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The Accrescent Podcast Ep. 142. How a Daily Baseline is Key to Breaking Ruts & Building Success


How a Daily Baseline is Key to Breaking Ruts & Building Success


Episode Summary

In this solo episode, Leigh Ann shares her method of achieving holistic wellness by establishing a daily baseline in key areas of life. The daily baseline is not rigid, but consists of broad categories like movement, sunshine, hydration, nutrition, emotional wellness, education, and connection. Within each category, individuals can choose activities that suit their daily needs, providing a roadmap for the day that is achievable and flexible. This baseline structure serves to meet minimum daily wellness requirements that fuel and achieve overall success. Leigh Ann also talks about how this helps to combat patterns of self-neglect and is easy to integrate into a busy routine.

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Leigh Ann: Hello everyone, welcome back to The Accrescent podcast. I’m your host Leigh Ann. Today is a topic that I get so excited to talk about every single time. It’s something that is a daily part of my life. It is so foundational for my mental wellness, physical wellness, but also just It’s giving me the fuel and the resources to achieve and do everything that I want.
Leigh Ann: It really is such a foundation in my life and I love getting to share about this. I talk about this a lot with clients and I’m so excited to get to sit down and talk a little bit more about it with you all today. So a couple of places we’re going to go in this episode one, I just want to start with it.
Leigh Ann: Um, What is a daily baseline? What do I even mean by that? And how is it different from just setting random things that I need to do every single day? There’s a big difference and I’m going to explain what that is. What’s the benefit? How can having a daily baseline benefit my life and be impactful to my health, my emotional wellness, but also my overall success and the things I’m trying to achieve.
Leigh Ann: Whether it’s something like. Like being a better mother to my kids or something like trying to build a business. This is going to be beneficial no matter who you are. And then what does it look like? How do we create a daily baseline that really aligns and serves us so well? And then at the end, I’ll share my daily baseline categories and what that looks like for me right now.
Leigh Ann: And even how it’s shifted a little bit since maybe three, four years ago when I first started doing this. So. Let’s jump right in with what is a daily baseline. I was kind of thinking about, okay, people are going to think it’s just like, oh, here’s 20 things I need to do every single day. We’ve got enough of that going on.
Leigh Ann: That’s overwhelming. It sets us up for failure. And the reason I like doing this daily baseline, sometimes I say baseline buckets, baseline categories is. It’s, it’s enough of a roadmap for our day that it helps us stay on track and is achievable, but it’s not so rigid that it’s not going to serve us well each and every day.
Leigh Ann: So how does it differ from just a list of things we need to do every single day? What this daily baseline is that I’m talking about is maybe like five to six categories of things or areas you want to. Foster or bring into your life on a daily basis. And then within those categories, there’s any number of things you could do on any given day within that to support yourself.
Leigh Ann: So let me give you an example here. An example might be, I have a daily baseline bucket of movement. I want to get, let’s say 20 minutes of movement a day. Because it’s a broader bucket, it’s a broader category, the category is just movement. On any given day when I wake up or at the end of my day, I get to decide, okay, and what type of movement is going to serve me best today.
Leigh Ann: One day we’re super energized, we’re feeling really great, maybe we want to do a hard HIIT workout or some more higher intensity type of exercise. Another day Really hard day. We’re stressed. We’re feeling low energetically. Maybe the movement looks like just a long walk. Maybe it looks like a slow yoga flow.
Leigh Ann: So this is what I mean of we’re gonna be setting, or my hope is that after listening to this you might be inspired to go set some baseline categories. With some general structure to them that you’ll be able to check in with each day. Okay? Did I get my 20 minutes of movement or how am I going to get my 20 minutes of movement today?
Leigh Ann: What is going to serve me so well in this another example? I’ll just come up with might be you know, you guys know me and my practice emotional wellness like That might be a category, a daily bucket that I want to make sure I’m getting X number of minutes of emotional wellness for myself each day.
Leigh Ann: And this could be five minutes. You guys get to decide what the category is and what the kind of baseline criteria in that category is, but it might be, I’m going to commit to give myself. 10 minutes of emotional wellness support every single day. And then underneath that might be a whole cascade of different options I could do.
Leigh Ann: Whether it’s meditation, nervous system practices, somatic exercises, journaling, prayer, talking with a friend. And on any given day, when I sit down to go do my 10 minutes of emotional wellness, I can tune in and go, Yeah, what is going to serve me best in this moment? Do I want to journal? Do I want to do some nervous system?
