Choose Costa Rican beans for your coffee.
Jokes aside, this is the most important article you'll ever read on this site. Because what I will share shortly are some actions that you can quickly implement and get the most obvious results; habits that will radically change your life.
What a cliché that '...will change your life'... isn't it? Well, look at it this way; if you start the day well, doesn't it usually end up as a good day? Don't days make up weeks, weeks months, months years... and years a lifetime?
So the secret is controlling your day, and every day starts in the morning.
"Sow a thought and reap an action,
Sow an action and reap a habit,
Sow a habit and reap a character,
Sows a character and reap a destiny."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
1. Wake up early
You hear everywhere the 'lack of sleep' being discussed and how unhealthy it is, but for some reason no one talks about the harms of 'oversleeping'.
Nowadays, the latter is a much bigger problem than the first, especially among young people who have not yet found their purpose in life and are addicted to social media and games. Don't be get the impression that I criticize them (you?) — I've been through the same phases and still hover around from time to time. How do we find our purpose in life, how do we get rid of these technological addictions: Shall we talk in a separate article?
When you sleep a lot (roughly say, more than 8 hours), your brain starts to go numb and you completely lose your ability to concentrate, which is already on the verge of extinction. You are constantly distracted, your mind wanders off to every kind of stuff except the moment, and you cannot build the momentum to be productive.
Waking up early ironically removes all that sluggishness and gives you more time to accomplish more throughout the day. Waking up early (being able to get up early) automatically makes you feel successful — after all, every successful person does the same.
I'm not going to advise you to stand up at 4 AM as they do in melodramatic motivational videos. However, this might be necessary depending on the state you are in right now:
4 AM is the time when your subconscious mind is most open to 'manipulation'. That's why monks start their day by meditating at this time. If you are constantly struggling with some psychological/mental problems that are gnawing at you and need a radical change in your life for whatever reason, learn to meditate by reading the books of experts like Dr. Joe Dispenza and get up at 4am and do it properly.
Meditation, unfortunately, has become an infamous concept. Most people who think they are meditating are actually just deceiving themselves, and those who use it as a marketing material disgrace this incredibly powerful spiritual act. There is not many other ways to isolate your mind from external factors and to control your emotions even in the toughest conditions. For this reason, all businessmen at the top of giant companies, those who run the world, do not spend a day without meditation.
3. Practice breathing
We can consider this as the embodied form of meditation. You may actually be taking a nap with your palms on your knees, earphones on your ears, thinking you're opening your chakras. However, there can be no such delusion during breathing exercises: it is clear how it is done, and the effect is the same — and striking — each time you practice it.
There are several different methods used by Buddhists, but I will simply suggest Wim Hof's method — which is also originated from Buddhism. This special breathing technique, which takes about 20 minutes, should be at the top of your to-do list: It basically simulates a mini NDE (near death experience) that connects you back to reality. Do this even if you do not (or can not) follow any of the other advice on this page: Once a day, right after you wake up, in your bed.
4. Work out
The physical and mental benefits of working out are obvious. But the timing is just as important: ideally in the morning, after meditation/breathing exercise, before shower/breakfast.
Transforming the right actions into habits is extremely difficult, and to make it easier, we need to begin with small steps. If you try to head start with 50 push-ups - 100 sit-ups - 30 pull-ups from day one, you won't acquire a habit, just disappointment. You don't need such a program anyway, just choose one of the three. Our aim is to be a little out of breath, to accelerate our heartbeat and blood circulation, to secrete endorphins; not preparing for the Olympics.
5. Take cold showers
Nobody likes cold water, especially in the early morning, and especially in the middle of winter. However, there is no drug that can mimic the effect of regular cold showers on your cardiovascular system, no supplement that can match it in vigor, no vaccine that can beat it in boosting your immune system.
Actually, the problem is not the 'sting' of cold water; it is our inability to be present. If your mind weren't busy with regrets about the past or worries about the future as you enter the shower; if you could think of nothing and just focus on the drops touching your skin... you'd realize it's not that bad.
Cold water is a teacher and punishes you every time you get distracted.
Don't fight it; try to get along. They don't teach its lessons in any school.
What about coffee?
Coffee is a legal drug. When you can't do any of the above, it's a shortcut to mimic their effects for a few hours. From time to time, consume it for pleasure, but please do not make it a habit.
Every good result you get the easy way shows that you went the wrong way.