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The difference between an “okay” day and a day that makes you feel excited about your life all depends on the way your day begins.

Learning to get the most out of your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day and there are techniques you can use before you even get out of bed.

Here are 5 surprising ways to start maximizing your mornings:

 

1Gratitude

It is common to go to bed every night and reflect on the day’s ups and downs. When you finally get to sleep, instead of waking up feeling renewed, you could be carrying yesterday’s regrets, worries or frustrations into a brand new morning.

Try going to bed tonight with a grateful attitude. You made it through another day and tomorrow is a fresh start. When you wake up in the morning, be grateful for another chance. Your warm bed, a hot shower, breakfast and coffee means you’re alive and you’re free to make today a great day!

2Read a motivational quote every morning

Instead of turning on the news and absorbing the negativity in the world, a motivational quote can provide a frame for the day. A sort of mantra that keeps you motivated in the right direction instead of feeling the doom and dread of the negative morning news.

Take the time to soak in a quote or poem. Try Rudyard Kipling’s “If” as one example.

3Use real sugar in your coffee, or drink a cup of orange...

 

According to Reader’s Digest, when researchers at the University of Virginia tested the memories of healthy 60- to 80-year-olds, they found those who had a small amount of sugar in the morning (the experimenters compared sweetened to unsweetened lemonade) even before breakfast had better memory recall that day on into the following day.

We’re talking small amounts, however, about a teaspoon or less; so put down that doughnut.

4Check your morning calendar

This is the calendar you’ve hung in a prominent place in your kitchen. The night before you’ve written everything you need to know for that particular day, from appointments to kids’ activities, and bills that are due.

Study it carefully while you’re starting your morning so that your mind structures your day and you avoid the stress of forgetting something important.

5Listen to more music and less TV

 

The right music in the morning can motivate you and get your mind moving in a positive direction. Put on your favorite CD and incorporate positive music with exercise for a one-two punch against grumpy morning starts.

Just 5-10 minutes of music and movement get “happy” chemicals pumping through your mind and body that transform your entire day for the better.

No matter how many years you’ve sworn you’re not a morning person, just a few simple changes can turn that around. Try just one technique, or get bold and try all five. Your morning determines the outcome of your whole day.

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