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Success & Career

3 Secrets of Successful, Ambitious Early Risers



3 Secrets of Successful, Ambitious Early Risers

Two scenarios:

  1. You wake up to the sound of your alarm, see that you snoozed one too many times and you now have to run into the shower, pick up some random bar laying on your kitchen counter for breakfast and drive as quickly as you can to work, infuriated with all the “horrible drivers” around you.
  2. You wake up an hour before you actually need to leave your house for work. You spend the first 30 minutes getting ready, making sure the shower water is the perfect temperature. You have ample time to make some amazing eggs with toast, and you look like a 10 because you had more than enough time to get ready. You spend the last 30 minutes before you have to go to work either meditating, planning your day, spending some time with your kids, writing in your journal, reading the book you’ve been dying to get to, or knocking out a work-task you know you’ll have to finish later that day. You leave to work feeling incredible. You look great, your stomach is satisfied, your brain is ready for action and for some reason the drivers around you aren’t driving you crazy. You of course, get to work on time, feeling relaxed.


The fact of the matter is, that it doesn’t matter who you are, what your job is or where in the world you are. It also doesn’t matter what exactly you want to do in the morning. Becoming a morning person creates time for you to engage in all the activities you want to do, and complete all the work you need to do without feeling stressed or under pressure.


Becoming a morning person is the single best change I ever made to my life.



Because time increases exponentially the earlier you wake up.



The extra time gained by not having to deal with transportation time and external distractions are all compounded by either knocking out necessary tasks of the day or making sure your heart, body and mind are properly fueled and primed for a fantastic day ahead.


With less external distractions, less time wasted getting from one place to another, and getting out of bed on “the right” foot, you can get a lot more done a lot, more quickly, plain and simple.


It all sounds nice, right?


The real “problem” is actually beginning to take steps towards becoming an early riser who makes use of the morning hours.


Here are some tips you can implement to become a morning person:

Main Point: If you REALLY desire to be an early riser and you’re willing to commit to it then the one thing you really need to understand is thatyou need to break your negative connection with the early morning by:


 (a) making it as easy as possible to get the day started after you wake up

 (b) waking up with energy

 (c) having a reason to wake up.


That being said, the transition is difficult, so here are some of the tips to get you through the struggle!


1.) The importance of the night before

Waking up early isn’t easy and to become a morning person you need to make the transition as simple and smooth as possible. One of the ways to do that is eliminate all the decision making you usually do in the morning. Decision fatigue is a real problem, and in the morning you need all the energy you can get, you can’t waste it making petty decisions about what is going to look cute to wear today or thinking about what you really feel like eating for breakfast today.


You need to have the following items done before you go to bed:

A. All your bags packed and ready to go for the next day so that you don’t have to do anything besides pick it/them up on the way out of the house.

B. The clothes you want to wear the next day should be decided and laid out where you can just grab them and put them on after you brush your teeth.

C. What you want to eat for breakfast (if you want to eat breakfast—I definitely recommend it to get your energy up in the morning—specifically some carbs for long-lasting energy).

D. The first few tasks you want to knock out in the morning or rather what the first few hours of your morning is going to consist of.


2.) Waking up with energy:

I know you’ve heard it a thousand times and it still doesn’t get any easier, but I PROMISE if you do this, you’ll automatically start feeling more energetic when you get up.


As soon as you open your eyes and turn on your alarm, you forget about what your mind and body are saying, they’re lazy. They’re exactly what prevent you from being an early riser. They need training.


So this is what you do, you open your eyes and the second you realize you’re awake you JUMP out of bed and do 10 jumping jacks.


How simple is that, just 10 jumping jacks. Your blood starts flowing, your energy increases instantly and you’re awake, it is actually that easy if you just commit to doing it one day you’ll see, I PROMISE!


