Tag Archives: habits

Your Home Influences You And Positive Changes You Can Make

If you are having a rough day, a warm cup of coffee and a good view can make all the difference to your mood.

Home influences you

Home is where the heart is. After a long day at work, you need to head off somewhere you can cool off, stretch your legs and relax. Your home needs to be your personal lair where you can find shelter in. Here are a few aspects of your home that influence you and suggestions for positive changes you can make to create a more peaceful home environment that will nurture you and your family:

The View

The view means everything. If you are having a rough day, a warm cup of coffee and a good view can make all the difference to your mood. According to psychologists, green is the best color as far as inducing relaxation is concerned. According to research, looking out over a green landscape can reduce anxiety, mental fatigue and increases the ability to pay attention. You do not have to have the view of a magnificent garden. Some potted plants can also do the trick.

Positive Changes You Can Make: If you do not have backyard or a view of a natural landscape, bring the greenery to you. Fill your home with potted plants. Decorate your windows with lovely plant baskets and flowers. Let your gaze linger on them often. You can also plant small herbs around the house, plus, who doesn’t like a kitchen garden?

Colors

According to color psychology, different colors can evoke different kinds of moods, feelings and emotional responses in human beings. While blue and green bring tranquility and help the mind to ease up, bold and dark colors should be avoided as they are known to evoke rage and anger. Generally, white paint helps smaller rooms appear larger and brightens up your room.

Positive Changes You Can Make: If you are planning to get your room painted, base it on the color of your furniture. Opt for shades that will brighten up not only your room but your mood as well.

Rearrangement of Your Furniture

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese method of bring balance to your home by creating a better and more comfortable home environment. According to Feng Shui, the way you organize your furniture has a huge impact on your mood, success in life and your relationships. Rearranging your furniture makes a great project. Do not be afraid to shake things up a bit.

Positive Changes You Can Make: The number one rule of Feng Shui is decluttering, which means you need to place your furniture properly.

Shapes

If you have kids, you need to pay attention to the kind of furniture you select for your home. Pointy corners of furniture are hazardous for small children and pets. How can you ever be at ease when you are constantly worried about the safety of your children? Always opt for furniture that is comfortable and homey.

Positive Changes You Can Make: Incorporate some curves in your home décor instead of making do with those nasty pointed edges. You can sew some colored cushions or bring home some curvy furnishing.

All in all, keep in mind the your home influences you and these are positive changes you can make to improve your life.

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The Major Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle

Believe it or not, people who live a healthy lifestyle and go out for their morning jogs do not have to worry about backaches and feeling tired all the time.

The Major Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle may be a challenge at first, especially if you are not a fan of vegetables and despise getting up in the morning for an early jog, but a healthy lifestyle offers countess benefits that make you feel great at the end of the day. It is time you ditch those alcoholic beverages and pay attention to your workout routines. Here are a few top benefits of a healthy lifestyle:

Live Healthier and Longer

While death is inevitable, eating healthy foods and getting sufficient exercise helps your body to become more adept in disease prevention. Getting rid of junk food from your diet will reduce the risk of high cholesterol and blood pressure, which automatically prevents heart diseases and strokes. When you eat healthy, your body has ample energy for you to do all your daily tasks. However, eating too much junk food causes one to become lazy and sluggish. This further leads to obesity, which has become a dangerous health risk.

Get Rid of Physical Pains

Believe it or not, people who live a healthy lifestyle and go out for their morning jogs do not have to worry about backaches and feeling tired all the time. One of the perks of exercising regularly is once your body gets used to regular physical activity, it is less likely to feel physical pain. This is why when you first start to exercise, your muscles hurt a lot but as you continue to exercise for a couple of days, your body starts adjusting to the new changes and you no longer experience pain.

Increased Energy

Contrary to what people believe, a healthy lifestyle does not mean you start counting calories. It just means you start eating smart. You may reduce your portion sizes but the whole point about living a healthy lifestyle is to eat what’s good for your body. By including fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals in your diet, your body is able to generate more energy. Eating healthy boosts your energy levels and reduces fatigue. So, if you are tired of feeling drowsy at work all day no matter how much sleep you get, it is time you make a change in your lifestyle and start eating better.

