Boost your inner self – #MotivationMonday

Many people have trouble with their habits because they don’t follow a morning routine “system” for sticking to them.vigo-lite_phase-4_inclusion_10x7-print_option-1-002_2_001.jpg

It’s easy to forget about a new routine when your day is full of dozens of tasks and personal obligations.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this problem.

If you follow a “morning routine” every day, you’ll create a short ritual (under 30 minutes) where you can complete a number of small habits that can improve your life.

The trick here is knowing which habits to include in your morning routine.

In this post, we’ll go over 22 ideas that take under five minutes apiece.

Let’s get to it.

The Importance of a Morning Routine

Before we jump into the habits, let’s take a moment and talk about the benefits of a morning routine. For starters, people are the most productive when they wake up, and setting up a routine ensures that they maintain that level of productivity for longer periods of time.

Following a system when you first wake up, means you’ll have more time to reflect in a quiet atmosphere (less hustle and bustle) and it gives you the opportunity to be organized for the rest of the day. More importantly, this daily habit helps you create energy and the right “mindset” to tackle the challenges of a busy day. (For more on this concept, check out my book Wake Up Successful.)

Waking up early is a success habit that nearly all leaders follow, notes Sujan Patel in his blog post on the routines of fortune 500 leaders. Noting how early many high powered leaders start their work days.

The good news?

Everything in the following list can be accomplished in as little as five minutes. A morning routine does not necessarily mean you need to be up at 4:00 am. It only means you need to set aside a little bit of extra time every day.

These quick routines mean you can stack one habit on top of another and complete a lot of important things in a single block of 30 minutes.

Simply look at the following list and choose the habits that make the most sense for your lifestyle.

1. Fix Your Broken Windows

2 min.Required Time

No, you don’t have any actual broken windows, but you probably have a number of small things that add to your stress levels if you don’t address them early on.

Some common broken windows include:

  • Unmade beds
  • Cluttered mail
  • Unsorted laundry
  • Messy kitchen
  • Trash that needs to be taken out

Most of these can be fixed in a matter of minutes, yet we allow ourselves to ignore them and let them sit in the back of our minds for the rest of the day. Take care of your broken windows and then you’ll see a dramatic decrease in your levels of stress.

2. Weigh Yourself Every Day

1 min.Required Time

I know, this isn’t something that you want to hear. But, weighing yourself on a regular basis can help you establish clear health and fitness goals. Also, it’s important to know that your weight will fluctuate on a daily basis, so you don’t have to be bummed if your weight goes up for a day or two. Finally, be sure you weigh yourself at the same time for the most accurate results.

3. Practice Rebounding

3 min.Required Time

Rebounding is a trendy new exercise routine that is changing how people start their day. You need a small trampoline (here’s one that I have personally used).

There are numerous benefits to rebounding:

  • Cleared sinuses
  • Toned muscles
  • Stronger lymphatic system
  • Increased creativity

One of the best things about rebounding is that it doesn’t take up a lot of space. Whether you live in an apartment or a home of your own, you can start rebounding right away.

4. Have a Glass of Cold Water with Lemon

2 min.Required Time

Start your day by drinking a 16 ounce glass of lemon water. (Make sure your drinking water is clean and safe by using a quality water filter pitcher). We’re not talking about putting in a whole lemon and juicing it. Instead it’s better to do just a few drops.

This habit helps you:

  • Wake up faster
  • Freshen your breath
  • Get large amounts of vitamins
  • Reduce the feeling of hunger
  • Aid your digestive system

This is a lot easier to do than it seems, and it’s a great way to start your day. All you need to do is pour some water into a glass and add a couple drops of lemon juice. Easy, right?

==>>Learn more about lemon water benefits: 10 Benefits Of Drinking Warm Lemon Water In The Morning

5. Take Daily Vitamins

2 min.Required Time

Daily vitamins are a must for anyone, and you’ll feel better about your day if you take them on a consistent basis.

Vitamins are essential because they:

  • Help build a stronger immune system
  • Increase awareness
  • Ensures your body gets essential nutrients
  • Build stronger bone

Vitamins can give your body the boost it needs to get started and help your mind stay focused throughout the day. Be sure to read the directions on specific vitamins so that you are taking them properly.

==>>Learn more about the benefits of taking vitamins daily: Potential Benefits of Multivitamins

6. Maintain a Food Journal

5 min.Required Time

This is another aspect of your morning that you probably don’t want to do, but need to do if you want to lose weight. Maintaining a food journal helps you see exactly what you’re putting into your body and how much you’re eating. You’d be surprised at just how much you consume in a given day.

