I have a very specific daily routine that I faithfully execute every morning. It consists of the Core Four, a practice I developed training in the Warrior’s Way: Body, Being, Balance, and Business. It’s how I start every day, and it has come to form the foundation upon which I build everything else.

Then yesterday happened. The details aren’t important, but a series of truly important events demanded my attention, and instead of having the bedrock of the Core Four to stand on as I created the rest of the day, I felt like I was sinking in quicksand. The more that I tried to make my day “normal,” the worse it got, and the angrier I became.

By the time I went to bed, I felt beat up. In thinking back on it, I came to this conclusion: I should have declared a breakdown at the outset. It would have spared me the upset and I wouldn’t have been comparing how the day was actually going to how I wished it would have gone.

Here’s the “in case of emergency break glass” instruction sheet I made for myself:

  1. I’m declaring a breakdown in my routine. It’s not bad, it’s just what’s so.
  2. I’m accepting that today will look and feel different compared to how my day usually looks and feels.
  3. I’m acknowledging my wisdom in understanding early on that sometimes it’s not possible for things to go as planned.
  4. I’m commending myself for doing what matters most, which is in this case (the reason.)
  5. I’ll look for opportunities during the day to complete my Core Four, and I’ll applaud myself whenever I do so, and not beat myself up if I’m unable to finish everything.
  6. I’ll appreciate the fact that in shifting priorities and doing what mattered most today, I contributed to others who truly needed me to be there at that moment in time.
  7. Tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start, a clean slate, and I’ll treat it as such, not looking back, but only looking forward.

I hope this provides some useful guidance when you have “one of those days.” Declare a breakdown, do what matters most, and give yourself the gift of not being perfect.