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25 Amazing Running Routes Around The World

25 Amazing Running Routes Around The World

Training for and and successfully completing a marathon is a big deal. For many, the monotonous training is a bore to say the least. But for the crazy bunch such as myself, it is a hobby that brings much excitement and necessary self-discipline.

I’ve run more than 20 marathons, including three Comrades Marathons over the past six years. I’ve become a seasoned athlete who runs all-year round. For me though, running the same races year in and year out has the potential to become a massive bore.

Perhaps you fall into the same “I am bored of the same races” category. Maybe you are a novice who’s looking to participate in his or her first marathon. Or maybe, you are a part-time marathon athlete who loves travelling.

Whatever your circumstances, I’ve put together a list of 25 amazing routes in 17 countries, four continents and the Caribbeans. These are routes that have epic views, incredibly supportive fans and a great sense of culture that will appeal to any runner or avid traveller.

I’ve run a few of these races myself and I hope to complete all of the races below by the time I put up my running gear (which won’t be anytime soon!). And hopefully, this list inspires you to lace up, train and travel more.

1. Soweto Marathon, Soweto, South Africa

Running in the southwestern Townships (Soweto) of Johannesburg, the marathon takes you through the rich culture of South Africa.

The race starts in Nasrec and takes you through six significant landmarks:

– Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (the third largest hospital in the world)

– Walter Sisulu Square

– Regina Mundi Catholic Church (the largest Roman Catholic Church in South Africa)

– Morris Isaacson High School

– Vilakazi Street (the only street in the world to have housed two Noble Peace Prize Winners in Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu)

amazing running routes

    Hector Pieterson Memorial (memorial and museum that commemorates the role of the country’s students in the struggle against apartheid) is also a featured landmark on the trail. The route eventually takes you back to Nasrec, where you will pass the 90,000 person capacity FNB Stadium, also known as Soccer City, where the 2010 World Cup was played.

    amazing running routes

      www.sowetomarathon.com

      2. Great Wall Of China Marathon, Tianjin, China

      Considered one of the toughest marathons in the world, the route starts near the village of Huangyaguan, northeast of Beijing. It proceeds to the Great Wall, the world’s longest wall and biggest ancient architecture, where you will go up and down 5,164 steps.

      China_GreatWallMarathon2013_062

        Here, you can expect to see a stunning array of scenery:

        – The beaches of Qinhuangdao, rugged mountains around Beijing

        – The desert corridor between the tall mountain ranges at Jiayu Pas

        From there, you proceed through scenic villages and rice fields before looping back to the Wall again for the final portion of the race, when you’ll finish in the center of Yin and Yang Square.

        amazing running routes

          www.great-wall-marathon.com

          3. TCS New York City Marathon, New York, USA

          With more than 50,000 finishers, 10,000 volunteers and one million spectators in 2014, the New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the United States. Dubbed “the most prestigious endurance event in the world”, the course takes you through the five boroughs of New York City: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island.

          5 boroughs

            Considered one of the toughest courses of the major marathons in America, it has deceptive hills that force you to pace yourself adequately as you make your way past these historic landmarks and millions of screaming supporters that are guaranteed to give you an adrenaline rush.

            Amazing running routes

              www.tcsnycmarathon.org

              4. Virgin Money London Marathon, London, England

              One of the World Marathon Majors Series that awards a $1 million prize to the top male and female marathoners in the top six world races, it attracts nearly 40,000 athletes every year.

              This marathon is a flat, fast race that starts in Blackheath in southeast London and passes the most iconic landmarks of England – Big Ben, the Tower of London, the London Eye – and runs along the River Thames and across the Tower Bridge.

              amazing running routes

                The event crosses the finish line in front of Buckhngham Palace.

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                London Marathon map

                  www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com

                  5. Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris, France

                  In 2013, Paris received approximately 29.3 million visitors, making it one of the top tourist destinations. What better way to tour the place as an athlete?

                  The marathon is one of the largest in the world, with approximately 140 nationalities and 50,000 athletes having participated in 2013. The course itself offers spectacular views and landmarks all along the route.

                  Starting off on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, the course runs alongside the banks of Seine and past some of the city’s greatest sites (famous Louvre, Place de la Concorde, Place la Bastille).

                  amazing running routes

                    Runners then run a loop around the Bois de Vincennes and return to the heart of the city and Rue de Charenton, the halfway point. The inward stretch follows the course of the Seine, passing Ile de la Cite and going under the Pont Neuf, and through a series of tunnels.

