How you spend the first hour of your day has a major influence on your personal development and long-term success. Your mind receives information and impulses from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep.

The first hour of your day is the crucial one as what you fill your mind with in the first hour will, to a large extent, determine how you’ll feel and act for the rest of the day.

Ninety-five per cent of what you do and say is determined by your habits. Successful people have developed good habits that lead to the right decisions and positive, proactive steps; while unsuccessful people’s bad habits cause wrong decisions leading to inefficient use of their time, finances and other resources.
Good habits are difficult to acquire but easy to keep. In contrast, bad habits are easy to develop but difficult to give up. Perhaps the most important success factor and habit you can acquire is to use the first hour of the day in a positive and productive way in order to put your mind into a success mode.

How to do it

From bed to trainers. If what you do first thing in the morning is jogging, exercise or a fast walk, it’ll get your energy going, kick-start your metabolism, release endorphins and boost your mindset.

Devote the first part of your morning walk or jogging to breathing. Try the following breathing exercise: inhale rapidly four times and then exhale rapidly four times – each breath in the rhythm of your steps. Each in-and-out breath cycle consists of 8 steps. This exercise will get oxygen to your brain.
The second part of your morning workout will be devoted to gratitude. Thank for yourself for everything you have in your life. You may feel grateful for the roof over your head that enables you to sleep well at night; you may be grateful for healthy legs that enable you to walk; you may also feel grateful for people around you who love and support you. Whatever it is, the moment when you feel grateful for all these people, things and situations will bring you even more of them in the future.

Finish your walk or jogging practising incantations. Incantations are affirmations (positive statements in the present tense, never in the conditional) which you say out loud when you do exercise. For example, I am… (healthy, happy, successful). I’ve got…, I do… etc. Unlike with affirmations, your physiology gets involved, as well.

All these techniques have been developed to help you change three crucial areas: your physiology, your attention focus and the language you use.

Food for your body and soul

After a good workout you deserve a good breakfast. What you eat to a large extent affects how you feel all day. If you want your body to be healthy and strong, you need to make sure your diet is both nutritious and regular. If possible, avoid a high intake of white flour, fat and sugar.

Just like your body needs to stay away from an unhealthy diet, your mind needs to stay away from damaging thoughts to work well. Mentally fast and stay clear of negative thoughts. Make a decision to keep only positive thoughts in your mind.

Associate with positive, like-minded people who share their dreams and goals with you, not their problems. Become a person who always focuses on solutions. If you face a problem, spend a maximum of 20 % of the time specifying it and 80 % solving it.

Keep your mind focused on the target. Look at your vision board and allow your mind to calm down, so that inspiration can come. You can calm down your mind with everyday meditations or walks in nature. How to create a vision board will be covered in the next section.

Before you switch on the television or the radio, spend 20 or 30 minutes reading motivational or educational literature. Make sure that the first information which you send to your mind every day is positive and consistent with the life you want to live.

After you read something inspirational, write down 10 goals you want to achieve in your life. State only positive goals: always in the present tense, not in the conditional, as though they had already become reality. For example, I’m healthy, I weigh x kilos, I have a loving partner, I’ve got a job I enjoy and find fulfilling, etc. Repeat this exercise every day. It is a very efficient mind-programming method.

A daily to-do list can help

To accomplish your life goals, you need to take specific steps. Plan your day before you begin it. Make daily planning your habit. Make a list of all the activities you need to do during the day and put them in order of priority (you can do that the evening before). In the morning set to work on the most important task of the day and don’t stop until it’s finished. Completing the task first thing in the morning will boost your energy and self-confidence.

Success is no coincidence. It takes discipline, good habits, taking proactive steps and the right mindset. Your thoughts are causes and the circumstances you find yourself in are consequences. If you want to change your outer reality, start with yourself and change your inner mindset. If you want to get something you’ve never had before, you must do something you’ve never done before.


  • Renata Angelo, speaker, coach, author