5 Incredibly Simple Ways to Start Your Morning Strong

This article was written by EO Baltimore member, Marissa Levin, and was originally posted on Inc.com

You have the power to start your day in any frame of mind. What will you choose? Here are 5 things you can do every morning to start strong. Every day, life is going to throw you curve balls. Investing a small amount of your morning creating a mindset of resilience and optimism will prepare you for what’s ahead. Even if you get the rug pulled out from under you, you’ll recover more quickly if you’ve started the day in a place of strength. Here are 5 things we can all do each day to be ready mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and intellectually for what’s to come.

1: Set your mindset.

What kind of attitude are you taking into the day? It’s your choice. “80 percent of success is due to psychology – mindset, emotions, and beliefs – and only 20 percent is due to mechanics.” ~Tony Robbins.

Whatever is on your agenda, it’s going to happen regardless of your mindset. So set your mindset to “positive” and move into the day from a good place. Your mindset is everything. It’s very hard to get into a good place mentally & emotionally when you start out with a negative mindset.

Time required: 1 minute.

2: Practice gratitude.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” It’s easy to wake up and mentally move right to the challenges we have to face. It’s equally easy to mentally move to the blessings we have. Our challenges will still be there, but after a moment of gratitude, they may not seem so daunting. The 5-Minute Gratitude Journal is a great tool to record why we are grateful, when we need triggers.

Time required: 5 minutes.

3: Exercise. AM exercise is a perfect way to kick-start your mind, body, and spirit, and get you set up for the day. It’s great to know you’ve already accomplished a daily goal by 6:45 AM, alongside others with the same goal. Every gym has early classes; most communities have sunrise running clubs or boot-camps. There are so many home-based workout plans as well that are accompanied by online communities. It’s never been easier to start your day with physical activity. By getting it out of the way before the crack of dawn, it’s not looming over you as you move through the day. And research proves that early AM exercise jump-starts your brain and metabolism.  You also don’t have to sacrifice your physical health if something comes up in the evening and you can’t make the gym.

Minimum time required: 30 minutes.

4: Laugh.

Laughter is a secret weapon for great leadership. Find some way to infuse laughter in the morning.  Read the comics. Listen to I Heart Radio’s Phone Taps from Elvis Duran. Pull up a video. Subscribe to the Jimmy Fallon video channel. If you haven’t seen Steve Harvey leading a game of Family Feud on The Tonight Show, I highly recommend it.

Time required: 5-10 minutes.

5: Tell someone you love them.

Start the day with I Love You… Your spouse, your kids, your dog, your parents, your siblings, your nieces/nephews, a friend. My friends and I slightly abuse the Bitmoji app every morning, sending many redundant expressions of love to each other to start our day. Love in the workplace is anything but sappy. The best leaders frequently share their adoration for their employees. The most emotionally connected employees produce the greatest results. If you want to express yourself to your employees or co-workers, but don’t want to lay it on so thick, here are 100 alternative ways to express your appreciation.

Time required: 1 minute

That’s it. Remember that every day is potentially your best day. And even if it’s not, it can still be a great day!

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