Leigh Ann: So it’s enough, as I said, it’s enough structure that we feel like we have a road map, but not so much so that we’re locked in. with these kind of goals and rigidity that we might have set a month ago, six months ago, that really aren’t serving us super, super well. I think this happens a lot with new year’s resolutions and new year’s goals.
Leigh Ann: We might come in and go, okay, I’m going to step up my exercise routine. I’m going to Go on a 30 minute run every single day this year. And while the intention behind that is fantastic, a 30 minute run every single day might not be what is best for your mind, your body, your spirit every single day this whole year.
Leigh Ann: And so there might come a day where having that rigid goal set actually becomes very limiting for two reasons. One, If I’m really sick and need to actually rest and help my body restore, a 30 minute run is going to be counterproductive. But if I’m like forcing myself, no, I got to push through, I set this goal, then we’re not, we don’t have that fluidity to support ourself best in that moment.
Leigh Ann: What I might need more in that moment is that gentle Yoga flow or that gentle walk, but without that kind of fluidity available to me We might just kind of keep paving down that same path that we set for ourselves X number of days weeks months ago. And the second way that these more rigid structures can be kind of confining is if I’ve got this goal of running 30 minutes every single day in the whole year, if there’s a day where I can’t meet that, I might just not do anything.
Leigh Ann: I might just go, well, I’m not going to be able to do that today. So I guess I can’t do anything versus if we have a broader category or bucket that we’re trying to meet, we have a little more fluidity to go. Okay, I can’t do a 30 minute run today. But just because I can’t achieve that I’m not gonna just like write this day off as a loss and start again The next day, the next week, I can go, you know what, I can’t get 30 minutes of running in, but maybe I could get 10 minutes of a bar workout in, or 5 minutes on my rebounder, or 10 minutes on my vibration plate, whatever it might be.
Leigh Ann: I hope it’s kind of setting in, and many of you might be resonating with this, how sometimes the hyper specific goals or structure can actually be very, very confining at times. And I get it, this isn’t going to be what resonates with everyone, and that’s totally okay. If you love hyper specificity and it’s been working for you, great, keep doing it.
Leigh Ann: If you’ve tried that and you find it’s not serving you well, this baseline buckets daily baseline kind of roadmap might be something that you try to test out and implement a little bit. So I want to talk a little bit about even more of how this daily baseline can be impactful for us. So we’ve already talked a little bit about it, how it allows a lot more fluidity for us where we are so fluid as human beings on this planet.
Leigh Ann: What is going to nourish me most, mind, body and spirit, today might not be what will nourish me most, mind, body and spirit, Next month three months from now or even tomorrow and so being able to have a little bit more fluidity to check in Attune to myself and go what is really going to serve me? Well nourish me nurture me revitalize me whatever it might be most today the second thing I love about having this daily baseline is It’s like fuel in the tank and like anything when you first get started with it There’s a recalibration that needs to happen as you’re getting more comfortable working within this framework.
Leigh Ann: But once you’ve gotten in the pattern, most of these become, if not all of them, become so easy and just a part of your lifestyle and Having these daily baselines that we’re making sure we’re achieving or bringing into our life. The reason we have them in the first place is to make sure I’m giving my mind, my body, and my spirit what it needs to be able to thrive.
Leigh Ann: And so what I find is when I am following and, keeping on track with my daily baseline, I’m energized. I’m physically nourished, I’m emotionally nourished, I feel more present, grounded, calm, peaceful, motivated, inspired, so many different things from such a simple thing. Daily practices, I feel so nourished and energized and able to go out and do the things I want to do.
Leigh Ann: So it’s fuel. It’s fuel in the tank. And sometimes it’s literal fuel, like the food we’re putting in our bodies. But sometimes it’s that emotional, energetic fuel that we’re needing to. It’s creating this Safety within us of, hey, I’m going to care for you, I’m going to make sure you get this minimum amount of care.
Leigh Ann: And I think that takes me perfectly into my next point of some of the potential benefits of this. Yes, we, so many of us have busy, busy lives we’re leading, so it’s easy to fall into some self neglect, but also many of us, myself included, this was a big thing for me. I was really stuck in pretty severe patterns of self neglect where I just would not hardly feed myself anything throughout the day.
Leigh Ann: Wasn’t drinking any water, wasn’t getting any sunshine, not taking care of my sleep habits. So many layers of self neglect that I think in my case specifically came from childhood dynamics, modeling, trauma, etc. And so the way that this baseline, this daily baseline, started for me was an attempt to help me overcome these patterns of self neglect.
