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5 Great Ways to Kickstart Your Morning

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good morning start

A good day starts with a great morning ritual. One that consists of healthy habits, some quiet time for yourself and successful routines.

How you spend your morning is how you spend the rest of the day, and basically how you spend your whole life, as it is a series of days.

And if you manage to start each one with a few of the following, you’re sure to have the life of the people you look up to – the great successful role models of our time that know how to be productive and are mindful of everything they do.

So here are the best things you can include in your morning ritual:

1. Get up early

wake upIt all starts here. It won’t really matter what you’re going to do first thing after getting up, if it’s already noon and everyone else has got so much stuff done.

That’s a keystone habit, a powerful one. It takes time, but it’s worth it. Once you implement this every day, it will affect other habits – you’ll have more energy, be more productive, go to bed earlier, find time for yourself, etc.

Also, there’s something magical about the early hours of the morning. So use them in the best way possible.

 

2. Meditate

meditateAll you need to do is try to empty your mind for a few minutes.

Don’t think too much about the position of your body, whether you’ve eaten before that or not, don’t try too hard or try to control your thoughts.

Just relax, breathe deeply, let go of all your worries and leave what happened yesterday or what might happen today behind. Your goal is to stand still, enjoy the silence and focus on your breathing.

Do that each morning and soon you’ll be able to keep that state for longer.

Meditation has a phenomenal effect on your mind and soul.

 

3. Write

writeWriting is a therapy. It’s a beautiful experience where the mind wonders and you get to follow its journey by writing down the thoughts it gives birth to.

Here, you also need to just go with the flow. Write whatever comes first in your head and don’t think about how it looks, whether you’ll share it on your blog later, or if it needs editing.

Write your problems out. Share your secrets, dreams, desires and fears with a piece of paper. This way you’ll get them out of your head and will clear your mind for the day.

Plus, you get to do that in the best time of the day – the early morning – when your mind is still not fully awake, and dares to think of unusual ideas and interesting scenarios.

 

change your life pic quote inspiration
 

4. Drink a glass of water with lemon

glass water lemonMost of the times our body just needs water, nothing else. And after sleeping for so many hours, it’s dehydrated.

Give your immune system a boost and get some vitamins by adding lemon juice to it.

Lemon also alkalines your body very well which serves as a great way to keep the inflammation down.

You can also drink it warm.

This way you’ll wake up the body pleasantly. It will feel great that you don’t burden it with the usual dose of caffeine and will celebrate that by being fresh all day.

 

5. Figure out your MIT’s.

check list MITAnother thing highly productive people do is to decide which their most important tasks are in the morning, and then start working on them right away.

Choose 3 of them and stick to them until they are completed.

If you work without any distractions and really commit to that, you’ll be proud to say that by noon you’ll have finished more things (essential ones) than most people do for a whole day.

It will also become the driving force that will get you motivated to keep yourself busy with other important stuff, and thus you can soon master productivity.

It’s not a coincidence that all successful people out there, who dare to follow their dreams and put effort into reaching their goals every single day, have habits like these.

It’s what really works. But nothing can convince you more than trying it out for yourself.

That’s the best way to kickstart your day, make the best of your morning and get ahead with what you want to achieve in life.

 

What other things can you add to this list?

Lidiya K. is a writer and blogger in the fields of self-improvement, life hacking, human potential and minimalism. She's the creator of Let's Reach Success, where her mission is to motivate and inspire and think of creative and unusual ways to overcome fear, procrastination, insecurity, clutter, failure, overthinking, discontent and much more.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Rama Tadepalli

    Dec 20, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Be cautious on Diet you take – it will have influence on the body & Mind

  2. James Sommers

    Mar 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    For me the “get up early” stuff drives me nuts because, many people work nights or LATE. Not everyone works 9-5. Millions don’t. And if you have a job where you come home at 1-2 AM getting up at 5 is unhealthy (3 hours of sleep!) I ran a martial arts school for years — I’d get home late every night. So my “5 PM” was really about 10 (when I’d eat dinner).

    There was a Ted Talk about sleep by a neurologist far smarter than me who said there’s NO difference economically between morning people and late people except morning people tend to be far more smug!

  3. EPIM

    Feb 14, 2015 at 3:29 am

    always feel sleepy in the mornings especially in winter. omg. compared with lemon, i prefer a glass of water with honey 😉

  4. Danilo

    Feb 7, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Good habits 🙂 i would add 5 minutes for laughs 🙂

    • Lidiya K

      Feb 13, 2015 at 11:15 am

      Thanks. Laughing is a good one, too.

