Why Being a Morning Person is an Unbelievably Good Idea

“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.” ~Richard Whately

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Do you like waking up in the morning?

Do you like waking up early in the morning?

No?

Well, you should!

Waking up early add enormous benefits to our lives. If used correctly, the extra time in the mornings can help you achieve your goals and feel better all day!

But I know what you’re thinking:

Wait but I sleep in so that I feel better! That sounds backwards

It seems backwards, and it will take a bit of preparing if you’re not already an early riser, but we’ll get to that later.

For now, the benefits (to motivate you to start!):

  • Studies show that early risers are happier, more optimistic people
  • The extra time allows you to “mosey” into the day instead of rushing headlong into people on the road, at work or your commute
  • The extra time also allow you to get something done every day that you’ve been wanting to do – something productive like exercise, work on your degree, or whatever your goals are!
  • Studies also show that humans sleep better earlier in the night versus during the later hours
  • You’ll have time to eat breakfast which also improves mood and health! If you have a family, it also provides an extra opportunity to eat and spend time together

I have naturally been a morning person, however at certain points of my life I have fallen off the bandwagon on this one. I end up “too tired” and hit the snooze a few times or set my alarm later. Which would later lead to setting my alarm later AND hitting snooze…

Which led me to rushing into my morning, skipping breakfast, getting frustrated when things weren’t going smoothly (wheeeere did that pair of purple socks go that I need? I’m late!) and arriving to wherever I was going in a frazzled mess. Not good times.

Easing into the morning, accomplishing something productive, having plenty of time to do everything you need and arriving where you need to be in a calm, confident mood instead of frazzled leads to a better overall quality of life!

If you’re an early riser already, good job and see if it’s early enough or if you’re still rushing as well.

If you’re not an early riser, you’ll have to take some steps to get there (and avoid the crankies):

  1. Figure out what time exactly you want to be waking up in the morning to not rush and do what you want to do
  2. Go to bed earlier (of course). Do this over a period of two weeks though, slowly incrementing your bedtime by 15 minutes until you’ve reaches the point at which you’ll get enough sleep
  3. Start making a goal for your next morning so whatever it is you so, you feel really good afterwards
   

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The #1 Way to Accomplish Your Goals

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”

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-Tony Robbins

 

Do you have goals?

Most people have goals – what we want, what we desire, what we know would be just be plain good for us, for our family, our community…

Exercise, organize the house, wake up earlier, learn something new,  etc.

 

Do you actively work towards them?

Do we always accomplish them? Not likely.

If goals were always accomplished, the human race would be productive mo fo’s!

But we’re not usually that way…

 

Why Not?

We all have our reasons. Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough resources. Not enough support. Not enough sleep. Not enough coffee.

 

The super-duper secret to working towards your goals?

Work towards your goal first. First time of the day, first before doing anything else, first first first!

I’ve had many aspirations in my life, and I’m pretty hard on myself when I don’t work towards them. So much so that I  get discouraged and feel bad about myself, and the whole thing actually starts inhibiting me in other areas of my life.

However, we can’t all accomplish every single whim that crosses our minds! There’s not enough hours in the day!

BUT what we can do, is prioritize, pick the biggest most important one, and work towards that. First thing in the day. Every day. Even if your don’t have much time, it’s still better than no time!

But what good does that do??

Because it creates progress. It creates momentum. It creates a daily ritual and habit of working on your goals. And I’m all about momentum and habit!

Once you get the habit of working daily on goals, it becomes automatic and it keeps it in your sites. Your mind stays focused on it, and whatever it is that you want so bad doesn’t fall by the wayside. Slow progress is still progress. Don’t put unnecessary or unrealistic time limits on anything (that just discourages progress). Just get into the habit of doing something every day.

Then guess what happens when we start doing that? We start meeting our goals. We start feeling better. We feel more accomplished. We feel motivated. We want to do more. We feel confident. We get more aspirations. Life gets grand!