Reduces Stress and Improves Mental Health

Believe it or not, eating healthy foods and getting enough exercise helps your body fight depression, and also sharpens your memory and reduces stress levels. Eating healthy foods also help to stabilize your mood, making you feel calm and chirpy instead of irritated and exhausted. Just by making a few changes in your diet and by getting a little exercise, you will experience a huge change in your life. So, opt for healthy fruits and vegetables the next time you are craving a snack. Avoid alcoholic beverages and try to stop smoking and you will see a visible change in your mood and your outlook on life.

These are some of the benefits you can enjoy by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Photo Credit: Bonduelle

Morning Routine For Success

morning routine for successEveryone should have a morning routine for success that they follow. When you have a morning routine you will find that you can dedicate more of your time to your passion projects and the things you know you should be doing. You’ll find that you are able to work more efficiently towards your goals because day in and day out, you will be following a routine that allows you to get closer. Not having a morning routine can affect your day by causing you to have a slow start. When you implement a morning routine for success you’ll start to see your productivity skyrocket and you’ll feel better for the rest of the day. Here is how I start my day.

I truly believe in the phrase  “the early bird gets the worm”. I wake up at 5 AM most days (at least I try to) because I feel I get the most work done in the morning. Upon waking at 5 AM, I get up and proceed to grab two glasses of water from the kitchen. I microwave it for two minutes and then chug one of the glasses down. After a night full of not drinking water, it is important you hydrate yourself. However, for me, I don’t like the shock of cold water going down my throat in the early hours of the morning. Thus, I drink warm water and if I have a lemon, I add it to get the necessary nutrients. I also grab a small snack, like a banana or greek yogurt to consume.

After drinking the glasses of water, I then sit down in my bedroom and sit still for five minutes. This is my moment of peace and meditation before I start my day. I think about nothing. Not even my goals for the day. This relaxes my mind and eases me into what I usually suspect is a chaotic day. When the five minutes is up, I go into my bathroom and wash my face and do my morning ritual of cleaning up after myself.

When I have freshened up, I go to my writing desk (yes I have one) and depending on the day of the week, I work on my passion project for a good hour. For me, this is a combination of the Self Starter blog, my E-Book, video and podcasting projects or even my web development. The idea is that the early morning or the first task of the day should be dedicated to something that will further yourself in the future. Don’t work on tasks that you can do in the office. Work on stuff that you feel the most passionate about.

Once the hour is up, I take the time to prepare myself for the gym. Exercise is a fundamental because it provides me with the energy to last throughout the day. I will usually do weight training on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays and cardio the rest of the week. Changing it up provides me with the urge to go and improve myself. Upon the completion of my exercise, I come home and eat a hearty and healthy breakfast.

Usually by the time I finish breakfast, I have enough time in my schedule to read for about 15-30 minutes. Some days I struggle to get through the pages while other days I am captivated and mesmerized by what I read. I tend to lean towards self-development books. Not only do these help me with my self-coaching knowledge, but I find myself much more ready to tackle the day. Once the reading session is over, my work day begin and I drive to my day job, fresh and relaxed.

There you have it. My morning routine for success. It may seem like a lot but once you get used to it, you’ll find that your routine will be second nature, like brushing your teeth. I’ve been doing this routine for many months now and have seen that I inch closer to my goals slowly but surely. It’ll take some dedication to stick to a routine. I suggest you write down each step in the routine and by the time you have it memorized, you’ll find that you’ll be doing it consistently enough to keep on going. I hope this helps give you some ideas as to how YOU can improve your life as well!

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My Selfishness

selfishnessIt’s important to come to the realization that we all have flaws in the way we live. A great way to address these potential flaws is to write about it and come to terms with what you need to improve. This is what today’s blog post is dedicated to; my own flaws. I want to put it out there that I can be selfish at times. I know this and although my friends may not think I am, I have this innate perception that I am a selfish being and I need to change this fact about myself.

One of the first things that make me think I am selfish is that I tend to put myself before others. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t give up my life for the people I love but when it comes to personal hobbies, time, and what makes me happy, I will do those things first before committing to doing something with another person. For instance if a friend had a birthday event but there was something else I really wanted to do, I find myself easily tempted or come up with an excuse as to why I can’t attend the birthday event. This doesn’t happen as often, fortunately, but it is selfish that I do things that make me happy first and foremost and forget about anything else. I’ve been improving on this and have gotten much better about making the right decisions and having my right priorities straight.

