How to Change Your Morning Routine (For the Better)

How To Have a Better Morning

First things first, I’ve got a couple of questions for you. How badly do you struggle to get out of bed in the morning? Further to that, once you force yourself out of bed, how are you feeling? For many of us, getting out of bed is only half of the struggle, the real challenge comes with trying to orient ourselves towards having a happy and productive day. We all weren’t born morning people, and that is perfectly okay. However, that doesn’t mean we have to be walking zombies either. This week I want to share with you 6 simple things you can implement into your daily routine to enter your day more energized and ready to take on the world.

As always, you can listen to the podcast for this post on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundClound.

1. Leave Your Curtains Partially Open

*insert gasp here* I know many of us feel the need for pitch black in order to fall asleep, (I get it – trust me), but as long as you aren’t going to bed when the sun is still up, cracking the curtains a few inches shouldn’t hurt. The main benefit of this practice is the natural light that aids in your awakening. Even though you will still be asleep in the morning, the natural light seeping through your eyelids will trigger your brain to slow the production of melatonin (sleep hormone) thus encouraging you to wake up – with much ease I might add. Consistent practice of this will aid in the adjustment of your “natural clock” making it easier and easier over time to wake up.

2. Change Your Alarm Sounds Frequently

Have you ever had a dream in which a fire alarm or car horn goes off and won’t stop, only to wake up and realize that it was your alarm clock all along? Well, you are not alone. Naturally our brains adapt to repetitive sounds – particularly those we have implemented to wake us from our slumber. So over time, rather than instilling fear and jolting us out of bed, the familiarity of the noise causes the alarm to lose its effectiveness.

My suggested solution to this is simple – switch up your sounds, scare yourself, and get the heck out of bed. While there is no set timeframe for how frequently you need to change your alarm, whenever you begin to find it easier and easier to either sleep through the sounds or hit snooze one million times, it is likely a good indicator that it is time for a change. For me, I typically try to switch it up every couple weeks, and set two separate alarms 5 minutes apart – the first calming and gentle and the second much more obnoxious to get me going. Find what works for you.

3. Chug Water

So, you just woke up after sleeping for 7-8 hours. I can guarantee you that your body is going to be dehydrated, which is why I like to start each day by chugging 1L of water. Now, you can chug back just any ole plain water or if you’re feeling adventurous you can try my Morning Elixir.

  • 2 slices of Lemon
  • 2 slices of Fresh Ginger
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Whole Chia Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother*
  • 1 tsp Raw Honey**
  • 2 cups of Water

* the “Mother” refers to gut-friendly enzymes, bacteria, and proteins – without the mother the health benefits are non-existent.

** raw honey contains numerous vitamins and minerals not found in regular honey therefore maintaining all of its anti-viral/anti-fungal properties

This drink proves beneficial for the following reasons and then some…

  1. Improves Your Digestion
  2. Boosts Your Metabolism
  3. Suppresses Your Appetite
  4. Improves Your Skin
  5. Increases Your Energy Levels

Honestly on days where I don’t drink it – my body knows.

4. Do a Face Mask

Many people recommend face masks for the evening. Step 1) Go to sleep with a face mask on. Step 2) Wake up with hydrated skin. Sounds simple enough right? While it may prove effective, for me it proves to be a nuisance and so I have opted for the alternative.

Every morning at 6am as I blindly struggle my way out from under the sheets and stumble to the bathroom, I reach for my Lush Cup O’ Coffee face mask and smear it ever so aesthetically across my face. A coffee scrub mask (whether purchased or homemade like this one here) serves to be effective in the morning for 2 reasons.

  1. The smell of coffee alone acts as a stimulant to the brain, therefore helping you wake up.
  2. The granules work as a mildly abrasive scrub and help to free up any dead skin cells or impurities that accumulated during your beauty rest.

Follow this practice up with a quality moisturizer and DAMN you will not regret this decision.

5. Stretch

Stretching: a simple practice and yet so few of us actually do it. Think you don’t have time for a little morning yoga session? Wrong. Youtube has you covered. Try this video, or search through the hundreds of other “5 minute morning stretching routines”. Stretching out your extremities first thing in the morning will enhance blood flow, increase your alertness, and improve the oxygen flow to all of your tissues – a win, win, win situation one might say.

6. Pick One Thing You Wish to Accomplish

So you’ve thought about incorporating all of the other steps I have mentioned, but are feeling a little overwhelmed.

“These seem too hard” or “It will take too much effort/time”

That is okay. If I can leave you with one last piece of advice, I will at least try to make it easy. In this life everyone is seeking to feel a sense of contribution or purpose; a sense that the things they have done will or have made a difference.

