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1. Before you go to bed at night, tell your brain, “wake me up at __ a.m.”

Unless you got drunk the night before, you’ll likely start waking up right before the alarm clock startles you awake.

2. If the subconscious command doesn’t work,

set the alarm on your smartphone and put it far enough away from your bed so you have to physically get up to shut your alarm off in the morning when it goes off. You’ll be less likely to hit snooze once you’re already up.

3. Drink a liter of water upon rising.

Most people are under-energized because they’re under-hydrated. Hydration is energy. Keep a liter of water at your bedside table before bed, and crush it immediately upon rising.

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4. After you brush your teeth, pause for a moment and smile at yourself.

Then say, “I love you.” Most people don’t love themselves enough. As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” If you are what you repeatedly do, then why not repeatedly affirm something positive to yourself?

5. Take walks.

Walking has been known to help people solve problems, come up with new ideas, and have epiphanies that seem to have come out of nowhere. But they don’t come out of nowhere. They were there all along. Taking a walk just changes the context from ‘desk’ to ‘nature’. And nature is going to win almost every time.

6. Get grateful.

If you feel sad, if you feel like you don’t have enough of something; STOP and think of three things you’re grateful for. You’ll immediately feel better, I promise.

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7. Meditate for 10–20 minutes.

If you don’t know how, just sit down somewhere quiet and count to 4 while you inhale; then 4 more counts as you exhale. Just focus on your breath.

8. Do your ONE most important thing first.

Before beginning your work, review your ONE most important thing you need to do today. Then get started on it. Your focus and effectiveness will before far higher when you approach your day this way.

9. Compliment one person every day.

I started doing this several years ago and it feels great to give someone something without expecting a damn thing in return. In fact, you get a biochemical reaction of “happy chemicals” like oxytocin and serotonin when you give genuine compliment to someone.

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10. Sweat every day.

Speaking of “happy chemicals,” exercising — or at least finding a way to sweat every day — is one of the highest leverage things you can do for your overall health and happiness. When you’re physically healthier, you become professionally healthier as a bi-product.

11. Revisit your day and remember the good stuff.

Write it down in your journal if you can. I like to end each day by asking myself, “What’s the best thing that happened today?”

12. Read every day.

The greatest way to get the greatest ideas is to read, read, read. There’s this great quote that goes like this: “books are the hardbound drug of my choice.” I like that one a lot. Plus, the only side effect of reading is a positive one — the more you read, the more ideas you get. Read something every day to expand your mind. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes.