If you want to be successful, get up early. When it comes to successful people -- from top CEOs to top politicians -- many share a common trait: Their alarms go off early. Very early. We're talking 4:30am, maybe as late as 5am. And then they get busy. Forbes magazine has identified five things successful people accomplish before 8am when most of us are still swigging that second cup of coffee and looking for our car keys.
People who successfully work out every day do it in the morning--before the phone calls, text messages and emails interrupt them and make them too tired to hit the treadmill later. Morning exercise not only gives you a health benefit of stronger bones and muscles and lower blood pressure, but also a sense of accomplishment.
2. Plan your day
Making both a to-do list of the minutiae and a goal list for the big picture is essential for the most productivity. Doing this in the morning allows not only for quiet reflection, but also the time and concentration to work the magic of time management and fit it all into the coming day's schedule.
3. Eat a healthy breakfast
It's long been known that people who eat breakfast are healthier than people who skip out the door with a cup of coffee and a doughnut. Take the time to eat a bowl of hot oatmeal or cold cereal to fuel your body for the demands of the day ahead. Bonus: It's a great time to socialize with your family.
4. Meditate or pray -- and then visualize
Take a few minutes to calm your mind and improve your mood. Think of it as quiet time for your head. Mediate or pray and then visualize your day ahead, focusing positive thoughts on the successes you will enjoy.
5. Make your day top heavy
Choose the most difficult (or dreaded) item on your to-do list and do it first. You'll bring your best energy to the task and get a great feeling of accomplishment when it's completed. Best of all, with the task done, you won't have it hanging over you.