                    For those in need, there is a large drink station and foot massage area at Trocadero, facing the Eiffel Tower. The route then continues along the Seine, before branching east towards Bois de Boulogne, finally emerging for the final 200 metres and the finish line on the Avenue Foch.

                    www.schneiderelectricparismarathon.com

                    6. Reggae Run, Negril, Jamaica

                    Home to some of the greatest athletes, like the world’s fastest runner, Usain Bolt, The Amazing Reggae Marathon is Jamaica’s premier International Marathon Event.

                    The race starts at Long Bay Beach Park, situated along Negril’s lively 7-mile white sand beach. It proceeds and loops into the town of Negril and then heads north toward the town of Green Island.

                    amazing running routes

                      Lined with enthusiastic spectators and pulsating Reggae music on course, you are guaranteed to have an “irie” race. The Finish Line Beach Bash affords everyone an opportunity to relax on the beach with special offerings and entertainment geared toward having a total blast.

                      amazing running routes

                        www.reggaemarathon.com

                        7. Honolulu Marathon, Honolulu, Hawaii

                        Hosted in December, the Honolulu Marathon is one of the largest in the United States and attracts more than 25,000 athletes annually.

                        The race starts in Ala Maona Beach Park and passes through several famous Hawaiian landmarks, such as Lolani Palace, the only royal palace in the U.S.

                        amazing running routes

                          The route also makes its way past the statue of surfing hero Duke Kahanamoku on surfing heaven Waikiki Beach and Kawaiahao Church and Diamond Head. The run comes to an end in Kapiolani Park, the state’s first public park.

                          On race day, this park is transformed to a joyful festival with approximately 50,000 spectators. Being a part of this is a definite must for any athlete.

                          amazing running routes

                            www.honolulumarathon.org

                            8. Two Oceans Marathon, Cape Town, South Africa

                            It was established in 1970, and attracts the cream of local and international athletes alike. Affectionately known as “The world’s most beautiful marathon”, the 56-km ultra-marathon takes you through a backdrop of scenery that paces you around the Cape Peninsula via Chapman’s Peak, Hout Bay and Constantia Nek.

                            Below is a picture of myself making my way up Chapman’s Peak:

                            amazing running route

                              These views, in addition to the tough course, will leave you breathless.

                              amazing running routes

                                www.twooceansmarathon.org.za

                                9. Marathon International de Marrakech, Morocco

                                This race is run in Marrakesh, a magical town that offers an exceptional setting, a very mild climate in January and a beautiful circuit considered to be one of the fastest in the world.

                                marrakech

                                  The route takes you through the city’s 12th-century ramparts, Menara gardens on dusty roads lined with palms. And the imposing Atlas Mountains provide an astonishing backdrop to the pink-walled city.

                                  Semi-Marathon-International-De-Marrakech-map

                                    www.marathon-marrakech.com

                                    10. Boston Marathon, Boston, Massachusets

                                    With the first marathon dating back as far as 1897, the Boston Marathon is the oldest and most prestigious race in the United States.

                                    With rigorous qualifying standards, it is a dream marathon for many athletes. It is run on Partiots Day and starts in Hopkins. Nearby is a statue of George V. Brown, starter of the marathon between 1905 and 1937, with his starter’s pistol aloft.

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                                    At the one-mile mark at Weston Nurseries on Route 135 is a statue honoring Stylianos Kyriakides, whose victory in the 1946 race brought worldwide attention and badly need relief supplies to his war-torn homeland of Grace.

                                    amazing running routes

                                      The race continues east on Route 16 into the Newton Lower Falls and emerges at the firehouse onto Commonwealth Avenue. Here, you will find a bronze statue at the start of the Newton hills, depicting a 27-year-old Kelley winning the 1935 race and an 84-year-old Kelley completing his final marathon in 1992.

                                      The race eventually finishes in Copley Square near the Boston Public Library.

                                      amazing running routes

                                        www.baa.org

                                        11. Athens Classic Marathon, Athens, Greece

                                        The Athens Classic Marathon is one of the biggest sporting events in Greece. And if history is anything to go by, it is probably the first marathon to be run in the world. In 490 B.C., a giant Persian army invaded the small town of Marathon, near the coast of Greece.

