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5 Morning Motivational Hacks You Absolutely Have to Try

5 Morning Motivational Hacks You Absolutely Have to Try

If you struggle to wake up in the morning, we have news for you: you’re not alone.

Millions of people every day wrestle with the prospect of getting out of bed in a morning, and find it hard to get the motivation to follow through with it. They get there in the end, but it’s a rushed and sloppy process, leaving them unorganized and unprepared for the day ahead — until now.

For those who hate leaving the hay, here are five top tips for getting motivated in a morning. Getting out of bed, getting up and around, and everything after are all covered in this article.

1. Streamline your morning.
breakfast

    One of the main reasons we can feel so unmotivated before getting up in the morning is the amount of things we have to do before stepping out the door. You need to make that process as painless as possible — and the best way to do that is to streamline the process.

    Prepare everything the night before: breakfast, packed lunches, clothes, shower towels — everything. Have it all set out and ready the night before.

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    That way, the second you wake up, all the hard work has been done for you. Taking the effort out of your morning gives you more of a chance to plan your day ahead. This is a classic productivity technique and really give you an edge on your day.

    2. Take L-Theanine with your coffee.
    coffee

      If you need an early morning caffeine fix to perk you up before work, you may want to invest in some L-Theanine. One of the best natural nootropics on the market, L-Theanine has been seen to work in synergy with caffeine and delivers some incredible results when it comes to brain power and motivation.

      Whereas caffeine can leave you feeling a little over-powered and jittery, L-Theanine deals with that problem completely. Found in small amounts in green tea, L-Theanine promotes the relaxation hormones in your body such as Dopamine, Serotonin, and GABA — all without causing fatigue.

      In doing so, the L-Theanine and the caffeine synergize, which combines the calmness and relaxation benefits from the L-Theanine with the energy and focus from the caffeine. The result being a long lasting sense of clarity that gets you more than ready for the day ahead. You should be looking to take around 100–200 milligrams with caffeine for the best results.

      3. Exercise.
      exercise

        One of the best ways to get motivated for the day ahead is to start off with exercise. Working out is great for your mornings in so many ways — physically, practically, and mentally. It’s a strategy that keeps on giving and giving.

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        Exercise helps you physically.

        From a physical point of view, it’s an instant win. Think about how you feel when you wake up, you’re groggy, you’re unfocused, and you sure as hell aren’t motivated. But if you drag yourself down to the gym, or outside for a run, your body will start pumping you full of adrenaline and motivation.

        By the time you get to work, you’ll be all warmed up and ready to go — and definitely not sleepy.

        Exercise helps you mentally.

        Another great fact about exercise is that it releases endorphins. These are feel-good hormones that stimulate your body’s opiate receptors making your feel pleasure and euphoria. This is your body’s way of trying to help you cope with the physical stress from your workout. But they also have a dramatic effect on improving mood, and even your mental sharpness.

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        This helps perk you up for the rest of the day, giving you a positive outlook at anything the world may throw at you.

        Exercise helps you practically.

        In a nutshell, it’s one less thing to think about. How many times to plan to go the gym later in the day, and end up blowing it off, or rushing it? It weighs on your mind as another thing you need to do, before you can have some “me” time.

        Getting it out of the way early solves that problem. Working out first thing it the morning takes a load off your mind, and allows you to concentrate more on what else you need to do that day. If you’re a person who likes to get a lot done, this is the best way to go about it.

        4.Drink more water before bed.
        water

          One of the oldest tricks in the book, but it’s still incredibly effective. Drinking more water before you go to bed is not only a good way to fight dehydration, but it also helps you get out of bed in the morning.

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          Why? Because the first thing you’ll want to do when you wake up is urinate. From the second you wake up, you’re uncomfortable, and have to get out of bed.

          This is perfect — now you’re standing up and doing things; all that’s left to do is get started on your routine, and face the day ahead.

          5. Sync your morning routine to music.
          music

            Another way to get yourself motivated in the morning is by using music. Not only is a great way to pump you up for the day, it’s also a good timing mechanism. A simple lifehack that you can use here is to sync your routine up to a playlist.

            Simply go through your favorite songs, and found out how long each one is, and then run that past what you need to do before you leave the house. For example, if your shower is only four minutes long, pick a four-minute song. If you know the song well, you’ll know how close it is to finishing -—and how far you should be done with your shower.

            Start the playlist as soon as you wake up, and by the time it’s finished you’ll be up ready for the day ahead. Plus it’ll do wonders for getting you hyped up, as music has been proven to influence mood.

            Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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            Saul McArthur

            Copywriter

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            Last Updated on July 17, 2019

            The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

            The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

            What happens in our heads when we set goals?

            Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

            Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

            According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

            Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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            Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

            Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

            The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

            Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

            So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

            Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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            One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

            Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

            Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

            The Neurology of Ownership

            Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

            In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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            But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

            This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

            Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

            The Upshot for Goal-Setters

            So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

            On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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            It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

            On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

            But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

            More About Goals Setting

            Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

            Reference

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