So, I want you each and every morning, to establish one single thing you want to accomplish for that day. Keep your goal simple (i.e. I will go for a 20 minute walk, I will call my Grandma, I will pay my Visa bill, etc.). In doing this and making it something actually attainable, you are setting yourself up for success. You will not only have something to work towards, but you will also have the satisfaction of accomplishing something once it is done. What better feeling is there than that?

 

The key to having a good day is starting off on the right foot. Give yourself the time, and utilize the tools necessary to achieve your own successes.

How To Handle Rejection

Handling Rejection

So, you got rejected. It hurts right? Really sucks? Feels not so great? Jobs. Relationships. Everything else that got away. We have all been there. Rejection isn’t easy, but it certainly doesn’t have to be as difficult as we often make it out to be. The way in which you respond to it can determine your future. Are you going to allow it to hold you back, or will you utilize the chance to grow stronger, more resilient, and better prepared the next time?

As always, you can find the audio version of this post on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Google Play.

1. Reframe the Rejection

The easiest thing you can do when faced with rejection is to slip into the “I’m so stupid” mentality.  Approaching your defeat with this attitude is only going to hold you down. If you aren’t there to lift yourself up,  no one else will be either. It’s important in these times, to reaffirm the efforts you have made and remember, “I pushed myself to my limits”. By exercising this compassion you can begin to see the new possibilities provided by this misfortune.

2. Do Not Let It Define Your Limitations

A single case of rejection (or perhaps more than one) is not indicative of the end. Not getting the job you wanted, or being rejected by the one you ‘love’ does not discredit who you are as a person or the skills and attributes you have to offer the world. It is not the end.

Remember, one incident or individual is not reflective of all that you have and are.

3. Seek the Learning Opportunity

Rejection doesn’t have to be the end. In fact, rejection can serve as a humbling experience because it reminds you that you don’t know/have everything. With the right mindset, rejection can serve as an opportunity for motivation to do and be better.

Yes. You lost opportunity x or person y,  but what did you learn? What can you do differently next time? And what is it that you want?

Rejection is hard and it hurts, but it’s certainly not the end. Revaluate, appreciate, and always persevere.

How To Find Motivation

motivation guide

I would first of all like to open my post with an apology to my followers for how MIA I have been over the past couple of weeks. A trip to paradise coupled with a hectic schedule upon return has left me feeling overwhelmed, unfocused, and more importantly – unmotivated. If you need a few tips on finding your motivation when things seem to have unraveled, then I have got some great information for you!

Much like anything in life, motivation is going to ebb and flow throughout our journeys; sometimes naturally, and other times as a result of external forces. Accepting this notion as fact is one thing, but making the effort to change it is another. There are times in these periods of low motivation that something will spark within us, ignite our flame, and find us off again on a whim ready to take on the world. However, (much has been my personal case as of late) there are times when no matter what we try, we simply do not seem able to muster up the ability to get sh*t done.

This week I want to walk you through the 3 steps that I have used, and continue to use, to restart my motivation and get myself back on the path to success. As always, the audio version of this post is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Google Play.

1. Follow a Consistent Schedule

Whatever your goal or task at hand is, you need to make your approach to it consistent. Set aside a specific time each day (or however often it is you need to get whatever it is done), and make it the same every day you do it. Whether it is the 1 hour you are going to spend at the gym, or the 5 minutes you are going to spend meditating before an exam, make the pattern the same – EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Consistency will be the key to your success.

As humans, we want nothing more than to have excuses for the things we don’t feel like doing. By incorporating whatever the activity may be into a regularly scheduled routine, you can replace the excuses with an obligation to get it done. You don’t think twice about going to work every day, so why should you think twice about doing the things you actually want to do in your life?

2. Commit Publicly

Do you have something you want to start (or re-start) pursuing? Well, there is no better way to commit yourself to it then to tell all – or at least one of – your friends or family. While Facebook and Twitter are inundated with so much useless jargon, they still serve as useful tools for sharing our thoughts, goals, and aspirations in a public arena. After all, we are much more likely to stick with getting something done if others are expecting it of us as well. It’s easy to lie to yourself, but no one ever wants to be known as that person who never follows through with what they say they’re going to.

3. Always Create New Challenges for Yourself

It is nearly impossible to find pleasure and motivation in completing tasks that are easy and monotonous. Sure, you’ll have fun for a day, but once the novelty wears off you will be bored, uninterested, and seeking an alternative. Trust me. If this is a state you currently find yourself in – be it work, school, or a special project (like me) – that is perfectly normal! The key when caught in one of these cycles is to take the initiative to create a new challenge for yourself.

Depending on your situation it could be as easy as asking your boss for a new task, or changing the deadlines for something your working on to a week sooner for that added pressure. Whatever the approach, use it as an opportunity to exhibit your initiative. New challenges = new opportunities.