3.) Have a reason to wake up—have a PURPOSEFUL morning:

No, I don’t mean wake up and think about how beautiful life is and how lucky you are to be alive (if that’s what you want to do with the morning time, then I’m all for it). I mean you need to have something that you want to do in the morning, a task you want to accomplish early on before the madness of the day starts to slow you down. An appointment or meeting you need to go to, maybe you want to exercise early in the day.


You need a reason to get up because if you wake up with no purpose, you’ll get up, think about why the hell you’re awake so early, and you’ll end up falling back into bed.  You need to have something that you’re energetic about and excited to complete because it is either a necessary task you can get out of the way and clear up your day, OR an activity that will drive your day in the best way possible, give you some energy, and get your happiness going early on.


Some General Tips:

  1. No matter what you do, waking up early in the morning is going to be a struggle at first. Make it a LAW, make it a RULE. I HAVE TO WAKE UP AT X TIME EVERY DAY NO MATTER WHAT.Nothing comes in between you and your promise to yourself.

Making a concrete decision to have no other option besides waking up at a specific time is the best way to get through the struggle and come into the light that makes getting up enjoyable and useful.

  1. Go look up some of the most successful people in the world, regardless of how you define success. Go ready about success principles and you will continuously find that successful people understand the importance of making use of the morning hours!This will help motivate you on a daily basis.
  2. Find a friend who also wants to commit to the same goal; an accountability buddy. Something I like to do with one of my friends is we alternate calling each other to be each other’s alarm clocks every other day so that we HAD NO CHOICE but to get up because we knew the other was counting on us. Literally worked magic.


Partners In Grind: Partners-In-Grind is a really exciting project that a few of my friends and I started working on because we realized the importance of a habit partner in crime. It is an email chain that sets two individuals up who want to do the same habit and facilitates communication between them so that they can hold each other accountable and help ensure they each add the habit to their life!

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Success & Career

5 tiny habits that can change your life and career



Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

When it comes to the daily grind, time seems to keep passing by – yet many things remain the same. We are so busy trying to get things done, keeping our heads above water, that we don’t take real time to think about things like balance, self-care, or making necessary changes.

Little do we realize that small tweaks at home and at work might create opportunities for us to have true balance, and even achieve that elusive success.

Let’s look at five tiny habits you can implement today to control the chaos – and start changing your life and career.


Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life and Career

1.) Embrace the concept of a “clean slate” at work.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

This involves implementing a few simple routines and organizational tools upfront. This will save you time in the long run, and will leave you feeling satisfied at the start – and end – of your day.

For example:

  • Create folders in your e-mail inbox by person and topic. Be sure to move applicable items there. The feeling of a clean inbox can reduce anxiety and enables you to find important material faster!
  • Write phone messages on a notepad next to you each day.
  • Return each call.
  • Note the status of what you were able to do, what needs to be done, and cross out which ones have been taken care of.
  • Complete your list before you leave work.

Nothing feels better than looking at the list and knowing that you have attended to every person, every item, and every task you started with. Yes, more may come in later. But these were your starting tasks.

You are leaving with everything crossed off, a clean slate for the day. You can start tomorrow with a clean slate as well. You’re more organized: able to look at a detailed history of each item you did, each person you spoke to, each item you completed.

A well-structured system and way of doing things is mentally good for you. It’s also a nice feeling to walk away with a complete sense of accomplishment for the day.


2.) Surround yourself with people who nourish your soul, NOT people who infect it.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

Think about the people you chose to be with. Don’t feel guilty about setting boundaries, no matter who they are. Be honest if someone is a “toxic” person in your life. Surround yourself with folks who build you up, support you, are honest but fair with you, and those who have your best interests at heart.

We of course need people who are going to tell us the truth. But remember that truth can be told with kindness. We can give ourselves permission to distance ourselves from, or let people go. These are individuals who make us feel bad about ourselves, or take every chance they can get to criticize our every choice.

There is enough negativity in the world. We don’t need to have it in those closest to us. You will be amazed at the difference when you give yourself permission to set healthy boundaries. So surround yourself with healthy relationships. Stop feeling like you must endure unhealthy ones.