Food journals are effective because they:

  • Make you responsible for what you eat
  • Give you a physical representation of your daily habits
  • Encourage you to avoid little “snacks”
  • Help you meet your health goals

Food journals might seem like a negative thing at first, but you’ll soon be able to take pride in recording what you eat.

==>>Check out this site to learn more about food journals: The Benefits of Keeping a Food Journal

7. Review Your Goals

5 min.Required Time

Everybody has goals. Whether they are big or small, we all have things that we want to accomplish. Sadly, the daily hustle and bustle of life can make us get off track.

You need to review your goals so that you can:

  • Create plans to reach those goals
  • Put your day in perspective
  • Know what’s important to accomplish

 

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Your thoughts can and will heal you – #SelfAffirmation/ FunFriday

Very recently, I came across the book You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay. The book is about self-healing through the use of positive affirmations that correspond with different illnesses and ailments.

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I was intrigued by the book at the time, but also skeptical about Ms. Hay’s claims that our thoughts and lack of self-love contribute to disease and that positive affirmations can help heal us. Although I understood how affirmations could support positive thinking, I didn’t believe they could change the cells and chemistry in my body. Read more

The bitter truth – #TruthThursday

The bitter truth is people are bitter if not just mad. Most live under governments that hike their Taxes every day and yet people have responsibilities! Lord, don’t even get started on this one because the prices go up for everything except a monthly income. vigo-lite_phase-4_inclusion_10x7-print_option-1-002_2_001.jpg

You wake up in the morning after a barely slept night to take a cranky little one to school and then get on with your day like everything is fine. Grace, oh Lord, grace. Read more

Want to be emotionally healthy? #WellnessWednesday

Emotional health refers to your overall psychological wellbeing.

vigo-lite_phase-4_inclusion_10x7-print_option-1-002_2_001.jpgPeople who are emotionally healthy handle stress well, deal with challenges as opportunities, have a positive self-image, and are able to sustain healthy relationships. Review the following tips on how to stay emotionally healthy. Read more

The 1 skill, that will increase your value by 50% in 2017 – #SelfAffirmationDay/FunFriday

Warren Buffett.
CREDIT: Getty Images

Imagine working on one skill in 2017 that–once you improve it–will raise your value by 50 percent. The one skill is public speaking.

The dividends on the investment you make in sharpening your communication skills will pay off for the rest of your career. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to billionaire Warren Buffett’s advice to a class of business students at Columbia University back in 2009:

“Right now, I would pay $100,000 for 10 percent of the future earnings of any of you, so if you’re interested, see me after class.”

After the laughter subsided, he turned serious.

“Now, you can improve your value by 50 percent just by learning communication skills–public speaking. If that’s the case, see me after class and I’ll pay you $150,000.”

Buffett’s point is that mastering the art of public speaking is the single greatest skill to boost your career.

You might be thinking, “That’s great, but I have a fear of public speaking.” That’s OK. Buffett was actually terrified too.

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Overcoming your fear

As a young stock adviser, Buffett took a Dale Carnegie public-speaking course to overcome his fear. It’s a little known fact, but Buffett dropped out of the course on his first try, because he was afraid he’d be asked to speak up. He worked up his courage a second time and today proudly displays his Dale Carnegie certificate in his office.

According to TED curator Chris Anderson, public speaking matters more than ever. In his book TED Talks, Anderson writes: “As a leader–or as an advocate–public speaking is the key to unlocking empathy, stirring excitement, sharing knowledge and insights, and promoting a shared dream.”

Isn’t that what you’re trying to accomplish as an entrepreneur pitching an idea or a small-business owner pitching a potential customer?

Your goal is to create empathy, a bond of trust between you and your listener. Your goal is to stir excitement, share knowledge, and promote a shared dream. Effective public speaking is the one skill that can help you achieve all of these results.

Learning the skills

Anderson calls the ability to captivate an audience “presentation literacy,” a superpower to pitch your ideas, sell products, and accomplish your dreams. The good news is that Anderson believes the skill is teachable.

I agree.

Thanks to broadband connections, YouTube, and TED.com, anyone with a computer, phone, or mobile device has the world’s top business speakers at their fingertips.

For entrepreneurs and small-business owners, I suggest starting with YouTube videos of the greatest presenter in business history–Steve Jobs.

Nearly every public presentation Steve Jobs ever gave–as far back as the original Macintosh product launch in 1984–is available for streaming. A mesmerizing example of a product launch is Jobs’s 2007 introduction of the first iPhone.