                                        However, the Greek defeated the Persians. Following that, a messenger named Pheidippides was sent to Athens to bring news of the victory. The young Greek ran 26.2 miles from battlefield to the capital to announce the victory.

                                        Approximately three miles into the run, you will come across the “Tomb of Marathon Warriors.” This is a 10 mile high burial mound where 192 men who died in battle were collectively cremated and buried as a sign of honour.

                                        amazing running routes

                                          The first 12 kilometers are level, with gentle long hills in the middle 19 kilometers. The final 11 kilometers are a downhill run that takes you into the magnificent Olympic Stadium in Athens.

                                          amazing running routes

                                            www.athensmarathon.com

                                            12. Dublin Marathon, Dublin, Ireland

                                            Dubbed the “friendly marathon,” the Dublin Marathon is run through the capital’s historic Georgian streets and its magnificent park. The race is single lap that is largely flat and starts and finishes close to the City Centre, in Fitzwilliam Square and Merrion Square, respectively.

                                            Two, well-known landmarks on the route are the City Hall and Dublin Castle.

                                            amazing running routes

                                              Dublin, which has more green spaces per square kilometer than any other area in Europe, sees the marathon make its way past St. Stephen’s Green, Brickfields Park, Phoenix Park, Bushy Park and Elm Park Golf Course.

                                              With ideal running conditions and a fantastic crowd in support, this race is indeed a friendly one.

                                              dublin_route_map

                                                13. Comrades Marathon, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

                                                With its inception in 1921, the Comrades Marathon is the world’s oldest ultra-marathon and attracts nearly 20,000 athletes yearly.

                                                Commonly known as “The Ultimate Human Race”, it is a 56-mile grueling run that consists of an “Up” and “Down” route. Known for more its spirit and tradition, than it is the scenery, it always starts with blaring music in the background and the “Chariots of Fire” theme minutes before the race begins at 5:30 am.

                                                Ultimately, the recorded cockcrow of Max Trimborn signals the grueling but incredibly worthwhile ultra-marathon for any long distance runner.

                                                On the “Up” run you pass two villages, Camperdown and Cato Ridge, which are often packed with large crowds of spectators lining both sides of the road.

                                                In addition, you pass the “Wall of Honour”, situated at the half-way point in Drummond. It overlooks the Valley of 1,000 Hills and was created to serve as a permanent landmark to commemorate the achievement of Comrades runners who have completed the epic “Up” run.

                                                amazing running routes

                                                  The “Up” run is slightly shorter and starts in Durban and finishes in Pietermaritzburg. The “Down” run starts in Pietermaritzburg and finishes in Durban.

                                                  The Comrades Marathon is a must run race for every long distance athlete.

                                                  amazing running routes

                                                    www.comrades.com

                                                    14. Puerto Rico Marathon, Puerto Rico

                                                    The Puerto Rico Marathon is a popular destination race, combining a Caribbean vacation with first-class competition. The scenic route takes you along the Atlantic Ocean and past the San Geronimo Fort & Museum and the University of Puerto Rico.

                                                    amazing running routes

                                                      Run under tropical conditions, albeit humid and hot, and filled with spectators that cheer you on in Spanish and English, you can’t help but admire this wonderful race.

                                                      amazing running routes

                                                        www.marathonpuertorico.com

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                                                        15. Marathon de la Baie du Mont Saint-Michel, France

                                                        Approximately 5,000 athletes, representing approximately 30 nationalities, participate in this event annually.

                                                        It is the only race in France where one can see the finish (the Mount) from the start. It starts with a run along the seafront of the Bay going through (among other interesting spots) Le Vivier-sur-Mer in Brittany and Cherrueix, which is famous for its sand-yachting races.

                                                        amazing running routes

                                                          It then crosses a polder area and makes its way to the towering fortified village of Normandy’s Mont Saint-Michel.

                                                          amazing running routes

                                                            www.montsaintmichel-marathon.com

                                                            16. Sparkasse 3-Laender Marathon, Germany; Austria; Switzerland

                                                            When we talk unique, the running route of this marathon amazes many. Run in three countries, the marathon starts from the beautiful Island of Lindau in Germany.