3.) Clutter creates anxiety more than you realize.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

Whether it’s your home or your workspace, getting organized makes a huge difference in your state of mind. So start practicing tiny habits that create structure.

At work:

Get those piles into drawers and desktop storage. File folders are your friends! Label by topic, date, etc. Having things organized and at your fingertips will save you time and a great deal of anxiety.

Have trays for things that are needed on a daily or weekly basis. Organize your office supplies neatly. Remember that your desk is also a presentation of who you are.

You may think that those piles make you look busy – but they really make you look disorganized. Create your own system so that you can locate anything instantly. That, is more impressive than a pile.

At home:

Think more in terms of scaling down to get organized. Make it a goal to make you space your solace. Organize, donate, and find a place for everything. If you have not used it in a year, consider donating. If things belong together, group them. Get the right storage to hold things.

Group things where they make the most sense. Move things where they work and function best. Get rid of things that no longer work, are expired, are outdated, or that could benefit someone else more than sitting in a pile at your home.

You will not miss them. You will probably feel pretty good for sharing the love. Nothing feels better as having a fully functional home where you can live and breathe; where there is no clutter, and where everything has a place.


4.) Practice good, daily self-care.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

It may seem so simple, yet we all seem to fall short when it comes to this vital area that impacts our lives and our careers. If we practice tiny habits of self-care, we function better, perform better, and surely, improve our opportunities for success.

Good self-care includes things, such as:

  • Getting enough sleep each night. This includes going to bed and getting up at the same time, seven days a week. When going to bed, there should be NO electronics, including screens or cell phones, as they stimulate the mind and keep you awake.
  • Eating food that nourishes you – such as whole foods, not processed foods.
  • Drinking eight glasses of water each day.
  • Enjoying treats in moderation, no need to crash diet!
  • Be sure to wake up 30 to 60 minutes earlier than usual to ease into your day, and allow yourself to practice your morning routine.

Whether it be reading the paper, listening to a podcast, watching a TV show, yoga, or morning meditation, how you begin sets the tone for the day. So set aside time in the morning so you are not rushed. This is an essential part of your day.

If you start rushed, you are going to feel that way the whole day. Starting with balance, leads to a balanced day.


5.) Self-talk is one of the most powerful habits we can change.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

If we think about how often we thought something negative about ourselves, someone else, or about a situation, we would see how powerful negative self-talk can be. Now think about how better our lives could be if we stopped ourselves before doing it. It’s possible – but it takes effort and conscious work.

You simply need to pay attention and catch yourself. But as you do, the difference can be profound. You start to see how by removing negativity and replacing it with realistic thinking, you feel more balanced. Imagine the impact it can have on your work and relationships, to not see things in the worst possible light?

By implementing these tiny habits, you can bring about tremendous changes to your work and personal life. A few would only be one-time tasks. While others require minimal, but – hopefully welcome – effort.

If things are not working well in these areas of your life, why not give these tiny habits a chance? You will at least be a little more organized. And hopefully, be well-rested at the end.



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Success & Career

7 Ways to Organize Your Day for Success



Organize Your Day for Success

Nope, don’t panic. I’m not going to start by telling you to get up earlier! As an Integrative Nutrition® Health Coach, I firmly believe in bio-individuality. This is the idea that we are all unique: just as some people can’t tolerate gluten and some can, there are early birds and others are night owls. Neither is wrong – they’re just different.

So yes, just as our definitions of success look different, how we structure our days for success will vary as well. However, I believe that there are some things in common.

For the sake of having a starting point, let’s agree that success is showing up in your life (career, relationships, physical activity, etc.) in the most biologically effective way possible (i.e., you are healthy in every sense of the word).

So how would you organize your day for success? Here are seven ways to try:


7 Ways to Organize Your Day for Success

1.) Wake up without an alarm if possible (see also #7).

Organize Your Day for Success

Jolting awake to an alarm is a sure-fire way to feel like you’re off to the races first thing in the morning. Instead, learn how many hours of sleep you are naturally inclined to. Then try to get that every night.

