Do this and you'll have done the important stuff first.

Life is busy. It can feel impossible to move toward your dreams. If you have a full-time job and kids, it's even harder. How do you move forward?

If you don't purposefully carve out time every day to progress and improve, without question, your time will get lost in the vacuum of our increasingly crowded lives. Before you know it, you'll be old and withered,  wondering where all that time went.

As professor Harold Hill has said,  "You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays."

Rethinking your life and getting out of survival mode
This article is intended to challenge you to rethink your entire approach to life. The purpose is to help you simplify and get back to the fundamentals.

Sadly, most people's lives are filled to the brim with the nonessential and trivial. They don't have time to build toward anything meaningful. They are in survival mode. Are you in survival mode?

Like Bilbo, most of us are like butter scraped over too much bread. Unfortunately, the bread is not even our own, but someone else's. Very few have taken the time to take their lives into their own hands.

It was social and cultural to live our lives on other people's terms just one generation ago. And many Millennials are perpetuating this process simply because it's the only worldview we've been taught.

However, there is a growing collective consciousness that with a lot of work and intention, you can live every moment of your life on your own terms. You are the designer of your destiny. You are responsible. You get to decide. You must decide, because if you don't, someone else will. Indecision is a bad decision.

With this short morning routine, your life will quickly change. It may seem like a long list. But it's really quite simple:

Wake up
Get in the zone
Get moving
Put the right food in your body
Get ready
Get inspired
Get perspective
Do something to move you forward
Let's begin:

1. Get a healthy seven-plus hours of sleep
Let's face it -- sleep is just as important as eating and drinking water. Despite this, millions of people do not sleep enough and experience insane problems as a result.

The National Sleep Foundation conducted surveys that revealed at least 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders, more than 70 kinds. Not only that, 60 percent of adults, and 69 percent of children, experience one or more sleep problems a few nights or more during a week.

In addition, more than 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their activities at least a few days each month -- with 20 percent reporting problem sleepiness a few days a week or more.

On the flip side, getting a healthy amount of sleep is linked to:

Increased memory
Longer life
Decreased inflammation
Increased creativity
Increased attention and focus
Decreased fat and increased muscle mass with exercise
Lower stress
Decreased dependence on stimulants like caffeine
Decreased risk of getting into accidents
Decreased risk of depression
And tons more. Google it
The rest of this post is worthless if you don't make sleep a priority. What does it matter if you wake up at 5 a.m. if you went to bed three hours earlier? You won't last long. You may use stimulants to compensate, but that isn't sustainable. In the long run, your health will fall apart. The goal needs to be long-term sustainability.

2. Prayer and meditation to facilitate clarity and abundance
After waking from a healthy and restful sleep session, prayer and meditation are crucial for orienting yourself toward the positive. What you focus on expands.

Prayer and meditation facilitate intense gratitude for all that you have. Gratitude is having an abundance mindset. When you think in terms of abundance, the world is your oyster. There is limitless opportunity and possibility for you.

People are magnets. When you're grateful for what you have, you will attract more of the positive and good. Gratitude is contagious.

Gratitude may be the most important key to success. It has been called the mother of all virtues. If you start every morning putting yourself in a space of gratitude and clarity, you will attract the best the world has to offer and not get distracted.

3. Hard physical activity
Despite endless evidence of the need for exercise, only one-third of American men and women between the ages of 25 and 64 engage in regular physical activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control's National Health Interview Survey.

If you want to be among the healthy, happy, and productive people in the world, get in the habit of regular exercise. Many people go immediately to the gym to get their body moving. I have lately found that doing yard work in the wee hours of the morning generates an intense flow of inspiration and clarity.

Whatever your preference, get your body moving. Exercise has been found to decrease anxiety, stress, and the chance of depression. It is also related to higher success in your career. If you don't care about your body, every other aspect of your life will suffer. Humans are holistic beings.

4. Consume 30 grams of protein
Donald Layman, professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of Illinois, recommends consuming at least 30 grams of protein for breakfast. Similarly, Tim Ferriss, in his book The 4-Hour Body, recommends 30 grams of protein 30 minutes after waking up.

According to Tim, his father did this and lost 19 pounds in one month. Protein-rich foods keep you full longer than other foods, because they take longer to leave the stomach. Also, protein keeps blood-sugar levels steady, which prevents spikes in hunger. Eating protein first decreases your white carbohydrate cravings. These are the types of carbs that get you fat. Think bagels, toast, and donuts.

Tim makes four recommendations for getting adequate protein in the morning: 1. Eat at least 40 percent of your breakfast calories as protein. 2. Do it with two or three whole eggs (each egg has about 6 grams of protein). 3. If you don't like eggs, use something like turkey bacon, organic pork bacon or sausage, or cottage cheese. 4. Or, you could always do a protein shake with water. For people who avoid dairy, meat, and eggs, there are several plant-based proteins. Legumes, greens, nuts, and seeds all are rich in protein.

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