– – –

Life can get hectic, hard, and overwhelming. It’s important to remember that steering off course is natural. Having the ability to centre yourself back into focus  is the true testament to your trajectory in life.

We each only have one life, and it’s about time we all start working towards getting motivated and making the most of it.

 

How To Take Control of Your Life

CONTROL AND ACHIEVING RESPONSIBILITY

When was the last time you found yourself thinking about your current situation in life, and how making just one different decision in your past would’ve have changed the course of everything for the better? Perhaps if you had or had not of done that one thing, absolutely everything would be totally different. Maybe if you could have had more time, better support, or different resources things would have worked out how you wanted them to. These thoughts are destructive, and it’s finally time to stop and take control.

People tend to live as though their past controls their future, but this is only true if you allow it to be. Your memories of past events are biased, leaving you with feelings towards those situations that are distorted and often times, unresourceful. By learning to own the fact that you are in control of the decisions you have made and will make in your life, you are one step closer to achieving your desired outcomes.

As always the audio version of this post can be found on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud.

1. Quit Passing the Blame and Let Go

All too often we don’t want to own up to the mistakes that we have made in the past. We blame other people, our previous circumstances, and our surroundings for not achieving the results we wanted. Not only is this tendency unattractive to others when trying to gain their support, but it also prevents us from altering our decision making process and impedes us from getting the results we want.

I want you to think of a time when something didn’t go your way. Did blaming someone/something else change that? Nope, definitely not. What can YOU do differently next time to alter your outcome?

We are in control of our own decisions. By learning to liberate ourselves from the decisions of the past (both our own and those of others) we can achieve so much more clarity on the path to being successful. Always reflect on what you have learned, and move forward knowing how you can be better. Do not worry about the others.

2. Learn to Accept and Take Care of Yourself

When you learn how to take 100% responsibility for things you want and the work you put into achieving them, you will begin to naturally attract the support of others without them being the ones in control.

We are all human, each respectively with our own flaws. By learning to accept our faults, and working towards being better each and every day we will find that the sense of control we feel in our day-to-day actions will naturally strengthen.

Continuously seek to develop traits that will aid in the process of getting what you want and nurture those characteristics as they develop. Reward yourself for your successes, but do not punish yourself for mis-steps; it is all part of the journey. In order to feel good you need to reassure yourself that you are doing good, so be sure to evaluate along the way and recognize your achievements – no matter how small.

3. Establish Your Priorities and Always Think Forward

If you feel like you are constantly at war with a never ending to-do list perhaps it is time to stop and assess how you got there. Don’t be afraid to turn away new opportunities that do not contribute to your overall end game. The end goal here is progress, if your actions are not contributing to your progress then why are you participating in them? Rid your time of useless activities.

Further to the idea that you should not waste your time on things not contributing to your overall success, it is important to recognize that you also aren’t going to do something you don’t believe is possible. If you tell yourself you can’t do something, then chances are you won’t. After all, why would you try to do something that your brain thinks you are incapable of doing? Prioritize your success, and work towards the end goal here. Think of the tools and actions you need to get there, and determine how you can and will get and do those things. Don’t be afraid to give it your all – even in unfamiliar territory.

Quit the “No’s” – Love Yourself – Strive Towards Success

How To Set Goals and Get What You Want

GUIDE TO SET GOALS

When was the last time you set a clear and definite goal and actually successfully achieved it?

Do you ever find your mind wandering towards hopes of how life could be or should be different, only to find yourself in the same position a few weeks later? Are you still wishing, hoping, and waiting for that big change to come? Well, if your answer is yes then you are not alone.

As always you can find the audio version (EP002 & EP003) on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud 

Often times as millennials, we find our minds scattered with big, sporadic ideas and no proper sense of direction on how we will achieve them. We feel lost, overwhelmed, and ultimately hopeless that all of these plans are just plans and will never equate to anything more. It is not until we begin to break down these plans, figure out what the steps are that it will take to make them a reality, and set tangible goals, that we can finally start living out the life we have always dreamed. With a proper sense of direction and purpose, anything is achievable.

Choosing to take action towards setting goals will lead to outcomes you have always figured were out of reach. When you decide you want something and actually work towards achieving it, it won’t be long until you want more. Follow these 5 simple steps to mastering goal setting, achieving, and igniting your flame to set the world on fire. This is YOUR life, YOU get to choose how you want it to look.

1. Set Goals.

Set tangible, measurable goals and WRITE. THEM. DOWN. Accountability is key. By writing down your goals you will help to hold yourself accountable to what it is you are trying to achieve, and quite simply you will be able to remember what the initial task was that you set out to accomplish.