Waking up naturally prevents that influx of fight-or-flight chemicals coursing through your veins: nobody needs that kind of stress at the start of the day! Chronic stress can wreak all kinds of havoc with your body, starting a cascade of poor health outcomes.


2.) Start the day with screen-free “me time”.

The moment you check your email or social media, you are giving others power over how you spend your time. There will almost always be an email that just can’t wait or a post that brings on a severe case of #FOMO. Before you know it, you’re sucked in.

Instead of reaching immediately for a device, consider starting a new practice that can take as little as 5 to 10 minutes (or less) or as much time as you create for it: breathing, meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, journaling.

The Web is full of resources for these – just don’t go looking for them first thing in the morning! Are you an early bird? Use this gift of time to work out, meal prep, read, etc.


3.) Create time blocks (see also #5).

Organize Your Day for Success

As much as we think we can multitask, research shows we really can’t. “Task-switching” – what we’re really doing when we think we’re multitasking – can cost us as much as 40 percent of our productivity.

The solution: block out specific times on your schedule for tasks that require your full attention. During those times, close all other tabs and turn off all your notifications – and I mean all of them!

In between these blocks and not before, take a break to check email, make some calls – take care of some smaller tasks. Set a timer that indicates your next productive block is starting.


4.) Schedule your workouts and meals.

We seem to have time for everything but what really nourishes us: fuelling our bodies well and moving them regularly. As a health coach, when you tell me, “I don’t have time to…” what I hear is, “I don’t prioritize…”

I see you rolling your eyes. Let me tell you: if you do that enough, they’ll stick back there. But seriously – it comes down to this: if you wouldn’t cancel on your work, your client’s needs, your spouse’s needs, your kids’ needs, why would you cancel on yourself?

Meaningful self-care is putting on your oxygen mask first so you can help those who depend on you. Organize your day and put those blocks on your schedule. Treat them as unbreakable appointments with yourself.


5.) Multitask…intentionally (see also #3).

Organize Your Day for Success

Yes, I know I told you not to multitask. Now I’m telling you it’s okay if you do it intentionally. What does that mean?

In my work, I talk a lot about primary foods – all the other things in our lives that nourish us (or don’t!) besides what we put in our mouths. Think: sleep, career, spiritual practice, physical activity, time in nature, etc.

The multitasking I encourage is the kind that helps us nurture ourselves on the primary level, NOT the type that tries to manage a staggering number of little tasks that make our schedules so overwhelming.

What this looks like:

  • Need to spend quality time with family members? Instead of adding an outing (with all the planning, preparation, and consensus-building it requires), combine it with another area that needs some attention: take suggestions on the week’s meals, shop together, do some meal prep, etc.
  • Missing time with your girlfriends? Combine it with a workout or better yet, a walk in nature.
  • Desperate to do a little meal prep for the week? Invite a few friends over to cook so that you all get to stock up for the week. (There might be wine involved?)
  • House feeling like a hardhat zone, but you’d rather read? Clean while you listen to an audio book.
  • Time constraints making you choose between a workout and your spiritual practice? Take a walk in nature or practice a walking meditation.


6.) Make a plan for tomorrow.

You don’t have to organize your day down to the minute (although that works for some people). Instead, write down 1-3 large tasks to be done tomorrow and prioritize those once you’re done with your “me time.”

Are the tasks unpalatable? Brian Tracy has written about this concept in his book ‘Eat that Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time’. He calls the tasks we are most intimidated by (and therefore put off doing) as “frogs”.

His recommendation: start your work – not just the day – by “eating a frog”. If all the frogs look big and ugly, eat the biggest, ugliest frog first.


7.) Get to bed on time to get the sleep you need (see #1).

Organize Your Day for Success

Once you know how many hours of sleep you need, organize your day and figure out when you need to get to bed. Make sure to end the day as you began it: NO screens for at least 30 minutes before bedtime!

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