Leigh Ann: It’s this commitment to myself of Leanne. This is the minimum amount of care I am going to give you every single day, no matter what’s going on. And that creates so much safety within me of this inner self who maybe for so many years was used to not getting nourished in so many different ways, starting to feel more and more like, okay, I know I’m going to be taken care of.
Leigh Ann: And I can’t even tell you the profound impact that has on my psyche, my motivation, my joy, my peace, so many different So if self neglect is something that you find is a pattern in your life, this can be super, super profound and helpful. But also if you’re just a really busy person and maybe you have some self care, but it’s hard to keep on track with it, this might be a way that helps you integrate it in a way that’s much more achievable, sustainable, and impactful.
Leigh Ann: Now, the last point I want to make with this is we get off track. We’re all gonna get off track. It’s not about perfection. I still miss things in my daily baseline frequently, but Having that baseline to come back to is What will actually get us out of the rut get us back on track so much quicker this is something I love to talk about because I think many of us have been there where we feel like we’re in a rut, whether it’s an emotional rut or a rut with relationships, life, career, myself, progress, any number of places.
Leigh Ann: And then, I don’t know if you guys do this, I definitely do, I start to convince myself, okay. You know what’s gonna get me out of this rut if I just go find the next big life changing book? Or if I go find a online course I can take that’s really gonna shake me up, or the perfect motivational event that I can go to that’s gonna inspire me and shake me out of this rut.
Leigh Ann: It tends to be. I start to convince myself I need some bigger external thing to get me out of this rut I’m in. And what I started doing a few years ago is if I did find myself in a rut, rather than immediately running off and signing up for something or buying a new course or buying a new book, pausing and checking in, taking some inventory on, okay.
Leigh Ann: Am I meeting my daily baseline? And I will tell you every single time I find myself in a bit of a rut, I am not. Meeting my daily baseline. And so for me, that becomes the starting point of before I go buy anything else, a new course, a new book, whatever it is, before I spend money and dedicate all this time and energy and resources to some external thing to try and fix where I’m at, I need to start meeting my daily baseline again.
Leigh Ann: And once I start meeting my daily baseline again for a week, two weeks, three weeks, and I still feel like I’m needing a little something extra, I’m like, you’re great. I’ll go for it. I’ll go find that thing and integrate it. But that has become a little bit of the barometer of before I go try and outsource this progress and healing and enlightenment externally, let me get back to my baseline.
Leigh Ann: Let me get that integrated again. Get doing that consistently. And then if there’s still some, some tension or something missing, great, I can go out. And let me tell you, over the last three or four years, Once I’ve reintegrated that daily baseline, I have not felt the need in the slightest. To go outsource with any of those things now.
Leigh Ann: Are there great books? I’m excited to read totally but if I do decide to get them maybe three months later six months later It’s not from a place of scarcity and I need this and this is the thing that’s gonna change my life and get me out Of this place. I’m in it’s oh, there’s some it looks like there could be some really interesting information here I’m in a really good place But I’d love to add this information to my repertoire, add this information to my toolkit.
Leigh Ann: It’s from such a different energetic space. And I just, I at least have found that to be so incredibly impactful. I can’t tell you in years past the amount of money I spent on some of these external resources and not that they’re not amazing and not that they can’t be impactful, but Oftentimes they’re not even getting to the core of what’s off in the first place.
Leigh Ann: And so often the reason we get into these ruts is because what’s off is my connection to myself. What’s off is my self attunement. And those are things that we can start reintegrating for free today without needing to go outsource that anywhere. So I find that nine times out of ten, if I’m in a rut, It’s because I’m not meeting my daily baseline and then when I start meeting that daily baseline again, literally within a day, two days, I start feeling enlivened again.
Leigh Ann: I start feeling motivated again. I start feeling in tune again. And it’s, it starts to create that momentum and magnetism that I was so desperately trying to search for externally. So how do we start to create our own daily baseline? This is actually a part of my Realign your life workshop in the uplevel lab for those who might want to go a little bit deeper.
Leigh Ann: That’s something you can look into but what it starts with just at its core is Taking some time setting aside a few minutes to really tune in and ask yourself What does my mind body and spirit need? On a daily basis at a minimum. This is not like highest of high achievers. I’m going to give myself all the things at a minimum.
Leigh Ann: What does my mind, body, and spirit need? We want these to be pretty achievable. So for me, A number of my baseline categories are centered around physical wellness, because there’s just things that I know the physical body needs in order to be able to be as successful as possible in the day to day. So, I think what’ll be helpful is I’ll give my daily baseline and those categories, it might start to give you guys some ideas of why.
Leigh Ann: of what might work for you, but I do really encourage you set aside some time and give yourself time to sink into this because if you just give yourself like a minute, five minutes to try and tune in, there might not be a lot of clarity that’s coming up for you. So set aside 30 minutes to sit down, brainstorm, look over the last few days, look over the last few months or weeks of What has my body been yearning for?
Leigh Ann: What has my spirit been yearning for? What is my mind, my emotional self, my inner self been yearning for? And how can I start to bring those in in some really small achievable ways? So I think I right now I have six categories. I just did a whole realignment actually as part of the realign your life course that we did together as a group inside the up level lab.
Leigh Ann: I actually realigned my own daily baseline to fit where I’m at in my life now. And. I actually haven’t changed them for like three years. So for three years, my daily baseline categories, buckets. Was exactly the same and that’s what I had the capacity for is what I had set it at coming into this year I felt my capacity expand and my body my mind my spirit asking for a little bit more in some places So I’ve adjusted though that daily baseline Accordingly, so let me go.
Leigh Ann: I’ll kind of list the categories and then I’ll go into each of them specifically so it’s One category is movement, another one is sunshine, hydration, nutrition, emotional wellness, education, and then connection. So I lied, I have seven. So those are my seven categories. I want to be able to support myself.
Leigh Ann: These categories are things I am feeling my mind, body and spirit telling me, I need a little bit of something here every single day. I need a little bit of something in movement every single day. I need a little bit of sunshine, hydration, nutrition. I need a little bit of education every single day. So these can be so, so different for all of us.
Leigh Ann: However, what I will say is, We know the physical body just has needs as it pertains to hydration, movement. Sunshine and so having a couple of those in there I think is just really going to set you up for success to support your body To be as successful as possible. But again, it’s not about even necessarily like what should I be doing it’s What is my body yearning for and what do I have the capacity?
Leigh Ann: What is within my capacity to meet that yearning or that need right now? Yeah, maybe it’d be fantastic if you could move your body for an hour a day, but if that’s not within your capacity right now, and yet you still feel your body yearning for movement, what type of movement or what amount of movement is within my capacity right now?
Leigh Ann: So, let me start with some of the straightforward ones. Sunshine. I upped this for three years. My, my minimum baseline was that I need to get myself or I want to get myself a minimum of 20 minutes of sunshine in a day. This year I’ve upped it to an hour. Because I just have really felt that yearning of I really need this energy and this fuel from the sun in my day to day.
Leigh Ann: So an hour of sunshine a day. Hydration is pretty straightforward. I want to drink half my body weight in ounces a day. These These are kind of the only two that are a little more, if we had to use that term, rigid or specific, right? There’s not a ton of wiggle room of half my body weight in ounces of water a day.
Leigh Ann: That’s pretty specific, but that and sunshine are the only two that are that specific. But even then there’s a little bit of wiggle room of The type of hydration I don’t have to just drink plain water every single day same thing with sunshine. I want an hour of sunshine, but I could get that hour in five minute increments throughout the day or in You know two thirty minute increments.
Leigh Ann: There’s a little bit of wiggle room there still sunshine hydration Movement likewise in the past. I wanted to try and get 20 minutes of movement in a day Now I have also upped that to an hour of movement in a day And to be totally honest, what this has looked like the last, I’d say three weeks is an hour of walking a day.
Leigh Ann: And usually it’s 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes at night. Once I’m home from the office and what’s great is I’m multitasking. I’m getting my. I’m getting my hour of movement, but I’m also getting my hour of sunshine. So let’s be practical here, folks. We can combine a lot of these, but if there’s a day for whatever reason that I don’t feel like going on a big long walk, I can, you know, get my sunshine in my backyard.
Leigh Ann: And then do some different types of movement in the home, whether it’s bar or the rebounder, the vibration plate, any number of different things. So an hour of movement a day, that’s three of my seven, nutrition. So So I had nutrition in my daily baseline, but it wasn’t super clear and so for me, there’s a lot I’d love to be able to do with nutrition and the veggies I’m getting, the fruits I’m getting every single day, but right now, what’s within my capacity is that I can commit to give myself a whole food based breakfast every single morning.
Leigh Ann: That is something that feels It’s pretty achievable as a minimum commitment to myself. What I do for lunch, what I do for dinner is, is important, but worrying about that and trying to get a perfect meal, three meals a day is a little bit outside of my capacity right now. And so my baseline is something that feels very achievable to me right now.
