Better Mornings, Better Life

How you begin each day sets the tone for how you live each day. If you win your mornings, you win the rest of your day. Set a positive tone for each day and you will have a more positive life because your life is merely an accumulation of days. Each day is your life in miniature. How you live each day is how you live your life.

So many people wake-up and follow a morning ritual that merely focuses on the mechanics of getting ready for work or school. No thought is given to planning their day, reconnecting with their goals, learning, cultivating gratitude, or listening to something inspirational.

Many high performers recommend you begin each morning, reading, writing, and running. Reading an inspirational book, writing in a journal, and exercising. Morning exercise revs-up your metabolism which gives you more energy and releases Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) “Miracle-gro” for the brain.

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If you want to improve the quality of your life, it begins with improving the quality of your morning routine. Don’t stumble out of bed, shower, eat, and rush off to work. Chaotic mornings produce a chaotic life. I challenge you to take charge of your mornings. In just a few days or weeks you’ll notice a drastic improvement in your attitude, energy, and perspective. Best wishes and good luck!

Learn more, Control the Spirit of Your Day with One Easy Habit, The Habit: Week-4 (Keep a Journal), Prime Yourself Each Morning with Exercise.

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Change Starts with your Environment.

Willpower won’t work! Habits happen. The easiest way to interrupt a bad habit and replace it with a good habit is by shaping your environment. So many people beat themselves up over a lack of willpower when what is missing is a lack of commitment.

When you are committed, you’ll shape your environment to eliminate temptation and foster the behavior you want to adopt. If you’re serious about eating healthier, you will remove junk food from your home and always ensure you have healthy food available.

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When you are committed, you don’t rely on willpower; that inner resource that depletes as the day progresses leaving us vulnerable to temptation. If you take a moment to reflect, you will realize that most of your bad habits occur during the last hours of your day. That is because your willpower has left you naked to temptation. If you haven’t remove the temptation from your environment, you have effectively set yourself up for failure. If you want to change your behavior, start by changing your environment.

Learn more, Learn the Skill of Willpower & Identify ONE Bad Habit, Interrupt and Replace It.

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Each Day is Your Life in Miniature

The reason I obsess about habits is that what we do each day is what matters. It is our life in miniature. If you aren’t happy on a consistent basis, then you aren’t going to live a happy life. If you aren’t working on improving yourself each day, a year from now, five years from now, you will not be any better than you are today. Habits are the invisible engineers of our lives.

The best way I know to engineer a better life is by engineering better habits. We have the most control over the bookends of our day. Wake-up reading, writing in a journal and exercising. Don’t fall into the common trap of making a living and not designing a life. It is so easy to lose sight of what is important. I did it for years. It is only recently that I realized that I need to stop, stand still, and assess.

We only have one life to live, and it isn’t going to start over. Don’t waste it doing what must get done and start doing what you want to get done. What you want to accomplish. What you want to achieve. Pursuing a dream and not achieving it isn’t the greatest tragedy of life. Not having a dream to pursue is. Life holds special meaning for those brave enough to pursue their dreams. “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” Langston Hughes

Learn more, Identify ONE Wildly Important Goal.

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When you are Committed, you don’t need a lot of WILLPOWER

If you are committed, you will shape your environment, so you don’t need a lot of willpower. As the day progresses, our willpower diminishes and leaves us vulnerable to temptation. It is a lot easier to shape our environment then to try and exert control over it.

If you blew your diet last night eating junk food, I would argue that your problem isn’t a lack of willpower, it is a lack of commitment. Why was that junk food in your house in the first place? It isn’t good for you, and it isn’t good for anyone else under your roof. You don’t want to deprive your children? Of what? A lifetime of sugar addiction? A lifetime of struggling to control their weight and eating. Anytime you decide to change, you can. But it requires commitment. Shape your environment to foster good habits and remove the temptations that cause you to fall into bad habits.

Learn more, about Willpower.

Neglect leads to bad habits.

Bad habits form when we neglect to link them to their long-term consequences. One of our greatest gifts as human beings is our ability to link our decisions today with the long-term results they will produce. This mindfulness leads to better decisions. Good habits are forged through discipline; the ability to sacrifice an immediate, often short-lived pleasure for long term progress that leads to true fulfillment.

Awareness is the beginning of life change. Bad habits form at the subconscious level. When we lack mindfulness, our base instincts take over. Our actions will be driven by a desire to gain pleasure or avoid pain. When we allow ourselves to be controlled by our base instincts, we are neglecting our gift and operating at the same level as the animals. Neglect is normal. Bad habits are normal. If we want to be extraordinary, we need to operate at a higher level.