I wrote recently about my moment of clarity. Before I fell asleep I had seen, laid out for me, was the plan of how to become the person I want to be. When I woke I didn't remember every single detail, but I still had the highlights. One of those highlights was this, presentation matters.
In my line of work pretty much any attire is considered appropriate. I have a coworker who wears oversize sweats and t-shirts every day and I have a coworker who wears nice jeans and blouses every day, so I have always figured "ehh, I'm walking between the two, I'm probably fine". Except what I mean is that I wake up five minutes before I have to leave for work. When I get there (inevitably late) I'm wearing jeans that are two or three sizes to big and/or stained with t-shirts that are either normally reserved for workout gear or I bought twenty pounds ago. Which means I don't look very professional.
Yet I know the difference in how I feel and how my kids (and parents) treat me when I present a more professional image. First of all my kids think of me as more of an authority figure when I'm dressed like one (which is true of my parents too). Second, and more important, I maintain my work-zen better when I'm more conscious of my presentation. The image I present to the world absolutely affects the way I feel about myself and thus about my job. And if I'm better able to maintain my zen my kids react to that. It's a snowball. I go into work more zen, which combined with my more professional presentation makes my kids react differently to me, which allows me to maintain my zen. But I only know all of that from the five or six days a year I have to present a professional image.
So tomorrow I'm skipping the snooze button. I'm putting on jeans that fit, a cute top, and my trademark "under a minute" makeup; and I'm leaving the house ten minutes earlier than normal. Because tomorrow is the first day on the path to the new me.