                                                            Start_Lindau (1)

                                                              You then run along Lake Constance for about 60% of the race. Here, you pass the iconic 7,000-seater Seebuhne (of floating stage), running through the Austrian towns of Lochau, Bregenz, Hard and Höchst.

                                                              The race continues over the Swiss border at St. Margreten and continues across the Rheindamm back to Hard and finally finishes in the Casino-Stadium in Bregenz, Switzerland, where a cheering crowd awaits you.

                                                              With mountain views are on either side as you run over rivers, bridges, and alternating asphalt and cobblestone streets, it is a spectacular race to participate in.

                                                              3 in one route map

                                                                www.sparkasse-3-laender-marathon.at/en

                                                                17. The Big Five Marathon, Entabeni Game Reserve, Limpopo, South Africa

                                                                For those love wild life, this is a popular event that attracts athletes from all over the world.

                                                                Running through the enormous and magnificent surroundings of the Entabeni Game Reserve, it combines exciting game drives with a challenging marathon route that goes through the most famous African Big Five game – elephants, rhinos, buffalo, lions and leopards.

                                                                amazing running routes

                                                                  Running with no fences and rivers and passing through a section known as ‘lion country’, this event is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

                                                                  amazing running routes

                                                                    www.big-five-marathon.com

                                                                    18. Chicago Marathon, Chicago, Illinois

                                                                    The Bank Of America Chicago Marathon is huge event that attracts in excess of 40,000 athletes from more than 50 states and countries.

                                                                    Supported by more than 1.5 million spectators, runners start and finish in Grant Park, located just south of the New Eastside neighborhood, which features a unique three-level roadway system and is home to several residential and commercial high rises, such as the Aon Center and Prudential Building

                                                                    Runners also pass through Streeterville, an energetic neighborhood that blends together luxury hotels, fabulous shopping, arts and fine dining. It is in this neighborhood that you see the shopper’s paradise, the Magnificent Mile – eight blocks of more than 460 shops and boutiques.

                                                                    amazing running routes

                                                                      The course takes you through magnificent cities and you make you past 29 Chicago neighborhoods. The race also makes its way through Near West, a neighborhood that houses the United Center, home stadium of the Chicago Bulls and the Blackhawks.

                                                                      Along the route you will also experience an abundance of Greek, Italian and Chinese culture as the race makes its way through the neighborhoods of Greektown, Little Italy, Pilsen and Chinatown. And the dancing doesn’t stop in Pilsen, Chicago’s largest Latino community.

                                                                      Over the 26.2 miles, the course weaves through these incredibly dynamic, individual neighborhoods into the tale of one city, making this an incredible experience that showcases the importance of community and a united spirit.

                                                                      amazing running routes

                                                                        www.chicagomarathon.com

                                                                        19. Big Sur International Marathon, California, USA

                                                                        The Big Sur International Marathon is an annual marathon held in California.  The marathon was established in 1986 and attracts about 4,500 participants annually. Featuring rolling hills, Big Sur is the largest rural marathon in the world, winding through redwoods, paralleling ranches, and offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

                                                                        At the halfway point, the route makes its way past the Bixby Creek Bridge, California’s favorite coastal bridge.

                                                                        amazing running routes

                                                                          With live entertainment throughout the race, it’s a lovely event to participate in.

                                                                          amazing running routes

                                                                            www.bsim.org

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                                                                            20. Bagan Temple Marathon, Burma

                                                                            Tucked away in central Myanmar and home to more than 2,000 temples, Bagan’s beauty and historical significance is unsurpassed. Sacred pagodas and beautiful temples are scattered across the plains of Bagan, creating a mystical, striking landscape.

                                                                            The marathon course will take runners on a voyage of discovery into this alluring and untouched land.

                                                                            amazing running routes

                                                                              The heat and dusty course is a challenge for most runners participating the Bagan Temple Marathon. However, the beautiful temples, the friendly villagers, the other-worldly atmosphere make this marathon one of a kind

                                                                              amazing running routes

                                                                                www.bagan-temple-marathon.com

                                                                                21. BMW Berlin Marathon, Berlin, Germany

                                                                                With the first run in 1974 attracting 286 runners, this marathon has grown in leaps and bounds and now sees approximately 40,000 runners participate.

                                                                                With more than a million spectators, the course starts and finishes next to one of the capital’s most famous landmarks – the Brandenburg Gate. The route also takes you via notable spots such as the Reichstag and Berliner Dom.

