9 things every woman should do before 9 am

Whether you’re a natural early bird or a night owl who could happily hit snooze until lunchtime, a good morning routine can improve productivity, prevent burnout and help manage the mental load of your daily to-do list.

Read on for nine morning rituals to boost your wellbeing and performance.

1. Wake early

Successful people often rise early to get a head start on the day before any disruptions arise.

If early starts are difficult for you, start by waking 15-30 minutes earlier each day until it starts to feel natural.

It’s normal to feel groggy for the first few days or weeks, however waking up at the same time each day trains your circadian rhythm, which will eventually make it much easier to get up in the mornings and achieve deeper, more restful sleep at night.

2. Hydrate

Hydration is essential for efficient waste product elimination, metabolic function, gut and skin health. It’s also good for better cognitive function, as the brain is comprised of about 75 per cent water.

Much of our internal fluids are used overnight for these important functions, and as you aren’t drinking while asleep, your body is quite dehydrated upon waking. Drinking a glass or two of water each morning will help you feel awake and ready for the day.

3. Exercise

Physical activity can improve concentration, mood, and energy levels, however finding time to be active isn’t easy.

Working out first thing in the morning is a great way to start your day, and eliminates the need to find time for exercise later on, when you’re more likely to be derailed by a long work day or spontaneous social plans.

Setting your alarm to wake 30 minutes earlier to squeeze in a walk to your local coffee shop, an at-home yoga class, or a training session at the gym before work can do wonders for your immediate and long-term wellbeing.

4. Meditate

Meditation has many positive impacts on mental health, burnout, and stress management. Particularly for those working in high-pressure environments or who experience anxiety, meditation can be a great way to destress and instill a sense of calm.

There’s no bad time to meditate, however meditating in the morning can set the tone of your day and empower you to respond to challenges with composure and mindfulness.

Don’t worry if you’re short on time, as you only need to practice meditation for 10 minutes a day to reap the benefits

5. Eat a nutritious breakfast

Breaking your fast with a wholesome meal is a great way to start the day, as it replenishes the glucose stores in the body and the brain, which is essential in order to function properly.

A nutritious breakfast can support better weight management by fueling your body before you get too ravenous, decreasing the chances of succumbing to less healthy convenience options later on.

Breakfast is also a great opportunity to get in some sources of essential micronutrients which support brainpower, energy and mood, as well as prevent fatigue and boost your immune system.

6. Read a book or listen to a podcast

Morning people often describe the early hours as a sacred opportunity for ‘me time’, before anyone else is awake and all the demands of daily life start to pull focus.

Whether you work from home or commute, the mornings can be your chance to carve out some time for self-care by reading a book while you sip on a tea or coffee, or listening to a podcast that puts you in a positive mindset for the day.

7. Practice gratitude

Gratitude has been shown to improve mental and physical wellbeing, lead to better relationships, greater job satisfaction and deeper, more restful sleep.

Incorporating gratitude into your daily routine by linking it to something you already do each morning, such as reciting a gratitude mantra during your yoga practice or morning shower, will help form the habit more quickly, meaning you can enjoy the benefits of gratitude sooner.

8. Plan your day

It’s often tempting to dive straight into responding to emails first thing in the morning, however taking time to plan your day can improve time and workload management, preventing unnecessary stress caused by short deadlines or last-minute surprises.

Creating a to-do list ensures you can accomplish the highest priority tasks for that day, empowering you to feel more in control, less stressed and more productive.

9. Make it achievable

Make your new morning habits sustainable and less overwhelming by trying one or two of these rituals at a time to see what works best for you.

Putting pressure on yourself to overhaul every aspect of your morning routine at once is more likely to add stress rather than supporting your wellbeing and productivity.

We all have different demands on our time and energy, which may make some of these actions unfeasible.

Be kind to yourself, and adopt a realistic approach to get you on your way to having more rejuvenating and productive mornings.

10 Crucial Benefits of Goal Setting

The benefits of goal setting are tangible and significant.   If you can successfully set and achieve your personal and business goals you will experience many benefits and improvements.  Setting goals gives you greater clarity on your future, increases focus, triggers new behaviours, guides your actions and gives you a clear purpose in life.  Goals provide direction and a clear focus on what is most important in your life.

