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5 Simple Morning Rituals to Supercharge Your Day

5 Simple Morning Rituals to Supercharge Your Day
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How would you like to increase your productivity, feel happier and be more confident every day?

The secret to supercharging your day is through the power of a morning ritual.

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How you spend those first few minutes upon waking is a critical factor that can determine the outcome of your entire day. If you wake up feeling stressed, overwhelmed, negative and tired, then you’re definitely not getting the day started off on the right foot. Unfortunately, this is how most people start their day. They focus on all the stuff they have “to do”, then feed their mind with negativity by reading the newspaper, and consuming their cup of coffee to get that caffeine boost to get them going. They are reactive, instead of proactive.

I’m going to share with you five simple morning rituals that can help you supercharge your day. By applying some–if not all–of these tips immediately upon waking, you’ll notice more energy, happiness and that you’ll be more productive throughout the day.

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1. Smile immediately upon waking

As simple as this sounds, smiling can make a significant impact on your mood. By forcing yourself to smile each morning, you’re sending signals to your brain to release chemicals that will make you feel happy. Smiling allows you to be grateful for the gift of today and will help you start off the day on a positive note.

2. Drink water

The next best thing that you can do to take care of your body is by keeping yourself hydrated. Your body is massively dehydrated while asleep and is desperate for water upon waking. Avoid drinking coffee or any other beverages besides water during the first hour of waking. By drinking water, your body will start to wake up and you’ll naturally feel more energized. You might not even require your coffee anymore!

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3. Get moving

By engaging your body in some physical way, you’ll immediately start to feel energized. Your emotions are linked to how you use your body, which is why it’s important to use it first thing in the morning to get yourself primed. Going for a walk first thing in the morning, doing some stretching, yoga, or physical exercise are all fantastic ways to wake your body up, feel more energized, and be more productive throughout the day.

4. Feed your mind

Most people enjoy reading the newspaper in the morning, which can be affecting your mood and happiness levels. Most of the news that you’ll read or see on TV is primarily negative, which affects your mood. Try reading something positive or uplifting each morning, instead of feeding your mind with negativity with the news. Reading a few pages of a good book, watching an inspiring YouTube video, or listening to an audiobook can help feed your mind with that boost of motivation and positivity that will carry you forward for the rest of your day. Even just meditating for a few minutes can help silence your mind and get rid of any negativity, stress, or worries that might flood your mind in the morning.

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5. Plan your day

Spending a few minutes to plan what you want to accomplish that day is one of the most powerful things that you can do to increase your productivity. Most people start the day without a plan, therefore are reacting to whatever comes up. Instead, proactively plan out what you want to accomplish that day and write it on paper. Just the act of writing it out will make your brain focus on it, which increases the chances of you achieving it. Setting goals or intentions for your day can also be a powerful way to set the expectations of what you want to achieve.

By applying just a few of these simple tips each morning, you can radically improve the outcome of your entire day. You’ll begin to feel happier, more productive, more energized, and ultimately get better results. People will notice that you seem different. You’ll feel less stressed and more relaxed. You’ll feel like you are in charge of your life, which will give you more confidence.

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You are what you repeatedly do every day. Focus on cultivating these new habits into your life and watch how your life improves.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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