 

Next Steps:

  1. Prioritize your goals (or make one if you don’t have one!)
  2. Choose which one would be the most beneficial in your life. Something that makes you feel ecstatic just thinking about
  3. Plan a time slot for working on it into your day. First thing in the morning is best, that way no matter what happens during the day, your goal doesn’t end up being cut out!
  4. Plaster motivational and reminder memos and pictures in places you see all the time. I’m talking monitors, fridges, mirrors and such
  5. Monitor your progress. If something isn’t working for you and you’re missing your daily goal times, review what’s happening and adjust as necessary!

 

   

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Is your life wasting away?

“If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.” -Benjamin Franklin

 

How much time have you wasted today? Yesterday? Last week?

What have you been wanting to do? Has it gotten done?

Well, what’s stood in your way?

These are questions I ask myself daily. There is so much I always want to do and accomplish in life, yet many don’t get done for one reason or another!

Excuses will always abound.

However, we only have so much life to live before it’s over, so it’s critical we spend it wisely!

Spending it wisely is easier said than done. Motivation is temporary and it’s easy to feel guilty if we aren’t motivated 24/7. It’s especially easy to procrastinate what we should be doing in favor with whatever we feel like doing now.

Whether that be watching TV, looking at our friend’s latest eCards on Facebook, or any other time consumer.

And then days and weeks go by and we look back and think, “Gosh I still haven’t gotten around to doing (insert life fulfilling task here)”.

But what to do about it?

The first thing to do is to document your goals. Whether they are far-reaching (learn to paint) or short term (organize the kitchen).

Secondly, figure out when the best time to accomplish those tasks would be (in the morning before everyone wakes up), and break them down into smaller chunks if it’s a biggie (practice daily, sort through one cupboard at a time).

Thirdly, figure out where all of your time is going! Start a daily log of what you did and for how long. My log on a typical day would look something like this:

  • 5:00am-6:30am – drink coffee and cruise internet at computer
  • 6:30am-8:00am – get ready for and head to work
  • 8:00am-5:00pm – work
  • 5:00pm – 6:00pm – eat dinner
  • 6:00pm – 9:00pm – cruise internet/Facebook/blogs/read email
  • 9:00pm – get ready for bed and sleep rest of the day

Wow, I didn’t do anything on my ToDo list! I had an hour and a half in the morning of relaxing with my coffee, and three hours in front of my computer that night!

It’s usually around 8:00 that I start to realize “Hey! My day is almost over already!! Where did it go??”

That’s where applications like RescueTime (if you’re on the computer  a lot like me) will help, and raising self-awareness. After you create your log, you will start becoming more self-aware of what you’re doing instead of just doing it out of routine. Awareness is the first step. RescueTime helps by actually tracking what you’re doing on your computer and for how long. You can also set limits for yourself with it so you budget your time with specific applications and websites.

After awareness, it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty of actually doing the things you want to do. And by this I mean starting on a task so that over time you’re making progress towards it getting done. This is probably the hardest step. It’s like how most of us want to exercise daily then don’t feel like it. It’s the starting that is the hardest part, so the key is to just get started!

What helps with this step is the 5-minute rule. Just tell yourself you’ll work on a task for five minutes during those periods of time that you thought would be best or easiest for you to work. Everyone has five minutes. Everyone has five minutes at any given point during the day to do something! Promise yourself you’ll just do it for five minutes, and see what happens.five-minutes

What this does is after your five minutes you’ll end up spending longer. You’re into it. You’re accomplishing something. And it’s feeling good!

So you spend longer on it.

And more gets done.

And so you spend more time…

And it becomes addicting.

It starts to feel so good over time, that it will start to bother you when you don’t spend a few minutes towards your goal. It’s the snowball effect and will build upon itself and build on itself and you’ll look back and be amazed at what you’ve accomplished!

And that’s the point at which you want to be!

 

So what to do now? Your next actions should be:

  1. Make your ToDo list
  2. Decide on a daily time period to work (break down big tasks into smaller chunks if necessary)
  3. Start your daily time log. Do this for about a week
  4. Start using preventative measures if need be to cut down on areas you think you are wasting time (RescueTime, turning the computer off, turning off your phone, closing yourself up alone in a room)
  5. Start doing it! Even if just for 5 minutes. Promise yourself 5 minutes per day. Everyone has 5 minutes to spend.
  6. Snowball effect time!!

 

   

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