HUFFINGTON POST
01/14/2015 07:00 am ET Updated Feb 26, 2015

7 Things Successful People Always Do Before Breakfast

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The last time I checked, there are still only 24 hours in a day. One thing really successful people do is to squeeze the most out of those 24 hours as they can. For most of us, this means setting the alarm clock a little earlier each day, and getting a lot more done before we head off to the office. Just an hour or two extra in the morning can have a huge impact on achieving the goals you set for yourself.

If you want to succeed beyond your wildest expectations in your own life and business, then give these success habits a try.

1. Get an early start on the day

Most every successful person I know wakes up and is out of bed bright and early. They know that to get a jump on the day, they need to take advantage of every minute they've got. It's not coincidence that most top executives are up and making things happen well before 6 a.m.

2. Think big thoughts

I look forward to taking a shower every morning--not to just to wash up (though that's a nice side benefit) but to think big thoughts. It's true: researchers have proven that our best, most-creative ideas find their way into our brains while we're taking a shower. It's a combination of the neurotransmitter dopamine that's triggered in our brains by the warm water, our relaxed state, and the distraction from our normal, busy self-talk that does the trick.

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3. