Ever wonder how ultra successful people…people like Starbuck’s Howard Schultz, Apple’s Tim Cook, Virgin’s Richard Branson, Disney’s Bob Iger…spend their mornings? Seems that all of them do some variation of these eight things listed below before 8AM.

Check out this list of to-dos before 8AM for yourself. You may be amazed at what happens after 8AM.

1. Drink hot lemon water…first thing out of bed. One large mug size of hot water to the juice of ½ lemon if you weigh less than 150 lbs; one large mug size of hot water to the juices of 1 whole lemon if you weigh over 150 lbs. Lemons are full of potassium, Vitamin C and antioxidants. Not only will your nutrient absorption in your stomach be improved, hot lemon water will give you a steady, natural energy buzz that will last throughout your day. Let the lemon juice and hot water work for about 30 minutes before you eat anything.
2. Exercise…every day, after drinking your lemon water, so it gets done and you don’t have to think about doing it for the rest of the day. Just 10 minutes a day, according to research by the University of Bristol, will increase your energy and competency levels. Even exercising 2 X weekly for 10 weeks, according to the Eastern Ontario Research Institute, will your good feelings about yourself socially, athletically attitudinally.
3. Disconnect…from all devices for the first moments of every day to give yourself a few moments of calm, positive time.
4. Eat a healthy breakfast to jump-start your energy, short-term memory and concentration time and focus. Healthy breakfasts can include, fruits, berries, oatmeal, quinoa, muffins/toast/waffles with PBJ/avocado, eggs, yogurt, almond milk, etc. and any combination. Healthy breakfasts mean more stable blood sugar levels and less ravenous hunger throughout the day.
5. Practice mindfulness. Whether you do yoga, deep breathing, meditation, etc., mindfulness practices pay high dividends in productivity and overall well-being and help increase focus, creativity, and emotional intelligence.
6. After generating clam and clarity from mindfulness practices, set your goals for the day.
7. Make sure your goals are SMART goals. S=specific; M= measurable; A= attainable; R = realistic; T = timely.
8. Say NO. Not I don’t think so or I’ll think about it or if I could, I would. No. That’s it. Short and sweet. Saying no honors your existing commitments. People who have a difficult time saying “no,” according to researchers at the University of California at San Francisco, tend to be more likely to experience stress, burnout and/or depression.

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