  5. cheryl

    Feb 7, 2015 at 1:18 am

    I am up at four and out the door for a run, bike ride or swim (or yoga weights) before work (I leave my house at 6:15 to get to work by 7 and work with special needs preschoolers all day)-sometimes I do a second workout if I have a big race coming up. I read/meditate and get all my other stuff done after work/dinner. I am 61 and have been doing this for the last 44 years of my life…let’s just say I sleep well at night and have more energy than the young people I work with!

    • Lidiya K

      Feb 13, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Amen to that!

      You’ve got a solid morning and evening routine and definitely know how to stick to a habit. Let’s hope that more and more people will realize how beneficial that is to every area of our lives.

      Keep doing what you do!

  6. Gabriel DoCarmo

    Feb 3, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Great article, very well written! I have to say these are some of the best morning rituals you can develop. I’ve been following Numbers 1-3 for awhile and I must say its the most productive I’ve ever been in my entire life. I agree the key to a good day is in your morning rituals. “The first hour of the day, determines the rest of it.”

    Cheers!
    Gabriel

    • Lidiya K

      Feb 4, 2015 at 10:51 am

      Thanks, Gabriel. Glad you too have felt the benefits of that habit.

  7. Gonzalo

    Feb 3, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Great straight to the point post, like it! Thanks Lidiya!

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Life

If You Want to Avoid Failure Once and for All, Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

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how to avoid failure
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You just invested in yourself and in your business. You are taking massive action but the results are just not clicking yet. While everyone is making 10X, 20X, and even 100X ROI on their initial investment, you have made $0 return. Failure is starting to overcast your bright shining positive attitude and you are feeling the pain and shame of it. (more…)

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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work

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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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3 Inspiring Lessons We Can Learn From Jim Carrey About the Law of Attraction

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jim carrey
Image Credit: Maarten de Boer

You’ve more than likely heard of Jim Carrey before. Over the years, he has starred in many popular films including The Truman Show, The Mask, and Bruce Almighty (just to name a few.)

But his personality goes a lot deeper than just his comedic persona and movie star charisma. In fact, Jim Carrey is probably one of the most philosophical individuals on the planet

Although he isn’t in the spotlight as much anymore, throughout the years, he has credited his success and fortunes by applying the Law of attraction into his life. What’s even more inspiring is that Jim Carrey, like you and I, came from humble beginnings. No silver spoon or easy ticket. In fact, his family was very poor throughout his childhood. So what made him so successful in attracting such an extravagant and self-fulfilling life?

Here are 3 lessons you can learn from Jim Carrey when it comes to manifesting your dreams into a reality:

1. You Have To Take Action

You can’t just visualize then go eat a sandwich”, Jim Carrey says. It goes without saying that the law of attraction does require action. You cannot simply rely on visualizing and expect to see results, especially when it comes to manifesting desires that other people would like to achieve also. E.g. Careers, scholarships, competitions, anything that involves another individual.

Visualization and positive thinking are crucial when it comes to using the law of attraction, but you have to meet the universe halfway with the steps you take as well. We are physical beings that require physical steps to get physical results. The real key is to make daily plans/goals in order to get you closer towards achieving your desires. So after that sandwich, make sure start taking action toward your dreams!

This could be working on your hobbies or passion, applying for that dream job or studying to get better grades. As long as you are moving toward your goals then there’s no reason why it can’t happen. So get out there and kick some butt.

2. Double Down On What You Love

My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant and when I was 12 years old he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father. Not the least of which was that: You can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

If this story of Jim Carrey’s father doesn’t pull on your heartstrings and inspire you at the same time, nothing else will! This is such an undeniable life lesson that everyone needs to learn. A lesson to take risks, push comfort zones and go all-in on what you love doing. So if your dreams, hobbies or goals seem far fetched to the majority, then you are already beating the other 99%.

Be that 1% that’s willing to dream big and rise above the norm. Unfortunately, in today’s society, our ancestral instincts still rule our everyday life. Fear is one of them and controls the majority of our population. It’s scary to push comfort zones and try something new, the thought of failure is often paralyzing to many. But my question to you is, will you look back one day and regret the chances you didn’t take?

3. Keep Your Eye On The Prize

As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it, while letting go of how it comes to pass.” Holding onto every little detail when it comes to manifesting, can conjure up more harm than good. The reason is that the universe will deliver in ways you might not expect.

