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4 morning habits for a killer day.

If you're like me, life is busy. The demands of work, family, and nurturing a healthy marriage can add up. Throw in recreational interests, your goals/ambitions, and some personal down time, and it can feel overwhelming.

How can you ensure you're making progress? That life doesn't get away from you?

I happened to watch the Rio Olympics for the first time the other night and, after witnessing a beautiful victory, thought to myself - what an amazing example of achievement. The stage was the men's 100 m breaststroke with a new world record set by Adam Peaty from Great Britain. 57.13 seconds. 4 years to prepare for an event that took only a few moments to see complete.

Happen to see golf this weekend? At the Travellers Championship Jim Furyk fired a final round 58 - the lowest round of golf ever in PGA Tour history. Jim is 46 years old. He's been playing professional golf since 1992.

What's the secret sauce to accomplishing these amazing feats?

Planned habits.

If you don't purposefully carve out time every day to make progress and improve, it's too easy to get caught in the vacuum of our increasingly complex lives. If you're not careful, you might look back at meaningful time lost that could have been applied to achieving great things.

It's clear that we're not all competitive athletes, nor do we need to be. All that we need to do is pull a page from those that have paved the way for us. It only takes a little study to realize that accomplishing great things in life doesn't happen by chance. Athletes dedicate themselves to a cause that inspires them and they go for it. But success takes consistency of action and what better action than daily habits that serve your ambitions.

Think that Adam swims two lengths of an olympic pool in sub 58 seconds by chance? Does a guy like Jim go 12 under par over an 18 hole stretch haphazardly? No way. They commit the time that great achievements demand.

For many of us the first step is to challenge our thinking and get back to fundamentals. The alternative can be catastrophic to achieving your goals. Our lives can increasingly become consumed with the nonessential and trivial. Get back on track by starting each morning with these 4 simple habits that lead to dramatic differences.

1. 10 minutes of hard physical exercise

This can be the most difficult habit to develop. If you're at all like me, you might find yourself more motivated by the idea of evening workouts vs. a 6 AM start. We recommend 10 minutes of high intensity training because the idea of driving to the gym for an hour often serves as the barrier to starting. A short program at home is manageable for everyone, and done right, can yield the same benefits. The goal here is to break a sweat. With 10 hard minutes on a bike or treadmill you can achieve this. Circuit training (focusing on core muscle groups) without breaks also produces the desired result, and can be done without weights or equipment.

Think about the reasons that you hit the gym. Maybe it's to lose weight, improve your cardiovascular fitness, or keep your mind sharp. Exercise in the morning gives you the combined benefit of all three. Working out in the morning has been shown to increase your metabolism, helps to control food cravings throughout the day, and increases mental focus and acuity for up to 10 hours post-workout. Did you also know that a morning workout can actually enhance the impact that exercise has on your heart? Your body naturally wakes you up by increasing adrenaline, which causes the heart to beat faster.

So why workout at night? You lose out on benefits that could last most of the day. Switch up your routine and feel the difference it makes.

2. Eat your Wheaties

Well, not literally. Cereal eaters, it's time to change your ways. A new study in The International Journal of Obesity shows that eating a healthy dose of protein in the morning can help you consume 400 fewer calories throughout the day and burn more fat over time. We recommend 30 grams of protein, and we aren't the first. A quick Google search for foods rich in protein shows an abundant list of what you can eat to meet this objective. If you're in a hurry, make a quick protein shake to drink while you drive to work.

3. Review your Personal Mission Statement

A daily reminder of what you're looking to accomplish long-term has a way of adding clarity to your day. It centres you. Your personal mission statement should include core values or principles/standards that guide your behaviour. It will also likely contain a reference to your personal whys and goals. Don't confuse the two - personal whys are the actions that you take everyday towards principles, while goals are the object of your ambition or effort.

Making it a morning ritual to read this statement ensures that you never forget what's of key importance to you, and serves as a daily reminder of those things that bring you greatest joy. Do something everyday, however small, to achieve them.

4. 10 minutes of reading/listening to uplifting content

Being self-made is a funny thing. It really doesn't exist. Everyone needs coaching and support from others that have achieved before them. Being open to receiving coaching and making this a consistent habit are hallmarks of all great achievers.

Consider this. What if you replaced much of the time you spend with entertainment (tv, media) and replaced it with an audiobook? How many books would you be able to listen to in a week? A month? What might you know today that you didn't yesterday, and what impact would this have for you? 10 minutes seems short but makes a big impact when applied daily.

Go ahead and give these 4 simple steps a try. We guarantee you that your most important stuff will be done early and you'll be making daily progress as you climb closer and closer to achieving your long-term goals.


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