5 Things Successful People Do Every Morning That You Can Totally Do, Too

Become your best self before breakfast.

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They say the early bird gets the worm. If Laura Vanderkam's best-selling book, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, is any indication, the early birds are getting some pretty juicy worms. 

While there's an exception to every rule, the time management expert's research proves that successful people also tend to be morning people. They're up and at 'em before the rest of 'em have even woken up. 

Get ready to rise and shine. These 5 tips can help you become your best self before breakfast:

1. Start early.

In a poll of 20 executives featured in Vanderkam's book, 90 percent reported waking up before 6 a.m. during the work week, including the CEOs of PepsiCo, Disney, and Twitter. PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi rises at 4 a.m. and is in the office by 7, while Twitter's Jack Dorsey starts his day with a jog at 5:30.  

So tomorrow morning, instead of hitting the "snooze" button, hit the "success" one. By waking up early, you'll get ahead before your colleagues get out of bed. 

2. Hit the ground running — literally.

Today's movers and shakers start their days doing just that. According to Vanderkam, a pre-breakfast workout can help reduce stress later in the day, counteract a high-fat diet, and even improve sleep — making it that much easier to get up and at 'em the next day.

"The morning is so important because it sets my intentions for the day," certified #GirlBoss Cassey Ho, who created Blogilates, a popular fitness YouTube channel, website, and athletic apparel line, told A Plus. "I like to start it off with a morning workout. This is essential because it gets me amped up physically and mentally to charge through my day!" 

Other CEOs who put morning exercise on the top of their to-do list include Ursula Burns of Xerox, who works out with a personal trainer at 6 a.m. twice a week, and Starwood Hotels' Frits van Paasschen, who hits the ground running (again, literally) every morning at 5:30. "These are incredibly busy people," Vanderkam explains in her book. "If they make time to exercise, it must be important."

3. Spend quality time with family.

Successful people don't just have successful work lives, but fulfilling home lives as well. You really can have it all — you just need to make time for it all. 

While family dinner is a sacred tradition for many families, it's not the only time you can (and should!) get together with your loved ones. This is especially true as your kids grow older and become engaged in a variety of extracurricular activities that may take up their evenings. Instead of competing with sports practice and homework, some successful people choose to spend the majority of their family time in the morning, making breakfast and/or lunch with their kids while talking about what they're looking forward to that day. 

One financial planner, Judi Rosenthal, told Vanderkam that she reserves mornings for spending extra special time with her daughter. Rosenthal still uses that time productively by getting dressed, making the bed, and cooking breakfast with her daughter. Occasionally, they also collaborate on fun art projects, which makes Rosenthal's "most precious time" with her daughter even more fun.

4. Read the news.

To be successful, many people believe it's necessary to be well-informed. That means reading the news every morning, whether it's scrolling through your Twitter feed or scouring every section of your local newspaper. According to Vanderkam, successful people get the latest headlines before they even get their coffee. 

One such rise-and-shine reader is the CEO of GE, Jeff Immelt. According to Vanderkam, he peruses the morning paper and watches CNBC after a cardio workout. David Cush, Virgin America's CEO, is a master morning multitasker, reading the paper and listening to sports radio, all while pedaling on a stationary gym bike. #Goals, indeed. 

5. Write down what you're grateful for.

The more successful a person is, the less they tend to take that success for granted. They often start their mornings off right by expressing gratitude for all the wonderful things in their life. By appreciating what they already have, successful people begin their day on a positive note, giving them the incentive to take on big projects and, consequently, become even more successful.   

Whether that means writing in a journal or repeating a mantra, successful people devote a part of every morning to practicing mindfulness. Besides watching a TED Talk with a light breakfast, Yonatan Raz-Fridman, co-founder and president of Kano Computing, told A Plus he writes down the first thought on his mind and does a short meditation "mainly to say thank you." 

By writing down everything they're grateful for, successful people are better able to take stock of their priorities and then approach the rest of their day with an open heart and clear mind. 

(H/T: Business Insider)

Cover image via Nenad Aksic.

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