Leigh Ann: It’s I want to have a whole food based breakfast. Every single day nutrition, emotional support, emotional wellness, emotional attunement. So within that it’s 30 minutes of emotional mental health support every single day. And what I love again about having just this category is One day that might look like journaling for 30 minutes straight.
Leigh Ann: Another day it might look like maybe journaling for 10 minutes, doing a 10 minute meditation, and then doing a couple minutes of nervous system practice or something. So there’s a lot of fluidity available to me there. And also, it’s not like I’m setting a timer, and as soon as that timer goes off at 30 minutes, it’s like, okay, done, better wrap it up.
Leigh Ann: And likewise, it’s not like Oh my gosh, if it’s been 25 minutes and I haven’t reached that 30 minute mark, I’ve got to just sit here and keep doing something for the sake of it. No, there’s fluidity accessible to me. It’s these kind of general guidelines of, I’d like to try and get around 30 minutes of something to support my emotional health today.
Leigh Ann: And then my last two are connection and education. So for connection, this is something that has not been on my list before. That I’m trying to do a lot of work around this year of kind of my patterns with connection and reaching out and initiating connection with those in my life. So for me, what that looks like right now is trying to either meet up with one friend or loved one or have a phone call with one friend or loved one.
Leigh Ann: Every single week this year. So it’s not exactly. And again, this is where I’m saying there’s a lot of fluidity available to us. It’s not every single day. This is more of like a weekly baseline that I want to try and hit. So once a week, can I either have a phone call? With a loved one or meet up in person with a loved one.
Leigh Ann: And then my last one is education. And this is a new one that I’ve also brought in this year as well. I have found myself, you know, in years past, there has been such a desire to, there’s always for me, a desire to learn more. Educate myself more on a variety of topics, but I think being able to do that consistently is something that really felt out of my capacity in years past.
Leigh Ann: And so now it’s something that I’m starting to integrate into my daily baseline is daily education of some sort. But I’m still taking it easy. I think I have it 30 minutes a day. Of some kind of education and What that looks like right now is i’m actually starting to be more intentional about learning farsi because my husband is persian so what that looks like right now is doing a 15 minute farsi podcast and learning that and then Doing 15 other minutes of whether it’s like financial literacy, learning, listening to some podcast on some health topic, reading a book on generational trauma, it’s something I’m doing right now too, so.
Leigh Ann: When we’re thinking about the baseline categories that I want to bring in, also really be thinking about, you know, what’s the minimum? What is within my capacity with this? And right now, what feels very achievable for me is getting in 30 minutes of some type of learning every single day.
Leigh Ann: Maybe one day I up that to an hour. Maybe one day I up that to two hours of learning. But right now, 30 minutes is what feels really, really achievable and within my capacity. And by the way, it doesn’t mean I can’t. Go spend an hour learning something if I want to, but I’m not going to hold myself to that and try and force myself to meet that as a baseline.
Leigh Ann: The baseline is, can I get at least 30 minutes? If I want to go beyond that because I’m really vibing and I’m motivated and I’ve got extra time, amazing, great, I’ll do it. So, I hope this was helpful to kind of go over some of this and I’d love to hear what some of your potential baseline categories might be.
Leigh Ann: So, be sure to Send me a DM on Instagram, reach out somehow. I’d love to hear kind of what thoughts this started to stir up for you. And even if some questions might come up for you about this, but I have just found this. Framework to be so impactful in helping me make sure that my mind, my body, my spirit is getting what it needs every single day.
Leigh Ann: And then if for whatever reason I do get off track, it’s that kickstart. It’s that motivator that helps me get back on track, get back in flow again. And I said this at the beginning, it’s not about even meeting your baseline perfectly every single day. We’re going to fall off the bandwagon. We’re going to get off track.
Leigh Ann: And for me, I used to really feel like, oh my gosh, I have to, oh no, I can’t. I’m so focused on never, never getting off track. And now my focus is way less on that and so much more on when I get off track, how quickly can I get back on track. In years past, I might have gotten off track and been off track for months, literally months.
Leigh Ann: Now it might be like, Hmm, I’m off track for a week or maybe two weeks, or if I’m really in a rut, maybe like a month or so. But with this daily baseline, I find that I can get back on track so, so quickly. And it’s all with these simple, oftentimes free things that I can do and give to myself every single day.
Leigh Ann: So, thank you all so much for tuning in. for any who might be tuning into the video episodes, have been enjoying this new offering of video episodes. I’m really, really ecstatic to be able to now offer the show on both audio and video through YouTube. So, but until next time, I hope everyone has a phenomenal week ahead of them.