Pay particular attention to:

  • The simple, visual, and engaging slides that Jobs used to complement the message.
  • How Jobs delivered the presentation without a teleprompter or visible notes. He simply had bullet points of the messages he wanted to cover discreetly tucked behind the computer he used for the demos.
  • The fun that Jobs had delivering the presentation. He placed a crank call to a nearby Starbucks store to demonstrate the maps feature of the new phone.
  • The clever way Jobs packaged the content. He fooled the audience into thinking he was introducing three new products. They were surprised when he revealed that all three products were rolled into one–the new iPhone.

In the iPhone launch, Steve Jobs reminds us that today’s audiences want more than to sit through yet another boring presentation. They crave visually appealing slides. They want to be informed and inspired, enlightened and entertained, all in the same presentation.

Yes, the skills are teachable–Steve Jobs was not a natural; he worked at it–but mobile video has made it a lot easier to teach yourself, through watching the world’s greatest entrepreneurs and business legends work their craft.

As an entrepreneur or small-business owner, you are only as valuable as your ideas. If you cannot persuade others to buy into your ideas, then they don’t matter very much.

Your ideas deserve to be heard. Make a commitment this year to sharpen the one skill that can change your life and the direction of your business, and raise your value by 50 percent almost immediately.

Emotional Intelligence is the new trend; acquire it – #TruthThursday

hello-february-quotes-images-pictures-to-welcome-the-month-of-love-4Since February is by far, mostly commercially, the most “emotional month” after December, of course – what with the holiday season, then the never-ending January that seems to have four months in it, and then, well, Valentine’s Day (isn’t that when February ends?) – it’s only fitting to begin this month by teaching you how not to take it personally if things don’t “go your way” (ladies)😘. Really though, in case you didn’t know yet, Emotional Intelligence is the new IQ.

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But don’t thank me yet!❤

That said; whatever you do this month, first with paying off January debts for foolishly overspending in December to purchasing Valentine’s Day gifts to getting to the bill-paying week in time, let me teach you how to “whoosah“. Because truth is; you spend more money in February, than you do any other month and by the time you recover financially, first quarter of 2017 will have ended! Gosh! The money traps, Hey!

When emotional intelligence (EQ) first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70 percent of the time.

This anomaly threw a massive wrench into the broadly held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success.

Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that 90 percent of top performers have high emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

Despite the significance of EQ, its intangible nature makes it difficult to measure and to know what to do to improve it if you’re lacking. You can always take a scientifically validated test, such as the one that comes with the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book, but unfortunately, most such tests aren’t free. So, I’ve analyzed the data from the million-plus people TalentSmart has tested in order to identify the behaviors that are the hallmarks of a high EQ. What follows are sure signs that you have a high EQ.

1. You have a robust emotional vocabulary
All people experience emotions, but it is a select few who can accurately identify them as they occur. Our research shows that only 36 percent of people can do this, which is problematic because unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions.

gutekPeople with high EQs master their emotions because they understand them, and they use an extensive vocabulary of feelings to do so. While many people might describe themselves as simply feeling “bad,” emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel “irritable,” “frustrated,” “downtrodden,” or “anxious.” The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it, and what you should do about it.

2. You’re curious about people
It doesn’t matter if they’re introverted or extroverted, emotionally intelligent people are curious about everyone around them. This curiosity is the product of empathy, one of the most significant gateways to a high EQ. The more you care about other people and what they’re going through, the more curiosity you’re going to have about them.

3. You embrace change
Emotionally intelligent people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They know that fear of change is paralyzing and a major threat to their success and happiness. They look for change that is lurking just around the corner, and they form a plan of action should these changes occur.

4. You know your strengths and weaknesses
Emotionally intelligent people don’t just understand emotions; they know what they’re good at and what they’re terrible at. They also know who pushes their buttons and the environments (both situations and people) that enable them to succeed. Having a high EQ means you know your strengths and how to lean into and use them to your full advantage while keeping your weaknesses from holding you back.

5. You’re a good judge of character
Much of emotional intelligence comes down to social awareness; the ability to read other people, know what they’re about, and understand what they’re going through. Over time, this skill makes you an exceptional judge of character. People are no mystery to you. You know what they’re all about and understand their motivations, even those that lie hidden beneath the surface.

6. You are difficult to offend
If you have a firm grasp of who you are, it’s difficult for someone to say or do something that gets your goat. Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded, which creates a pretty thick skin. You may even poke fun at yourself or let other people make jokes about you because you are able to mentally draw the line between humor and degradation.