A big factor in me thinking that I am a selfish being is that I am incredibly impatient. It is one of my biggest flaws as a human being. We come from the world of instant gratification. We want things done quickly and efficiently. Even though I preach many times about learning to build patience, impatience is still the toughest obstacle for me to overcome. It has to do with the stress of pleasing my supervisors and getting them everything they need in a rapid manner. I find that there is always pressure to get things done quickly, but I need to get that mindset out of my head. My impatience leads to selfish behaviors like demanding too much of my assistants and acting irrational at times. But it has been gradually improving and I found that I have been more mindful of how I act and have been using breathing techniques for times I feel stressed due to impatience.

Money makes me selfish. I tend to conserve my money when I can and refuse to spend things on others unless it’s a special event, like a birthday gift or an anniversary. There are times when I am willing to cover a meal but more often, I would prefer to split up the bill so people pay their own portions. I don’t know why but there are certain nights where I offer to pay for everything even though innately, I feel frustrated for doing it. It’s like I feel like I have an obligation, but there is none at all. It may have to do with the fact that I want to repay a favor for someone else covering the meal. Nonetheless, my stomach often churns when the topic of money comes up because we all struggle with it to a degree and it can be such a sensitive topic.

A lot of these selfish flaws I listed have been improving over the years. I found that I have become more patient in life and understanding that things do not have to be as rushed as I think they should be. I find that I am more flexible with my money and spending more on others for the right causes. And ultimately, I find that I have a firmer grip on my priorities and knowing when to be there for people. It’s important to write down what you think your flaws are because having it in front of you can shape you into the person you want to become.

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Vulgarity In The Workplace

Vulgarity in the WorkplaceI have a vulgar mouth. I never used to have one. Growing up I tend to be polite and found curse words to be untouchable. It was ingrained into my mind that saying such words would condemn me to hell. Then I went to college and that way of thinking no longer existed. I found myself using curse words often as well as making crude and inappropriate jokes. To this day, when I am surrounded by a group of close friends, I may make a comment that would be inappropriate in the workplace. Being vulgar and making potentially offensive remarks has no place in the office. It can affect your reputation as well as your standing with the company.

MAINTAIN A LEVEL OF PROFESSIONALISM

Working in an office setting you must make sure you always maintain a level of professionalism. There will be eyes on you throughout your career and they’ll watch your every move. Making a vulgar remark that could get you in trouble can be disastrous for your career. By engaging in the type of lingo you use outside of work, you could be setting yourself up for failure and people’s impression of you might falter.

NOT EVERYONE IS COMFORTABLE WITH IT

Not everyone in your environment will be completely comfortable with the jokes you make or the curse words you use. If you have an assistant or a supervisor, you could be putting them in an awkward position. Even if you get along well with this person, you have to make sure that they don’t feel like their job is being jeopardized by being around this crude behavior. Perhaps they don’t want to be affiliated with such candid talk and may be trying to craft a more professional demeanor. Don’t make them choose between staying friends with you or their professionalism.

APOLOGIZE AND BE MINDFUL OF WHEN YOU OFFEND

In the event that you do make a remark that is offensive, be mindful of how the people around you react. If you see people react to your statement in a worrisome way, make the effort to apologize for your actions. Don’t let it linger. Apologize for the fact that the words you used have no place in the workforce and that you will be mindful of what you say in the future. Admitting a mistake and being aware of it is very powerful and people will be receptive to that. By apologizing, you will see that you will be more mindful about what you say next time.

It’s okay to feel like you should have the freedom to speak openly. But there are certain environments where you must be conscientious of your words and how it can be interpreted. Some people may not be as open as you are and would prefer to be around others who are similar. Don’t let what you say and your comfortability in the workplace put you or anyone else in an awkward setting. Keep your crude thoughts, curse words and any vulgar statements you have to yourself and you’ll find that you will still be able to feel comfortable and free wherever you go.

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Enhance Writing – Thesaurus

It is important to enhance your writing so you don’t get stuck in the realm of being boring. All too often I find beginning writers fail to use the resources at their fingertips to improve their diction. Our writing can be static and this can affect readership. To prevent your writing from going stale take time in the editing process to use a valuable resource known as the thesaurus. This book provides you with the options to switch out boring words for juicier ones. In turn, your writing feels alive and makes for a powerful piece of work.

I started to use a thesaurus when I began writing this  blog. I try to use it often. It’s challenging but every time I have been able to use it, my writing sounds better. The thesaurus has taught me the ways I can strengthen my writing and make it sound interesting. I find that I repeat words. This makes me fearful that my writing will not improve. Using a thesaurus has been a powerful way of making me feel better about my writing and for allowing my skills to develop.

Using a thesaurus for your piece will get you into a good habit for the rest of your life. You need to improve your writing constantly and to make it stand out. By using a thesaurus, you become more familiar with the English language and have more vocabulary at your disposal. Your writing and your conversations with others will sound more elegant and enticing. If you want to build a habit of speaking better, then using a thesaurus should become routine.

Writing becomes enjoyable the more often you use a thesaurus. Editing can be a tedious part of the writing process. I know I struggle with re-reading everything I write. To avoid boredom, I  use a thesaurus because it feels like I am doing something new and add more to my piece. The thesaurus stimulates my mind and helps me hone my craft. When you find yourself bored and want to feel creative, then seek a thesaurus and see how it can improve you as a writer.

The thesaurus is a friend to all. It is a tool often forgotten but oh so valuable. We need to get away from repetition. We can’t allow our writing to sound similar. A thesaurus can change the game and make you feel more confident. Don’t dispose of this tool. Instead, expose it to your world.

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Boost Your Productivity

ProductiveThere is an art to getting things done. We all envy the people who are able to manage their time well and get everything in their lives accomplished. These individuals always make time for the projects in their lives and have the willpower that demonstrates their ability to focus. And boost productivity it is not their primary goal. We think that it can’t be done and that our productivity is left to the gods, but that is not true! There are ways you can be just as productive and see your to-do list shrink.

A great habit for a more productive workflow is to learn how to schedule. We all prioritize and schedule our tasks in different ways. For me, I use iCal and I do my best to map out the following day every evening. I divide the hours of the day and assign different tasks for each block of time. Breakfast, for example, is given a block of 7AM to 7:45AM. Now, you don’t have to be as specific as I am but knowing what you are going to accomplish at certain times can provide a clearer sense of your day.

Focus on one task at a time. The mistake we often make is that we think we are more productive if we juggle a variety of tasks at once. This isn’t true. Not only will doing this balancing act make us more prone to mistakes, we are actually spending more time. I find that my mind is constantly foggy because it is thinking about so many things at once and it makes me tired. Instead, if there is a task at hand, 100% effort should be dedicated to it and after its completion, move on. You’ll find yourself more energized to do the next task.

They say time is money and I agree. This is why I try to instill a habit of waking up at 5 AM every day of the week. Being young, this is very challenging since I do tend to go out late in the evening. I haven’t been the best at maintaining this habit but when I do, I find myself being happier. I have more time to get the things I want to do done. If you find that you lack the time to get everything you want to do out of the way, then spend some days waking up early and see how that affects your productivity. Not everyone is a morning person, but it is better to become one if you find yourself unproductive as the night progresses.

Finally, the final tip that I like to suggest is to challenge yourself on some days and set an hour’s time to get as much done as possible. I like putting a timer out and putting pressure on me to accomplish as much tasks as possible in that window. This gets me enthusiastic and my heart racing. It creates alertness and teaches me efficiency tips. I don’t suggest doing this often because you may feel rushed at times but when it comes to tasks such as writing a first draft, it can spark my creativity.

Productivity hacks are fun to read because everyone has different ways of improving the ways they do things. Keep your mind open to techniques that you never thought about before. Try implementing them and see how they can change the way you live your life.

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8 Life Habits To Improve Your Life

HabitsI’m a huge fan of habits that anyone can integrate into their life. It can do wonders when you stick to your habits because it results in energy and higher level of productivity. Here are habits you should embrace and implement into your schedule.

1. Wake Up At 5 AM – The early bird truly does get the worm. Waking up as early as 5 AM provides you with ample amount of time to focus on yourself and allow you to get your To Do List checked off. People have the tendency to wake up late and rush out of their house. Having an earlier wake up time can help you pursue your passion projects and feeling accomplished.

2. Meditate – Use the time in the morning to calm your mind. We have so much to focus on throughout the day that it becomes necessary empty our minds in order to feel refreshed. There is clogging in your head and it can make you feel useless early in the morning if you forget to meditate.

3. Drink 2 Cups of Water – Upon waking up, it is important to hydrate yourself. Drinking water will make you feel like a brand new person in the morning. It alleviates any grogginess you may feel after waking up and gets your body in balance after a night’s sleep. People usually forget to hydrate themselves and as a consequence, they feel awful as the day persists.

4. Focus – Be mindful and take time to focus. It is essential to avoid multitasking. Not only will you lose valuable time but it can result in procrastination. When you lose focus, you end up doing more meaningless work that adds little value to your life. By maintaining awareness and a focus on getting your most important task completed, your To Do list will shorten.

5. Eat Lunch Away From Your Electronics – Too often we eat lunch at our desk and in front of the computer. We feel like we are not allowed to have time off and, as a result, we force ourselves to become robots and eat and work at the same time. This is counterproductive because not only will you tire more quickly, but you will be bombarding your mind with work. Your brain needs time to decompress and lunch time is the perfect opportunity to get away from your electronics and responsibilities.

6. Floss – We understand the significance of brushing our teeth, but we tend to forget to floss. By flossing, you prevent the development of gum disease and additional ailments. Your mouth will be cleaner after you floss and is able to assist you in getting the tough spots that brushing misses.

7. Plan Out The Next Day – Being prepared is a huge part of being productive. Take the time in the evening to plan for the following day. We often wing life and not having a schedule can have a huge effect on your lifestyle. Knowing what you have to do before the day starts is a huge time saver. You don’t have to fret about things at the back of your mind because it’s all listed out.

8. Go to Bed Early – In connection to waking up early, you must be prepared to go to bed early. You need to make sure that you get at least six hours of sleep because having less can deprive you of the time to rejuvenate your brain. To wake up at 5 AM, a bedtime of 10 PM is usually ideal. Use the time before going to bed to read and calm yourself down after a long day.

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Make Your New Years Resolutions Count

ResolutionsHow often have you made a New Years resolution and after a few weeks, you give up. Perhaps your resolution was to go to the gym everyday and after a week of strenuous workouts, you decide to go back to your sloth like behavior. Or maybe you want to start a trend of eating healthier meals and the moment there is temptation, you give in. Don’t be ashamed! We are all guilty of prematurely adding too much to our plate without realizing how to achieve our resolutions. This year, if you are planning on making a New Years resolution, come up with a game plan beforehand and make it count.

The issue with New Year resolutions is that people set their expectations too high. We don’t have a plan in place to hold ourselves accountable. Without a method to keep us in check, we get into the mindset that it is okay to take a one-day break and not worry about the consequences. This is the wrong approach and often results in us dropping our resolutions by the end of January.

Before deciding the New Year resolutions you want integrated into your life, you should prioritize which. Make a list of all the New Years resolutions you aspire to accomplish. In that list, narrow it down to the top two choices that mean the most. We sometimes add too much to our plate and it can become overwhelming. If I wanted to go to the gym every day and write everyday and do rock climbing everyday, and so on and so forth, there would be too many logistics to be taken into consideration. By choosing your top two, you can turn your attention fully to them and base your life choices on whether it benefits your resolutions.  After sticking with your habits and staying true to your resolutions, you will have more flexibility in adding more New Years resolutions because your previous choices have become habits.

Start small. Rather than jump into a habit or routine, be comfortable with breaking it up into smaller sections. For example, if you want to meditate more in the New Years, don’t start by meditating for thirty minutes. It will be draining and unrewarding and you will feel like you’re sitting there for no reason. Start with three minutes and build your way up. This will make forming the habit easier and not feel like a burden.

Come up with a way to hold yourself accountable! I do not mean you need to punish yourself severely but figure out a way to push yourself in becoming better at sticking to your New Years resolution. If you miss a gym workout or eat unhealthy one day, make yourself do a hard workout the following day or commit to cooking at home for the rest of the week. The idea is be consistent with your resolutions and to make sure that you are staying true to what you want set out to do. Many of us lose motivation after trying to pursue a goal week after week and by staying consistent and becoming aware of what you need to do, it will make it easier for you to stick to your resolutions.

New Years resolutions are great to form and it provides inspiration and motivation to the daily American. But many of us falter in staying true to these resolutions and it can seem pointless to even make them in the first place. It is necessary to find ways to make it easier to stick to these resolutions and not be bogged down by our circumstances. Avoid putting too much pressure on yourself and take it slowly. You will see that your resolutions can develop you into a stronger individual.

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5 Habits To Instill Into Your Morning Routine

RoutineWhen was the last time you stuck to a morning routine? If you have trouble with this question then you might need to change some of your habits and incorporate some routines into your life because it can do wonders for your productivity and well being. Having a routine in the morning stabilizes you. It allows for a sense of direction especially when you feel so frazzled after waking up. The habits that you do in the morning should feel normal after doing it repeatedly, like brushing your teeth. Here are several habits that I incorporate into my morning ritual that helps me out in different ways.

1. Meditate – After waking up in the morning, before looking at my phone and engaging in any part of my day, I take five minutes to meditate. I get out of my bed and sit on my yoga mat and just sit there and try not to think about anything. What I’m hoping from this process is the ability to clear my mind and not worry and panic about what I have to do for the day. Meditating provides me time to focus on myself and make me mindful of the day to come. Granted, I still have difficulty with this and even though five minutes may seem like a short time, it can feel like an eternity when you are sitting still. But do your best and take the time to prepare your mind.

2. Drink warm water – I would go to my refrigerator, even before brushing my teeth, pour myself a mug of water and microwave it for about a minute. If I had lemons, I would chop a piece off and put it in the mug. After waking up, your body is dehydrated and it is crucial to recover from it by drinking water first thing in the morning. You will feel refreshed and revitalized. Although cold water would work as well, I find that it can be shocking to your body. Warm water seems to have more of a soothing and relaxing quality to it. The lemon adds flavor to the taste as well as balances the chemicals in our body. It is also an easy way to add some nutrients early in the morning.

3. Take 5 Minutes to Reflect on Life – As you are drinking your coffee/tea/warm water, go outside in the early morning and just reflect on life. Visualize your day and what you want to accomplish. Plan out in your mind what you hope to get accomplished and just smile. Take the time to enjoy the wonders of the outside world and be present in the moment. Realize that you are alive and that you have been given another chance to live. Be mesmerized by the vastness of this world and just take it all in. In doing this every morning, I gain an appreciation for life and it helps set the tone to my day.

4. Write Your Top 10 Goals In Life – I have a journal by my desk computer. Every morning, regardless if I write the same things over and over again, I list the top 10 goals that I want to achieve in life. The twist though is that I write it in the perspective of already having attained the goals. For example, “I earn six figures; I travel the world; I run a successful business” and so on and so forth. By putting your goals down everyday, you get reminded mentally of what you aim to achieve. It is as if you are playing a trick with your mind and putting all these positive goals out into the universe. Over time, if you continue to do this, your goals change and the things you realize you wanted before, could be vastly different years from now. It is a great way to keep you in check and make you aware of your passion.

5. Write One Sentence About What You Are Grateful For – Finally, this task brings back the concept of gratitude. In either the same journal as your goals in life or a different journal, write down one sentence about what you are grateful for. It can be as simple as “I am grateful to be able to eat” or as specific as you would like. The idea of this habit is to keep you grounded and to constantly make you aware of all the wonderful things you have in life. The fact that you are reading this for example, are indications that you have it better than some people in this world. It’s important to maintain perspective on the wonders of your life and realize how fortunate you are at all times. Eventually you will feel like you have nothing else to be grateful for but I guarantee that the list is endless and you just have to think and dig deep.

These habits have helped me learn more about myself and laid the groundwork to my values. It makes me aware of those around me and those I need to help. It gets me energized for the day and helps me tackle the stresses in our life. Everyone should have a morning routine that they stick to in order to not be frazzled by things to come. We often rush out of our houses in order to make it on time for work but equally as important is the ability to take some time for yourself and to really hone in on your body and spirit in order to become a better individual. Good luck!

Photo Credit: go_nils

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