                                                                                amazing running routes

                                                                                  With skaters cheering you on as you pace yourself through classic buildings of the east and hi-tech shops and modern properties of the west, this race is indeed a unique one.

                                                                                  amazing marathon routes

                                                                                    www.bmw-berlin-marathon.com

                                                                                    22. Swiss Alpine races, Switzerland

                                                                                    This event has a heritage of three decades. In recent times, the diversity of runners and routes amid Graubenden’s amazing alpine scenery makes the Swiss Alpine Marathon more than just a race.

                                                                                    amazing running routes

                                                                                      The event has also evolved into a family experience, involving very young participants and organizing a team relay. It’s a must for any family of athletes.

                                                                                      amazing running rout

                                                                                        www.swissalpine.ch

                                                                                        23. Marathon du Medoc, Bordeaux, France

                                                                                        The Marathon du Medoc provides an out of the ordinary experience for its participants. With a limit of 8,500 participants, it takes you through a stunningly beautiful circuit of more than 50 chateuax.

                                                                                        amazing running routes

                                                                                          With more than 52 other events alongside the race, 22 refreshments stands and 21 food stands and special gourmet stands, the event provides a feast second to none. Plus, as you make your way through the festivities – with the occasional sip of wine – you are cheered by 3,000 volunteers and approximately 10, 000 spectators.

                                                                                          amazing running routes

                                                                                            www.marathondumedoc.com

                                                                                            24. GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, Victoria, BC, Canada

                                                                                            With the limit of participants set at 4,000, this marathon is a flat route that showcases Canada’s natural beauty.

                                                                                            Run along the southern tip of the island, with the Olympic Mountain range visible in the distance, the course takes runners past landmarks such as the BC legislative buildings, Ogden Point, Beacon Hill Park and the statue of Terry Fox at Mile ‘O’.

                                                                                            amazing running routes

                                                                                              www.runvictoriamarathon.com

                                                                                              25. Marathon of the Midnight Sun, Tromso, Norway

                                                                                              Whoever said running marathons is boring?

                                                                                              Run at the height of summer in the Norwegian town of Tromso in the Arctic Circle, and in the middle of the night with the sun sitting above the horizon, illuminating the road ahead.

                                                                                              The start and finish lines are in the city centre. Runners head off towards the Tromsø Bridge, two km in to the race which arcs uphill from 6 to 43 meters above sea level. At the 20 km point runners cross back over the bridge, returning to and passing through the city centre.

                                                                                              midnight-sun-maraton-tromso-norway

                                                                                                The second half of the course is quite flat and easy. The course loops round and brings runners back to the city centre again, this time to the finish line and cheering crowds.

                                                                                                amazing running routes

                                                                                                  www.msm.no

                                                                                                  Whoever could have thought that running at midnight, with sun shining brightly, was possible? Whoever could have thought that the pain and monotony of marathon running could be this fun? I hope you’ve enjoyed the read. More importantyly, I hope it encourages you to strive to live a healthy, adventurous and exciting lifestyle.

                                                                                                   

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                                                                                                  Peteni Kuzwayo

                                                                                                  Peteni is the founder of Run For Wealth. He shares about entrepreneurship and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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                                                                                                  Last Updated on September 10, 2019

                                                                                                  7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                                                                                  7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                                                                                  Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                                                                                                  Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                                                                                                  This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                                                                                                  One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                                                                                                  Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                                                                                                  Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                                                                                                  1. Gratitude

                                                                                                  Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                                                                                                  The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                                                                                                  Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                                                                                                  So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

                                                                                                  Gratitude-Quotes

                                                                                                    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                                                                                                    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                                                                                                    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                                                                                                    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                                                                                                    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                                                                                                    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                                                                                                    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                                                                                                    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                                                                                                    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                                                                                                    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

                                                                                                    write down goals

                                                                                                      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                                                                                                      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                                                                                                      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                                                                                                      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                                                                                                      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                                                                                                      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                                                                                                      6. Rise Earlier

                                                                                                      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                                                                                                      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                                                                                                      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                                                                                                      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                                                                                                      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                                                                                                      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                                                                                                      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                                                                                                      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                                                                                                      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

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                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                                                                                                      Reference

                                                                                                      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                                                                                                      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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