Setting goals transforms how you invest your time, energy and focus and provides motivation to take action on achieving your goals.  Having goals provides clarity on your vision and ensures that vision is aligned with your daily goal achievement activities.  The benefit of goal setting means you have a greater focus on where to invest your time and energy each day.

Setting goals that are specific and measurable is beneficial as it gives you a clear path and plan to make progress on your goals every day.  This intentionality ensures you achieve a sense of personal satisfaction, momentum and motivation every day.

In this article I’m going to share the importance of goal setting and 10 benefits of goal setting.

The Importance of Goal Setting

Setting goals gives you a long-term vision to work towards and short-term targets to focus on each day.  Goals create the framework to organise your time, energy and focus each day.  Setting goals helps you stay motivated and excited and guides your daily action plan so it always aligns with achieving your goals.

The process of setting goals is important because it helps to clarify what’s truly important to you, and gives you a clear path and plan to pursue those goals.  In addition to improving your daily performance, people who set goals are more productive, more creative, have more confidence and are less stressed.

Effective goal setting gives you clarity on what you want to achieve in life and gives you a proven framework for taking action to achieve those goals in a focused, effective and decisive way.  Understanding the benefits of goal setting improves your ability to achieve your goals.

Goal setting success starts with having specific, measurable goals with a deadline.  These goals are more effective in improving performance than goals that don’t have a number attached or a deadline to achieve the goal in.  Choosing an effective goal that is specific and measurable means you’re committed to actually achieving the goal.  Read more with my complete guide to goal setting.

Benefits of goal setting

Here are 10 benefits of goal setting.

1. Direction

Goals give you a direction, purpose and destination to reach.  Having a clear, exciting goal inspires you to take action.  Goals provide a direction and purpose and a clear destination to reach.  Having clear direction gives you a sense of purpose in life and a specific focus each day to organise your time, energy and actions.

Goals gives you a clearer focus to help you plan better, make better decisions and help you manage your time effectively.

2. Greater productivity 

Goals provide specific measurements and achievements to work towards each day, which increases productivity.  With goals you get to see the measurable progress you’re actually making.

Having monthly, quarterly and annual goals gives you a target to shoot for and a measuring stick to track your progress daily, weekly and monthly.  Read more about setting measurable goals.

3. Improved prioritisation   

Goals give you emotional and intellectual engagement on the outcome of your goals, ensuring you are committed to take daily action.  Having specific, measurable goals guides your action steps every day.  Goals help you clarify where you are now and where you want to be in the future.  Goals help you visualise the future you want, and provide the framework for achieving your goals.  Read more about how to achieve your goals.

4. Increased focus

Goals give you a daily focus which helps you achieve better and faster results.  Without clarity on your goals it’s difficult to stay focused.  Goals provide daily motivation to ensure you stay focused and take action every day to achieve the things that matter most to you.

Having goals gives you a clear plan and path to follow every day, which eliminates distraction, overwhelm and procrastination.  Read more about how to stay focused.

5. Greater clarity 

Goals give you clarity on what’s most important to you on life.  Without goals you will waste time on countless activities that don’t move you forward in life.  Having goals triggers an increased level of clarity and motivation to help you make progress in your life every day.  Effective goal setting gives you control of your future and makes it easier to capture bigger opportunities.  Goals enable you to prioritise your time and energy.  Read more about how to prioritise.

6. Improved accountability

Goals give you greater accountability.  Having goals ensures you are crystal clear on what you want to achieve and how important achieving that goal is.  Goals help you visualise yourself in the future having achieved your goals, and give you the inspiration to take action every day.

This emotional engagement with achieving your goals helps you stay accountable through daily actions.  Read more about the benefits of working with an accountability coach.

7. Better decision making  

Goals help create better boundaries around your time, energy and focus, which improves decision making.  Having goals gives you a clear framework to manage your time and energy.

When opportunities come up, having clear goals, allows you to make decisions about whether to take action or not.  Goals get you clear on your purpose and ensure your daily actions align with your goals.

8. Control over your future

Goals help you take control over your future.  Without goals you lack direction and give the power to other people to choose how you should spend your time and what you should focus on.  Having goals gives you direction and motivation to take action to achieve your goals.

Goals help you take control over the future you want for yourself, which ensures you make better decisions in the present.

