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Leadership: The 8pm Club

Leadership: The 8pm Club

The 8pm Club

Last year leadership was a sh*t show for many of us and it definitely wasn’t a walk in the park for me and the team considering most of our work is face to face and I am a keynote speaker. ARGH! Talk about courage. So I decided to go into my own courage and make some changes this year. I hope this blog helps so many of you out there as it is helped me and many others we coach!  

I read this book called the Morning Miracle around 6 Habits to Transform Your life Before 8am. Loved it! I found it challenging at times as I had to juggle my daughter’s schooling and getting to work but it did work.

Then I read the 5am Club book. Again so good.

I gave it a go for a few months, then a few weeks then I let it slip to now and again when I could get myself out of bed. Hey 5am is so early….give me a break!

I loved the concept of spending time journaling, visualisation, mediation, affirmations, little exercise, reading and so forth. Anything I can do to be my best self is so important to me and it’s about putting on oxygen mask first.

It is something I do “most’ days then I decided to do something really radical after I read a book called Alcohol Experiment. I think you have picked up on that I read a lot. A friend recommended it to me and as I started reading the chapters around the brain and alcohol, I started to freak the f*ck out! I am passionate about Neuroscience and it stuck a rather big cord.

What am I doing….?!

Stay with me here…

Now I am not a huge drinker, maybe one or two a night…leaning on two (maybe three on the weekend!) and I knew it was the something to help me relax after a long day at work. But was it? It became this habit. I think many of us have been there or are here. I think 2020 it became a awful coping mechanism some days to have a glass of wine (only maybe 2!). No judging here…!

I decided to stop for 30 days to give it a go after reading the book. I am now at Day 20 and I am rather surprised as I truly thought I would struggle. It has been the opposite and I am seeing the incredible benefits already. I am sleeping better, losing weight (was looking like a wine bottle last year!), I am glowing, have so much more energy and I could go on and on.

Then I started doing my 5am club work at 8pm – before bed. I wanted to start going to bed early to see if it made a difference. Again I was surprised when I researched the benefits here. There are SO many.

I would get ready for bed then I would read for 8 minutes, journal about my day with lots of reflection work, visualise for my day tomorrow, say some affirmations and meditate and stretch for 8 minutes. I don’t exercise at night however I love to stretch so even if you love yoga etc., this could work.

Let me break the structure down –

8pm get ready for bed – shower, PJ’s etc.

8 minutes stretching and/or meditation, 8 minutes affirmations and/or visualisation

8 minutes journaling and/or reflection, 8 minutes reading and/or learning

Total – 32 minutes (approximately)

ONLY 32 Minutes to being your best self! What a great gift.

You are more than welcome to do longer or shorter on areas or choose other things to focus on however I have found my 8pm club has made a huge difference to my mindset and leadership.

I found it easier to commit and put this into my day. By 9pm I am ready for sleep and my sleep is deeper (maybe the no alcohol is helping here…!) and I wake up so much more motivated and energetic. It is also getting that 7-8 hours sleep.

I do wake up now around 5am so maybe I could look at flipping this back however I am best in the mornings for creative work and exercise so I pump our ideas and emails plus write in my mornings then walk for 20 minutes before my team starts. Another thing I do in the mornings is take probiotics as gut health is so important and have recently discovered this mob – The Gut Co.

It could even be your 9pm, 10pm or 11pm club where you spend 30-60 minutes focusing on your well—being, learning and self-awareness.

I know we are all different and this might not work for you.

In turn, I know so many parents that put their kids to bed at around 7pm and either work or crash. Put the “work-work” on hold and do the “work on yourself” and “work on well-being” as a priority.

I would give the 8pm Club a go and even try not drinking for 30 Days.

I know your leadership, mind, body and heart will thank you for it.

Reach out if we can help you be your best self as our leadership and executive work is about about YOU, your leadership, goals, well-being, confidence, mindset and so forth and the transformation is INCREDIBLE. Contact my team at for a free consultation.

About Sonia McDonald

Sonia McDonald is an Australian leadership executive coach and advisor, thought leader, dynamic keynote speaker and award winning author. 

She’s also CEO and founder of LeadershipHQ, and McDonald Inc. and through this she empowers and builds great leaders and leadership across the globe.

Named as one of the Top 250 Influential Women in the world as well as Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs by Richtopia and is internationally recognised as an expert in leadership and strategy, organisational development, workplace diversity and the neuroscience of leadership.

She has more than 25 years’ experience in human resource management, leadership and organisational development and has held leadership positions around the world.

Sonia has written several books on leadership: Leadership Attitude, Just Rock It! and First Comes Courage, and she writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. She has been published in BBC Capital, The Australian, HRD Magazine, Business Insider and Richtopia.