2. Determine what you are going to need to achieve your goals.

  • Do you have enough time  to produce the results you are looking for?
  • Will you need more money?
  • Do you have the quantity and quality of content you are hoping to provide?
  • Is there additional knowledge you need to obtain to be successful?

Understanding what you already have and what you are going to need will help you determine how long it will take you. Additionally, breaking your goal down into smaller, individual tasks makes the whole idea of achieving it less overwhelming.

3. Develop a [reasonable] timeline.

Studies have shown that we are more focused and committed to achieving things if we have structure indicating when we want to achieve them by.  Are you a procrastinator? If so then it is important to be honest with what you can accomplish and how long it will actually take you to do. After all, this timeline is for you so be realistic.

4. Be willing to embrace change and prepare for uncertainties.

Sometimes throughout the process, plans change, ideas change, resources change – be open to new possibilities and embrace change as it comes. By resisting the unexpected on your journey, you are really only resisting the likelihood of you actually achieving your goals. Instead use the unexpected as an opportunity to learn a new skills, pursue a new avenue, or perhaps change your end goal all together. The process is key to your own growth.

5. Reflect

Remember that your journey is your own. It may take more or less time than others. There is no such thing as a failure, only feedback. If you aren’t getting the results you want, recognize that you need to do something differently. Take the time to periodically check how you are doing and reflect on what you keep doing, stop doing, and start doing. In determining your areas of fault and success, you will be able to increase your efficiency and achieve your goals faster. Self-reflection is imperative to success.

If this all seems a little overwhelming, or you aren’t sure where to start please find my goal setting template here to help you get started.

5 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years

5 THINGS IN 25

In honour of my 25th birthday and the inaugural post to my newest venture, I have decided to open up by publishing my first blog and podcast episode with the theme of the Five Lessons I’ve Learned in 25 Years. If you’re not much of a reader, you can find the audio version (EP001) here on iTunes, Google Play or SoundCloud

1. If you want something, go for it. No one else will do it for you.

In an age where social media makes it so easy to compare our lives to others (friends, family, and even strangers) it’s hard to not become envious of the things other people have, the places they go, and lives they are living. While it can be pretty easy to become trapped in the dark vortex of jealous it is important to remember that those people made a choice to get to where they are today. Choices that you too are capable of making.

Rather than spending your time sitting around wishing you were doing/having/experiencing what other are, go out there and get it for yourself! Do you feel as though it’s something you can’t do right away? Start making choices that are going to get you one step closer.

2. Live in the short term, think in the long term.

At the beginning of 2017 I decided that I was going to make the year my “Year of Yes” in which I was going to finally stop living cautiously and start embracing spontaneous opportunities as they presented themselves. While it’s all good fun to agree to go on a week long trip across Canada out to the East Coast (coming soon July 2017), it’s also equally important to be mindful of your long-term goals.

Ideally, I would like to be a homeowner in about a year’s time. Does this mean I can drop everything and go backpack Asia for 3 months? Likely not, but that doesn’t mean I have to stop enjoying my life. I have learned that life is too short to turn down opportunities in the present for fear of how it will impact the future, but I think we as millennials have a slight tendency to be a little reckless in this aspect.

You can have your cake and eat it too, just maybe consider only one slice at a time.

3. Surround yourself with the people you want to be like.

Studies have shown that your behaviour is a direct reflection of the 5 people with whom you spend the most time. If you find yourself spending time with people you find draining, unproductive, or even self-destructive, chances are these are habits and tendencies that you are self-consciously adopting as well. Carefully take the time to assess whom you want to invest your time with, and don’t be afraid to let go of people whom don’t add value to your life. Being in mind of always trying to be one’s best self can aid in the process of ridding your life of toxic people. Do it for yourself.

4. Express your gratitude.

This one is simple, but often forgotten. When was the last time you told your loved ones you loved them? How about the last time you said thank you to someone for doing an every day task? When was the last time you congratulated yourself on the efforts you have put in, day in and day out to living your best possible life? Do it today. Spread kindness and prosperity will follow.

5. Be the best you. Always work on self-improvement, self-reflection and self-betterment.

The best thing that we can do as individuals is seek to contribute our best possible selves to the greater picture. While it may be a continuous struggle, each day we are working towards being better than we were yesterday in all facets of our lives. By recognizing and embracing our faults and flaws we can not only work towards improving them, but also use them to better understand why others behave the ways in which they do. It’s so easy to point the finger at someone else and indicate their short comings, but when was the last time you looked at yourself for a change. Embrace your accomplishments, but remain humble and always seek areas in which you can improve.

Radiate the vibes you want to attract, and live the life you want – no fear.