7. You know how to say no (to yourself and others)
Emotional intelligence means knowing how to exert self-control. You delay gratification and avoid impulsive action. Research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Saying no is a major self-control challenge for many people, but “No” is a powerful word that you should unafraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, emotionally intelligent people avoid phrases such as “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

8. You let go of mistakes
Emotionally intelligent people distance themselves from their mistakes, but do so without forgetting them. By keeping their mistakes at a safe distance, yet still handy enough to refer to, they are able to adapt and adjust for future success. It takes refined self-awareness to walk this tightrope between dwelling and remembering. Dwelling too long on your mistakes makes you anxious and gun shy, while forgetting about them completely makes you bound to repeat them. The key to balance lies in your ability to transform failures into nuggets of improvement. This creates the tendency to get right back up every time you fall down.

9. You give and expect nothing in return
When someone gives you something spontaneously, without expecting anything in return, this leaves a powerful impression. For example, you might have an interesting conversation with someone about a book, and when you see them again a month later, you show up with the book in hand. Emotionally intelligent people build strong relationships because they are constantly thinking about others.

10. You don’t hold grudges
holding_a_grudge
The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress response. Just thinking about the event sends your body into fight-or-flight mode, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. When the threat is imminent, this reaction is essential to your survival, but when the threat is ancient history, holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time. In fact, researchers at Emory University have shown that holding onto stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people know to avoid this at all costs. Letting go of a grudge not only makes you feel better now but can also improve your health.

11. You neutralize toxic people
Dealing with difficult people is frustrating and exhausting for most. But high-EQ individuals control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check. When they need to confront a toxic person, they approach the situation rationally. They identify their own emotions and don’t allow anger or frustration to fuel the chaos. They also consider the difficult person’s standpoint and are able to find solutions and common ground. Even when things completely derail, emotionally intelligent people are able to take the toxic person with a grain of salt to avoid letting him or her bring them down.

12. You don’t seek perfection
Emotionally intelligent people won’t set perfection as their target because they know that it doesn’t exist. Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure that makes you want to give up or reduce your effort. You end up spending time lamenting what you failed to accomplish and should have done differently instead of moving forward, excited about what you’ve achieved and what you will accomplish in the future.

13. You appreciate what you have
Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do; it also improves your mood by reducing the stress hormone cortisol (in some cases by 23 percent). Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who work daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experience improved mood, energy, and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol play a major role in this.

14. You disconnect
Taking regular time off the grid is a sign of a high EQ because it helps you to keep your stress under control and to live in the moment. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and even–gulp!–turning off your phone gives your body and mind a break. Studies have shown that something as simple as an email break can lower stress levels. Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email with the power to bring your thinking (read: stressing) back to work can drop onto your phone at any moment.

15. You limit your caffeine intake
Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline, which is the primary source of a fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response to ensure survival. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. Caffeine’s long half-life ensures you stay this way as it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body. High-EQ individuals know that caffeine is trouble, and they don’t let it get the better of them.

16. You get enough sleep
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams) so that you wake up alert and clearheaded. High-EQ individuals know that their self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when they don’t get enough–or the right kind–of sleep. So, they make sleep a top priority.

17. You stop negative self-talk in its tracks
The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that–thoughts, not facts. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural tendency to perceive threats (inflating the frequency or severity of an event). Emotionally intelligent people separate their thoughts from the facts in order to escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive, new outlook.

18. You won’t let anyone limit your joy
don-t-let-anyone-ever-dull-your-sparkle-wall-sticker-decals-1387-p
When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something they’ve done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take that away from them. While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what other people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within.

This article originally appeared on Inc.com

And the high protein argument continues – #WellnessWednesday

People argue about carbs, fats, and everything in between.

vigo-lite_phase-4_inclusion_10x7-print_option-1-002_2_001.jpgHowever, almost everyone agrees that protein is important.

Eating plenty of protein has numerous benefits.

It can help you lose weight (especially belly fat), and increase your muscle mass and strength, to name a few (1, 2). Read more

10 Must-have millionaire evening habits – #LifehackTuesday

We all know that early birds get more things done by making the most out of their mornings and setting the day right for successful completion of all goals and tasks. But what about the evening habits?

vigo-lite_phase-4_inclusion_10x7-print_option-1-002_2_001.jpgSuccessful people not only have healthy morning habits, but they also know how to finish off their day right. They all have particular habits, so here are the top 10 that can help plan a more productive tomorrow: Read more

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