Many moons ago, I took on my first job as a nanny. I quickly came to love those children. I cared for them as if they were my own with loads of consistent love, patience, affection, laughter and smiles. Caring for children has always come natural for me.

What did not come naturally for me, however, was getting to work on time. Oh my, did I struggle to get to the family’s house at my required hour. And this was most definitely a problem. The mom relied on my punctual arrival to be on time herself.

At the newly adult age of 18 or 19 years old, the majority of my decisions revolved around celebrating my “freedom”, including staying up so late my alarm clock could not arouse me. Snooze x 10 until I was consistently 2 hours late for work several times a week. This could not go on. My habits were creating more anxiety and chaos than the freedom I was seeking.

My boyfriend at the time (now my hubby) had an idea (and I was desperate). I bought 2 more alarm clocks for a total of 3! We cautiously selected clocks with the most obnoxious beeping and scattered them across my room forcing my ejection from bed. I was furious. I hated the sounds. I hated the new habit I needed to create.

Although the alarm clock trick certainly helped, I spent more than 15 years with insomnia, hormonal mood swings, hypoglycemic episodes, combined with insecurity, self doubt, self hatred and fear. It would take me another 10 years of slowly adjusting habits to transition to my current night time and morning routine.

My teenage self would be so disappointed with my un-coolness now, haha!

And yet, the freedom I enjoy these days feels better than I could have imagined. Each night I get into “bedtime mode” with reading or writing. My goal is lights out 8 hours before I plan to wake up. For wake up, I set my alarm clock one hour earlier than required with no snooze and no cell phone. I drink a full glass of water before doing any other tasks. Most mornings I meditate for 5-15 minutes. Then I make breakfast.

Are you still making choices as if you were a teenager exploring new found “freedom”? Do you stay up too late and snooze your way through the morning? Do you eat food that poisons your body? Do you think and speak with extreme emotion?

Those choices do not celebrate our freedom as adults. In fact, those habits suffocate us with the chains of anxiety, self doubt, insecurity and fear.

Today is a new day.

Today is the day you recognize freedom comes from self-discipline.

Your actions moving towards real freedom take time. The actions do not need to be perfect. They just need to be consistent. Consistent action moves us toward real freedom.