband. I feed the cat and go outside with her to breathe in the peace and beauty of the early morning. I watch the sunrise, practicing mindfulness as I listen to the birdsong, feel the grass beneath my feet and notice the colours change. I do some gentle stretching or go for a short walk followed by a meditation. I spend about half an hour writing, reading or listening to audio on topics that inspire and engage me while sipping on a cup of something warm and wholesome. I have a cooked breakfast of incredibly nourishing foods and cup of tea or coffee with my husband. I head to the gym, park or yoga for my exercise. I come home, have a shower, tend to my personal care (body boost, perfume, hair and makeup) and spend some time setting my intentions and reviewing my goals for the day before getting started on the day’s tasks.

This ideal morning includes a large number of practices that are vital for my day-to-day health and happiness: sleep, thyroid medication, hydration and foods that my body loves, mindfulness and meditation, connection with nature and my loved ones, movement and exercise, engaging with inspiring ideas and information, hygiene and personal care, clarity of intentions and a focus on goals. These are important to me because I know from a decade of trial and error (not to mention all the science behind most of these practices) that these practices make me feel better when I do them. Since morning is the time with the fewest distractions, it just makes sense to put these priorities first in the day also.

By striving for this magic morning of extreme self-care, I know I will be setting myself up for optimal wellbeing. Even if I fall short some days, which I’m sure I will, I know that I’ll still be looking after myself better than if I didn’t know what this ideal morning looked like.

If health, happiness and optimal wellbeing is something you are striving for in your life, I encourage you to look at your morning routine as well. What activities would go in your ideal morning? I’d love to know!

P.S. This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3