9. Increased motivation

Goals increase excitement and inspiration.  Having goals gives you that added bit of motivation you may need when you don’t feel motivated or experience some setbacks.

When your goals are exciting you’ll be motivated to take action, even when you don’t feel like it, because you know the outcome of reaching your goal will be so transformational.  Read more about how to get motivated.

10. Greater inspiration

Goals which are exciting and motivating inspire you to take action every day.  Measurable goals give you a framework to see the progress you’re making every day towards achieving your goals.  Without clear measurements you won’t have a clear destination or know when you’ve reached it.

Making progress on your goals builds momentum, motivation and excitement.  When you see how far you’ve come towards your goal achievement, you’re even more motivated to carry on.

Summing Up

Setting goals can transform your life.  The simple act of setting goals that are specific and measurable can transform your habits, your mindset, your confidence and your daily actions.  The benefits of goal setting are endless.

Goals provide direction and purpose.  Having goals trigger higher performance, greater productivity, greater creativity and greater focus.  Set a goal today and see how far you can go.

 

5 Key Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

By Mihran Kalaydjian, CHA

5 Key Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship is a popular goal these days, for everyone from Gen Y college grads to mid-career workers looking for a change. But not everyone knows what entrepreneurship really re really cut out for it.

While the notion of “working for yourself” might appeal to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got what it takes to make it in the stressful and challenging world of entrepreneurship. If being your own boss is on your bucket list, take a look first at these five traits of successful entrepreneurs. If they remind you of you, then you’re on the right track!

1. Passion

If you don’t have passion for whatever it is you’re thinking of doing, count yourself out right now. Entrepreneurship is not a path for the lukewarm. It’s too full of ups and downs and setbacks and challenges for anyone who isn’t “all in” to make a successful go of it.

If your passion lies solely in “making lots of money,” I’d also encourage you to try something else. There are plenty of less-risky ventures, from franchise ownership to investing in the stock market, that will require much less blood, sweat, and tears on your part and that have a more proven record of return on investment. Entrepreneurship is a labor of love, and you don’t have the love, you won’t go very far.

2. Drive

Passion and drive are not one and the same. Plenty of people have hobbies they’re passionate about, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to make a full-time business of them.

Drive is defined as “an innate urge to attain a goal or satisfy a need.” If you love baking but only do it when you feel like it, you may be passionate, but you’ve only got a hobby. If you’re determined to become the boutique bakery in your city and have your name listed on Yelp, and you won’t rest till you get there, you’ve got drive.

Drive is absolutely essential for making a go of whatever business you’re thinking of pursuing. It will help you conquer obstacles, get through long hours and setbacks, and keep moving and improving your products and services. 

3. Self-Discipline 

Contrary to popular daydreams, being your own boss does not equal sleeping in till noon and taking endless vacation days—at least not if you want to run a business that has any chance of success.

When you’re the only one peering over your shoulder, you need to be able to keep yourself on task in the face of distractions, challenges, and the tempting knowledge that you can technically do whatever you want, whenever you want, without getting in any immediate trouble. You have to be able to look at the big picture and realize that cutting corners now will only hurt you down the road. 

4. Flexibility

Entrepreneurs wear many hats. They are accountants, marketers, PR reps, customer service agents, project managers, and more. You need to be willing to dive into all aspects of your business, from the creative to the mundane, in order to create something with traction.

You also have to be willing to learn on the go, as you will never fully be “ready” to run a business, and there will always be new developments and challenges to assimilate and overcome. If you’re not prepared to be a lifelong learner, entrepreneurship may not be for you.

5. A Healthy Dose of Pragmatism

Entrepreneurs are interesting creatures. On the one hand, they often find themselves pursuing goals that seem lofty and unrealistic to those around them—why not just stay with a traditional employer and have a steady paycheck with benefits? On the other hand, they also need to be fully grounded. As much as you believe in your gourmet cupcakes, if customers are telling you a couple of your favorite flavors don’t do it for them, you need to be willing to let them go.

Successful entrepreneurs know how to walk the line between stubborn self-confidence and humble realism. They’re willing to believe in their dreams and pursue them with everything they have, but they’re also willing to change course, pivot, and tweak their plans to align with their circumstances. If you veer too far in one direction or the other, you may not be able to perform the balancing act.