If you are too busy wondering when your desires will manifest, comparing yourself to others, or ignoring every sign that doesn’t look like your detailed plan you’ve written down, then you may be missing out on opportunities that are right in front of you! Your visualizations don’t have to be perfect, in fact, it’s better to just let go altogether and focus on the result itself rather than dwelling on every little detail. This doesn’t mean to simply forget about what you want but instead having the confidence it will happen in time. 

An example of this is when Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for 30 million dollars. The only detail he knew was that he would earn it through his acting career, and he did indeed achieve this goal! So make sure to tell the universe what you want, but try not to hold onto every little detail!

Jim Carrey is just another person like you and me, with his own personal ups and downs in his road to success. He is someone to look up to when applying the law of attraction in your life too. It doesn’t matter if your goals or desires are different because the core foundation will always stay the same. You can and will do this if you think, feel and act as if it will happen!

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Life

Meditation for Beginners: How It Works and Where to Start

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Meditation was first developed in India many years ago (around 5000-3500 BCE). It took quite some time to become popular in the western world, but today, it is celebrated as a therapeutic tool to ease stress, anxiety, depression, and addictions. In the past years, it has also become recognized as helping to improve mental performance, and consequently became a multi-billion dollar business. If you’ve never tried it, you may be wondering how something so simple as sitting with your eyes closed could deliver such incredible benefits.

How meditation works

Meditation is about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective over one’s thoughts. Many think that meditating is about trying to achieve a zen state of mind, but that’s not the point. Observing one’s thoughts, and then letting go of them so that eventually you may start to better understand them, is the real goal of each meditation practice.

There are different techniques to go through this mental process. Some focus on the breath and bodily sensation, others make you visualize an object, and others help you to channel your thoughts towards acts of love and kindness.

A typical meditation session involves you sitting on a chair or cross-legged on the floor with your eyes closed. Once you assume a comfortable position and focus on your breath, you should start noticing your thoughts. At this point, according to what type of technique you’re using, you will try to let those thoughts go away by focusing on something else (this could be your breath or a mental image you created).

With time and practice, you may be able to reach a state of mind where very few thoughts (or none) are present. Despite the simplicity of this process, meditating for more than ten minutes is extremely tough for most. Many people that try meditation get discouraged by the fact that “they can’t stop thinking.” In fact, it has been proven that people spend most of their days being anything but mindful and peaceful.

In a 2010 study, Harvard researchers asked more than 2000 adults about their thoughts and actions at random moments throughout their day via an iPhone app. People’s minds wandered 47% of the time, and mind wandering often triggered unhappiness, the scientists reported.

They also observed that spending time observing our thoughts without getting stuck on them, may help to better understand oneself, and possibly being able to reduce the number of negative thoughts one experiences.

“The mind is definitely something that can be transformed, and meditation is a means to transform it.” – Dalai Lama

What science says about meditation

People have practiced meditation for thousands of years, but scientists have studied its effects for only a dozen. In the past few years, many studies have been published about the neurological benefits of meditation, proving it to improve brain function in many different ways.

Meditation’s benefits range from preserving the aging brain, to improving happiness by reducing the activity of the brain’s “me center” (monkey mind). A more recent study has even proven that meditation is as powerful as antidepressants in treating depression, anxiety, and pain. Many more studies are being conducted every day on meditation, and we can expect to gain a lot more insight in the near future.

Can anyone meditate?

Millions of people are practicing mindfulness meditation every day with great results, but there are also as many people that have tried meditating and didn’t like it or didn’t manage to be consistent with their practice. The most important part of developing a meditation practice is consistency. You don’t have to meditate every single day, but the benefits are tied to regular, consistent practice.

Some studies claim that some benefits of meditation such as improved mood, decreased stress and decreased blood pressure, can be felt after a single session. Some other benefits like increased focus and decreased anxiety may be experienced after a few weeks and others take longer to develop.

Some people claim that as little as five minutes of meditation per day can make miracles, but research shows that a regular practice associated with benefits involves 10-20 minutes of meditation at least three times per week.

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” – Mother Teresa

What’s the best way to begin a meditation practice?

A good place to start for aspiring mediators is Headspace. Andy Puddicombe, a former English student in sport science, dropped his studies to travel to Asia and trained as a Buddhist monk. He created Headspace with the goal of helping millions of people to live a more mindful life. Over 30 million people have downloaded and use headspace. This is due to his simplicity and its beautiful design and animations.

Do you meditate? If so, what’s your favorite aspect of it? Share your thoughts below!

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