With everyday life being so busy, it can seem impossible to take time out to move forward. But if you don’t carve out a few minutes each day to improve and progress, your time will no doubt be lost in all the chaos. Before you know it, you’ll be old and wondering where all your time went.
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Here, you have to rethink your entire life approach—get out of the survival mode you’re currently in just to make it through each day and back to life’s fundamentals. This may sound a little challenging, but it’s easier than you think. Here are eight things you’ve got to do before 8am each day to live life instead of just being a spectator.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is just as important as drinking water and eating, but despite this common knowledge, many people don’t get enough sleep and experience a ton of problems as a result. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 50 to 70 million people in the US have some type of sleep disorder.
Getting the right amount of sleep is linked to a lot of benefits, including better memory, an increased lifespan, less inflammation, more creativity, attention and focus, and less stress. Sleep is the foundation for the next day, so you have to get at least seven hours each night, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.
Make whatever life and schedule changes you need so that getting enough sleep becomes a top priority. This may mean losing some TV time or planning your days better so you’re not doing last-minute things late at night, but it’s worth it. Stimulants such as coffee may help you compensate for lack of sleep in the short-term, but in the long-run, your health will suffer for it.
2. Try Some Meditation
Meditation or prayer, if you’re actively religious, will help you steer yourself toward the positive. Both of these practices help facilitate gratitude, and with gratitude, you’ll have an abundant mindset that will simply open doors everywhere. People will also more naturally gravitate toward you, as gratitude is contagious.
Add prayer and/or meditation to your morning routine. When you start off your day in a space of clarity and gratitude, you’ll be more focused and open to receiving what the world has to offer. Just the calmness and clarity alone that you’ll experience can really have a positive impact on the rest of your day.
3. Make Regular Exercise A Habit
Exercise can boost your health and mood while cutting your risk for certain conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. Unfortunately, despite all the benefits, many people simply don’t work out enough. As reported by CBS News, a 2013 survey conducted by the CDC found that close to 80 percent of adults in America don’t get the recommended amount of exercise per week. For adults, that is 2.5 hours of moderate aerobics or one hour and 15 minutes of more intense exercise each week.
Get your body moving in the morning. This could be an early run to the gym or something as simple as doing yard work or housecleaning. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it becomes a habit so you stay on top of your fitness routine and ultimately boost your health.
4. Pack In 30 Grams Of Protein
According to Body Building, one way to gain muscle and lose fat is by eating 30 grams of protein per meal. Since this is athlete advice, you can tone it down a bit and aim for that much protein at breakfast.
Foods rich in protein help keep you full for a longer period of time than other foods because they linger in the stomach. Protein also helps keep your blood sugar levels steady, preventing hunger spikes. It can also lower your white carb cravings, which are the types of carbs that can pack on pounds and are found in foods such as donuts and bagels.
Try to eat at least 40 percent of your calories at breakfast as protein. You can do this by eating two or three entire eggs, which have about six grams of protein each. Cottage cheese, sausage, pork bacon and turkey bacon can also help if you’re not a fan of eggs, or you could go with a protein shake.
5. Have A Cold Shower
Not only will a cold shower wake you right up and boost your focus, but it also refines your skin and hair, boosts your circulation and immune systems, stimulates weight loss, reduces stress and can even help with depression systems.
It might be hard to get used to showering in cold water at first, but think of it as if you’re getting into a regular swimming pool: shocking for about 20 seconds before your body gets used to it. After a while, you won’t even notice the cold rush as much, but you’ll still reap its benefits.
6. Seek Out Uplifting Content
Entertainment is one thing, and education and learning is another. One common hallmark of successful people is continual learning, and many of them read at least a book each week.
Take at least 15 minutes each morning to read something instructive and informative. If you’re not a big book reader, try audiobooks instead while you’re doing things around the house or headed to work. Seek out topics that both educate and enlighten you, and don’t forget to add some positive things to the mix to uplift your day and make you inspired.
7. Take A Look At Your Life’s Visions
Your long and short-term goals should be in writing. If they’re not, take the time to write them down right now. Taking a minute or two each morning to look at your life plan on paper will help put your entire day into perspective. That simple reminder will serve to focus you more on your goals as you go through your days, and that will lead to more progress than you’re currently achieving.
8. Do Something Toward Your Long-Term Goals
Both willpower and your ability to make good decisions are like muscles, getting weaker as they are used. This means you should do the hard things and what’s most important, first thing in your day.
If you don’t tackle a challenging goal in the morning, it probably won’t get done, because you’re drained at the end of the day. Being exhausted will make it very easy for you to convince yourself that you could always do it tomorrow— which often turns into never.
Doing all these things before 8am every day will have a profound effect on your life. You will have done the important things first, putting yourself in a position for success. You’ll feel better, something that will bleed into all areas of your life, from your personal ties to your work unions.