“How you greet your morning is like a boomerang. It always comes back to you. Remember this.” ― Stan Jacobs
Dwayne Johnson, also known by his wrestling show name “The Rock”, is one of the most recognized and highest-paid entertainers in the world.
Even if you don’t follow his career or haven’t seen most of his movies, you KNOW who he is.
Chances are you’ve seen him in something over the last couple of decades.
His towering stature and chiseled physique make him instantly recognizable, and everything about him says “International Superstar.”
Acting, wrestling, producing – you name it, he’s done it all.
If he’s not in the latest summer blockbuster, he’s knee-deep in another project that’s raking in millions easy.
And he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
The man is a BEAST.
And one thing he’s also famous for is his notorious habit of getting up at 4 AM every morning. When I first learned about this, I thought to myself, “Is he crazy or what? I know getting up early is important, but that’s borderline masochistic.”
But considering Dwayne’s net worth and his incredible string of successful movies and other ventures…
…not to mention being number 25 on Forbes’ list of Top 100 Most Powerful Celebrities AND the highest-paid actor in 2016…
… clearly he knows something we don’t.
As soon as his alarm goes off, he doesn’t waste any time hitting the weights. Once he’s done with working out, he launches straight into planning mode while having a high-powered breakfast.
It’s during this time when he catches up on projects he’s working on, along with the others he’s got in the pipeline.
And it turns out that a lot of other successful people who’ve established themselves in their respective fields also have morning habits that have served them well.
So if you want to maximize your hustle, you’d better starting building a set of your own morning habits.
Is it worth being an early bird?
In a word, YES.
Getting into the habit of waking up ahead of everyone is, in fact, one of the best things you could do for yourself.
More than that however, having a whole series of morning rituals is a solid building block on your path to success.
Productivity equals success – there’s no way around that.
And having a reliable routine in the morning sets the stage for everything else you’ll do later on.
In the book “Deep Work”, Cal Newport stresses the importance of building habits in your life.
He says that “you get better at a skill as you develop more myelin around the relevant neurons, allowing the corresponding circuit to fire more effortlessly and effectively. To be great at something is to be well myelinated.”
So the more your brain gets used to doing something repeatedly, the better you’ll be at producing consistently high results.
That’s why it’s important to set these foundations now, so that the rest of your day runs like clockwork.
Without further ado, let’s count down the Top Morning 10 habits To Flip Your Brain’s Productivity Switch:
#10: Let the day wash over you
Ok, so the first thing you need to know is that your morning routine should start off low-pressure, then gradually crank up the speed as you go along.
Unless you’re in the military, you don’t need to hit the ground running the moment you open your eyes.
One of the reasons Dwayne Johnson gets up so early is to he can beat the sun to it. That way, he has a couple of hours of quiet alone time while everyone else is sleeping.
Now, you don’t have to watch the sun rise, but if you can manage to do so, it’s a wonderful experience.
It sets the tone for everything else to come, and you can gradually build up your momentum from this point on.
Even if you can’t wake up that early, it’s still nice to spend at least 30 minutes (or longer) after getting out of bed to simply gather your wits and reflect on the day ahead.
Just remember that in the later part of the day, you’ll be faced with a million decisions to make. So use this brief opportunity to savor the start of a new day.
#9: Get your mind right
Tony Robbins, a well-known life coach and philanthropist, sets aside time for what he calls the “Hour of Power”. This is when he does breathing exercises, sets goals and gets into affirmations.
It’s important to get in the right headspace to take on your day. Thus, meditation and inner reflection gives you the mental leverage to tackle the most difficult tasks weighing heavily on your mind.
Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter does this as well (along with exercising), which helps him clear his mind and get ready to handle the day ahead.
Getting started is as easy as sitting down with your eyes closed so you can focus on the rhythm of your breath. You’ll then enter a state of mindfulness, which is paying attention to the present moment and nothing else.
After that, you can start doing affirmations, which are basically statements of kindness and encouragement that you repeat to yourself. They bring attention to your positive qualities and strengths, as well as things you want to accomplish.
- “I am loved by the people around me.”
- “I am stronger than I think.”
- “I am productive and provide value to the world.”
- “I have what it takes to close that sale today.”
- “Getting that big task done is easier than it looks.”
By encouraging yourself, you’ll get used to the fact that you’re enough.
Everything you do and everything you are serves the exact purpose you were meant to fulfill today – and in the weeks to come.
#8: Plan Your Success!
Now that you’ve taken some time to get your bearings, you can move on to tackling your goals for the day.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed as the day goes by. So, the earlier you sort out and prioritize your to-do’s, the more you’ll feel on top of things.
Furthermore, it’s crucial you have an overall sense of purpose so you don’t stumble through the day without a clear idea of what to accomplish.
Get specific with what you want to do, and put a certain quantity and deadline along with it (e.g. run 2 miles by 8:00 AM).
Once you cross that off your list, you’ll have a greater sense of accomplishment. Then, you’re motivated to get even more done.
#7: Do something you hate
Speaking of your to-do list, everyone has that ONE item that they don’t look forward to doing.
And it’s exactly why you should get it out of the way as soon as you can.
Look, willpower is a finite resource. So it makes sense to expend your energy on that unpleasant task while you’re still in a better position to do so.
Brian Tracy, a motivational coach, author and public speaker, calls this “eating the frog”.
He recommends you wolf down that slimy amphibian as early as possible. After that, everything else will seem like a cakewalk.
