For decades, I've started my day by asking myself, "What's so exciting about today?" A few months ago I updated my morning wake-up conversation. I like it because it centers myself in gratitude first thing for the day, so I'm hoping you can find it helpful too! Here's my inner dialogue first thing in the mornings:
• Thank you for today.
• List three things I am feeling deep appreciation for that morning.
• Ask myself (and answer), "What's so exciting about today?"
• Get up and get going!
It's not a heavy lift at all. It takes just a couple minutes, but can change your mindset and the course of your day.
If you would like an autographed copy of A Work in Progress, send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Autographed books (shipped to your home!) are $25.
If you're in the DC area, I have several book signings coming up. Including one at The Georgetown Club on September 15th at 11:30 a.m. Email email@example.com for tickets. It includes a brunch buffet! Tickets are $35 + tax and gratuity.
For more than five years, I've been waking up for work as most of the world is going to bed. The midnight to 2 a.m. alarm clocks have been manageable, mostly because I love the work I get to do every day. From the NBC 5 morning team in Dallas - Fort Worth, Texas to Wake Up Washington and Get Up DC with WUSA 9, I am so thankful for the people I have been able to learn from along the way.
As I inch closer to a decade in the TV business, I've been able to figure out more of where my passion and purpose lie. And so it comes with the most joyful heart to be able to tell you that on Monday, August 19th I will be starting my new role as co-host of Great Day Washington, alongside Markette Sheppard and Kristen Berset Harris.
I could open up my journals from the past three years and show you where I wrote working on this show as a career goal of mine. To see that dream coming true... I am incredibly grateful.
Look for new lifestyle content on all of my social media pages and check out the show which runs daily at 9 a.m. on WUSA 9.
Thank you all for being part of this journey. It's time for the next chapter!
August... the month of transition. I've been feeling it lately, have you? Our vacations are wrapping up, our last few days before the school year are ticking away, everything at work is about to ramp up... This month can end up feeling like a loooong Sunday evening. What do I mean by that? You know that feeling on a Sunday night when you are facing a busy workweek ahead? Sometimes dread, sometimes anxiety, sometimes overwhelm... It can feel like that as you anticipate the entire year ahead.
Two tips that worked for me this weekend as I've been preparing for a big change in my own schedule: (1) focus on the joys of the new season + (2) take it day by day.
It started with me getting lost in football preseason photos this weekend. Those photos led me to daydreaming about football returning and all of the feelings that surround it. i.e. Having the games on all weekend long, a warm meal cooking in the Crock-Pot, blankets, layers, and candles burning... that slower, cozy pace sounds really nice right now.
More than that though, it showed me that day by day, we will charge forward through the new season. It only seems overwhelming now because we are caught in a holding pattern. We are soaking up the last moments of summer, but not fully able to relax anymore because the future is calling on us to get started.
Don't you worry, it's nearly time to take that first step of the next chapter. Instead of feeling dread for all that is sitting on your plate, focus on what you love about the changes coming. Know that the details will work themselves out in time. Your future is so very bright.
For many years, I waited for someone else to tell me I was ready. I waited for other people to provide me with the resources, the confidence and the permission to get started. But last year, as I entered a new decade, I realized there were so many more dreams I had in my heart, but no one was opening the door for me to get started on them.
So in my 30th year, I just went ahead and did it. I stopped looking around to see what other people would think of me if I took some crazy chances and I simply got started. I started my own business, I started writing (and then eight months later published) my first book, I started living life on my own timeline instead of comparing my journey to everyone else's, I started asking for a new role at work (stay tuned for that!), and I started approaching everything I did and said from a place of love.
It turned out to be an incredible year - the best yet by far - and I thought it would be impossible to top. But just four days into turning 31-years-old and life is even sweeter. I've come to realize that once you get started on your dreams it just keeps snowballing into something even better. You put yourself on a course for happiness and success, and despite the ups and downs as you are figuring it all out, life just keeps getting better.
So what are you waiting for? Why are you looking to your right and left hoping someone else will give you a chance to get in the game? Put yourself in the game. Be your own cheerleader. And go get started today.
What a week! My first book is now on sale. I've dreamed about being an author my entire life, so I don't think this moment has set in yet.
Here's where you can buy A Work in Progress online: https://www.amazon.com/Work-Progress-Purpose-Yourself-Permission/dp/0578512793
I launched the book at Miss Ohio last weekend. After selling signed copies at an AWE meeting in Arlington, Virginia, my next book stop will be Miss DC on June 23rd.
I will also be visiting my hometown of Celina, Ohio very soon to sell signed copies. Those dates will be released shortly!
For now, I am completely overwhelmed by your kindness, enthusiasm and help in spreading the word about A Work in Progress. Thank you, thank you for being part of this dream come true. It's just the beginning!
Coming next week...
The final touches on my first book are all coming together and soon A Work in Progress will be on the shelves! What?! I couldn't be more excited. I've never worked on a personal project that took more grit and passion.
Every morning, I've been waking up at midnight to write and edit this book before leaving for work. Sitting next to our little beagle mix, Biscuit, I've written more than 250 moments of inspiration to keep you moving throughout the year.
I posted about the book for the first time a few days ago and cannot believe the response. Nothing has thrilled me more than to hear that you are already relating to the title A Work in Progress.
For a long time, I played the role of "the girl who has it all together." But after years keep up the facade, I crumbled under that pressure. This book is my confession that I don't have it all together... and neither do you. We are beautiful works in progress and we're learning lessons every day that will help us grow into our unique purpose.
I sincerely cannot wait to share this project with you! You can order your copy starting June 13th!
Rehearsing how I want events to play out, reviewing conversations I had that day, thinking through what I want to tell someone tomorrow... I never thought my nighttime routine of thinking would become a problem.
I suppose thinking wasn't the problem... overthinking... that's what took my peace.
Suddenly, picturing the worst possible outcome and how I would handle it was a terrible anxiety-producing habit of mine. It was routine at night when my head hit the pillow. I would start to think about one event in my life until my mind snowballed it into incorporating all of my fears, doubts and shameful moments into one.
Overthinking robbed me of sleep, and the lack of sleep robbed me of my ability to think clearly. I was creating problems that didn't even exist and exaggerating the problems that did.
It took me many months to figure out that my overthinking had to go - and then it took many more months to actually learn how to control it.
Today, when I'm overthinking at night, I will first acknowledge what I'm doing, "Ellen, these are fears of yours, not your reality. You are overthinking this and creating anxiety that doesn't need to exist. Plus, you are not solving anything thinking up worst-case scenarios."
If I can't quiet my mind after another minute or two, I get up. Immediately. Sometimes just a drink of water can snap my mind back into reality. Other times, I will journal, meditate or even go sleep on the couch.
Taking action is the key to shaking my mind free from overthinking. Plus, acknowledging what I'm doing - and knowing now how much it does not help solve anything.
Rehearsing events, reviewing events, exaggerating events... this does nothing for your peace of mind. Regain control by learning to stop your overactive mind.
I find the most inspiration in hearing other people's stories and how they have overcome challenges in their lives. This is why I love interviewing leaders and entrepreneurs for my Minute Motivation series.
Here are some of the stories I've shared on-air recently.
Full interview with Malcolm Lemmons.
Full interview with Rebecca Linder.
Full interview with Josh Carin.
Bob Rosen, founder and CEO of Healthy Companies, sat down with me to answer the six Minute Motivation questions on how he has succeeded in business and life.
We talked about living with uncertainty, where to focus your attention to find balance and how he has stayed motivated to just finish his eight book, Conscious.
We also talked about Bob's recommendation for how to divide up your thoughts between living in the past, present and future.