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10 Rituals That Morning People Use To Start Successful Days

10 Rituals That Morning People Use To Start Successful Days

The early bird catches the worm. Morning people have the advantage of a head start. However, they do not count their success on the chance of spotting a shooting star at dawn. Instead, they create a routine and stick to it. Here are 10 morning rituals that help morning people succeed.

1. They get up an hour early

It is easier for a morning person than for an evening soul to wake before the crack of dawn. Successful morning people don’t take this ability lightly. They consider it one of their many strengths to be nurtured. And we all know that promoting our strengths is the key to success. When you make waking up early a habit, you will have an extra hour a day, everyday, to do more and achieve more.

2. They do exercise

When morning people work out, they get their circulation going and clear their mind. Their body feels better and their thinking gets clearer. Would you agree that it would be a big push for a day of productivity? Then, pick up your running shoes or a yoga mat and start your blood going. You will be grateful for it later.

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3. They go outside to breathe in fresh air

The freshness of the morning air is good for both the body and the mind. One of the first thing a highly achieving person often does in the morning is to step outside. The morning dew reminds her of a new day when she can again start afresh and strike for the best.

4. They list the priorities of the day

Everyday you have a lot of things to do. Finish up a project for the new client. Take your kids to school. Reply to the emails that have been piling up in your inbox. Pick up the dry-cleaning for your wife. And so on. Before digging into any of those many things, a morning person will take a few minutes to pick out a few priorities. Those are the things that you consider most urgent or matter the most.

5. They visualise their steps during the day

An effective way to get things done is to plan ahead. Morning people often map out the whole day way before they start it. What needs to be done? How many steps it involves? Everything can be planned roughly, say, in the shower.

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6. They set goals

A day is not only about ticking off task after task. It is about achieving new things and reaching to a higher level. Successful people often take time to set goals in the morning. What do you want to achieve with this project? Where are you going with mentoring that colleague? Ask yourself questions relating to your goals so you stay focused on achievement.

7. They eat a healthy breakfast

Sometimes there is a temptation to just grab whatever is in the fridge for breakfast, or even to rush out without having it. But neither of these are a good idea. Morning people know better. They make a wholesome breakfast which they enjoy peacefully before whatever hectic day unfolds. Healthy food fuels your body properly and helps you maintain focus throughout the day.

8. They make a perfect cup of coffee, and just sit and think

Morning people have the luxury of time to brew a cup of coffee (or tea) perfectly. The drink not only wakes them up but also gives them the chance to sit down and reflect on life. That is the time for you to be thankful for your beautiful kid or your loving partner. Then there are the exciting projects you are taking on and the helpful colleagues you work with. By the cup of coffee, you reconnect with what is important in your life and the reasons why you get out of bed each morning.

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9. They greet others with a smile

A happy morning soul often greats everyone including strangers. You open up yourself to others. What is more, an friendly good morning with a big smile is contagious. You are helping both you and others relax into a good day.

10. They clear their desk

They recycle yesterday’s newspaper. They tidy up their files and put things back where they belong. Morning people like to start fresh. It is important for their success to keep their place and their mind uncluttered.

Are you a morning person? What are your personal experiences? How far are you in building these habits? Share your thoughts with us.

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Featured photo credit: Man watching sunrise on balcony/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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