It won’t be fun, but your future self will thank you for gritting your teeth and powering through it.
#6: Get your endorphin fix
Barack Obama once said, “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”
It’s this kind of efficiency we should all strive for in the morning. As you learn to put some basic things on autopilot, you can better focus your energy on the big things instead.
And one of the things the former leader of the free world can’t do without is exercise. His regimen consists of both strength and cardio training, but you should do what works best for your lifestyle.
The important thing is that you put in the time to sweat it out every morning. This is part of kicking your mind and body into high gear, and leads to greater productivity during the day.
#5: Build your positivity muscles
Most people don’t realize that their state of mind is a matter of choice.
They do this unconsciously, whether they focus on the brighter side of things…
…or choose to assume the worst in everyone and everything around them.
So, your mornings are an excellent time for you to practice a little self-awareness.
Be honest and ask yourself, “Do I have a ton of complaints running in my head as I get ready for my day?”
If you’re learning towards “Um, yeah”, then this is your chance to reverse that mindset and replace it with GRATITUDE.
Find the time to really think about the things you often take for granted, no matter how small they are.
It could be the fact that you have hot running water in the dead of winter, a hearty breakfast to look forward to…
…a partner who loves you, having high-speed internet, wearing your favorite pair of sneakers…
…or being able to get out of bed and walk upright.
This attitude sends the right energy to the Universe, which then finds its way back to you.
And when you turn this into a lifelong mental habit, it’ll keep you strong even when things suck. You can list them down on paper every day, or you can do it mentally as you’re meditating.
#4: Set it up the night before
Ok, so technically this isn’t a morning habit. But your mornings will run more efficiently if you put in a little prep time before hitting the sack.
For example, you can pick out your work and exercise clothes, clean up your desk, declutter your room, and so on. There’s something about resetting your work and living space that sets the right tone for the day.
But if you pulled an all-nighter (which is hopefully not too often), try to do it early in the day the following morning instead. Besides, your brain shouldn’t be swarming with crucial decisions at this time of the day.
So, use this time to think about what you need to do while doing the dishes, sweeping the floor or taking out the trash.
#3: Reconnect with your “why”
In one of the most iconic speeches in recent history, Steve Jobs shared the one thing he always did in the morning.
He told the 2005 graduates of Stanford University, “…for the past 33 years I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?’”
This kind of question might sound scary at first, but it crystalizes your life’s mission.
It’s a daily reminder to make the most of the time you have on earth.
In the greater scheme of things, it’s pointless to hold on to petty grudges, get caught up in selfish agendas or let the fear of trying hold you back.
So if you don’t have a mission-vision yet, you’d better get on that ASAP.
Get to the core essence of what you want to do in life, whether it’s sending your kids to college, finding the cure to cancer, or opening your own coffee shop.
Then use your early waking hours to reacquaint yourself with your ultimate goals. Read that mission statement to yourself in the morning, or make it part of your mantra during your reflection time.
#2: Eat Breakfast
Your body needs fuel to run, simple as that. You can’t expect to operate at full mental and physical capacity if you’re running on fumes.
For one thing, having enough food to burn in the morning helps stabilize your blood sugar levels.
If you skip breakfast, it’ll make you hungrier and cause you eat more than usual. This forces your body to produce more insulin than normal to handle fluctuations in your blood sugar.
Eventually, this could develop into diabetes – and that’s going seriously hamper your productivity.
Plus, there are other risks involved, like weight gain, heart disease, elevated cholesterol levels and higher blood pressure.
In other words, you can’t afford to gloss over your first meal of the day if you want to keep playing the success game.
Of course, that also means your breakfast needs to be healthy and well-balanced.
Going for that sugar-laden, fat-filled muffin might not be the best choice. Instead, go for something more sensible, like protein-rich food and a good serving of whole grains while you’re at it.
Cereals, yogurt and juice are ok, but proceed with caution. Your typical grocery aisle is filled with brands that are loaded with sugar and other processed ingredients that does more harm than good.
Do some research and pick the ones that won’t send your sugar levels through the roof.
#1: Get enough sleep, wake up early
Like breakfast, having a decent amount of shut-eye is essential. The National Sleep Foundation says adults need anywhere between 6-9 hours to recharge at night.
Skipping on this one also poses a bunch of health risks, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity…
…not to mention lowered cognitive abilities, bad memory and shortened life expectancy.
Here are a few tips for better sleep:
- NO laptops or mobile devices in bed. Their screen emits blue light which tell your brain to stay awake instead of following your natural circadian rhythm.
- Stick to a consistent bedtime. Decide what time you want to get up, and work your way back to find out what time you should be in bed.
- Make your room conducive for sleep. Draw the curtains, keep the temperature between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, and make sure your mattress and pillows support your neck and back.
It’s in your best interest to get this squared away so you can keep being awesome at what you do.
Remember, success isn’t an accident. It’s a deliberate set of choices that you make every day.
Habits aren’t always hip, cool or easy. Sometimes, those decisions aren’t any fun, either.
Muhammad Ali said that he hated every minute of his training, but the results speak for themselves. So when it comes to being successful, these morning rituals will be your best friends.
Speaking of success, there is one quality I’ve discovered which can help you naturally attract the things most of us only dream about.
A lot of folks struggle to find happiness, create wealth and have fulfilling relationships.
But as it turns out, anyone can develop a specific trait that allows them to have all of this without wasting years of their life chasing it.
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