One of the secrets to accomplishing more and having more success lies in how we choose to begin each and every day.
Simply rolling out of bed and moving on autopilot, is not the way to begin each morning.
Reports show that highly successful people are aware that the way they begin (and end) each day sets the tone for how they feel and the productivity that follows.
So here are five morning habits of highly successful people (and actually practices that I’ve been doing and recommending for years). You can choose one or two of them to add to your morning (or evening habits) or gradually add them all into your daily practice.

  1. Wake Up Early

It’s true- highly successful people wake up early. The extra time they have seems to make all the difference. If you usually hit the snooze button several times or think you hate the morning, think again. You can gradually retrain yourself to get up earlier one day at a time.

Start by setting your alarm clock just 15 minutes earlier than you usually wake up. These 15 minutes creates the space and time you need to create some new morning rituals for yourself and set some new intentions. Eventually you will want to wake up 30-60 minutes earlier so you can use the time to set your day in the right direction- every day.

2. Sit in Silence

When that alarm goes off just get up, wash your face, brush your teeth, grab a cup of hot lemon, ginger water or tea, clear a special spot and then just sit for 2-5 minutes in silence and tune into your own breathing. No judgement, no reason to think or not think about anything in particular.

Just give yourself a few minutes to just be. You may want to tune in to some gratitude for waking up and being alive in that moment, or for all the potential a new day brings. This is a good time to ask yourself a question, any question that is weighing on your mind and listen for an answer. It is surprising how much you will hear when you practice listening to your own inner wisdom.

3. Journal

Journaling, making lists, writing down ideas and thoughts is another habit highly successful people often do. After your few minutes of quiet time, you may want to try to write down any new ideas you had while sitting or anything at all that comes to mind.

There is no right or wrong way to journal. Maybe you want to write any concerns you are having or some goals you want to accomplish, Writing creatively is great too. So is writing out your recollection of your dreams.

An easy exercise to try is to write down 2-3 words about who you want to BE, and then elaborate on each word for a few sentences.
Then list 3-4 things that you’d like to DO. There are probably many things you’d like to do, but try to pick out your top 3-4 that are most important to you right now.

Writing down what you see yourself doing or being is a great step towards making that your reality.

4. Practice Gratitude

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having an active gratitude ritual in your daily practice. Consistently reminding yourself what you have to be grateful for is an essential ingredient to your own personal happiness. The things you are grateful for don’t have to be HUGE aspects of your life, the small stuff is equally important. You can choose to do this first thing in the morning or last thing at night but just really try to make this a MUST.

Whether you just want to think about gratitude or write down 3-5 things each day, it’s very important for this habit to be cultivated for a lifetime.

All the research tells us that practicing gratitude actually changes your biochemistry. When you spend a few moments each day thinking or writing about the things you’re grateful for, you activate the part of your brain that continues to notice other aspects of your life to also feel gratitude. Gratitude resonates on the same frequency as abundance. 

5. Listen or Read Inspirational Works

Each morning, almost every one of us follows a pretty repetitive routine of getting ready for our day, whether that includes a little journaling , meditation, exercise, stop at the coffee shop or a call to Mom. Whatever your routine is, see where you can add in some inspiration. Spend some of this time listening to or reading something that inspires you, makes you feel good, gives you a fresh idea or teaches you something new.

Whether you listen to your favorite musician, tune-in to a compelling podcast or read a new book, the results are the same. You expand your mind, you lift up your inner spirit and raise your vibration. So while you are taking a shower or cooking breakfast, tune in to some inspirational thoughts or sounds to change how you begin your day.

Shifting your energy regularly to a more positive, grateful attitude offers you an opportunity to feel better and gives you the momentum to keep spiraling upward in your life’s journey.

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  • Dr Sharon Ufberg

    Dr. Sharon Ufberg is a freelance writer, entrepreneurial coach, founder of Borrowed Wisdom and hosts Force of Nature on NPR’s 51% radio.

    Dr. Ufberg is a radio host and freelance journalist who writes and talks about human spirit, people and places that make a difference, women, musicians and philanthropic initiatives.She creates and teaches online personal growth courses and privately coaches individuals as the senior consultant for Borrowed Wisdom and Good Advice Works, companies she created to assist people to turn their dreams into reality.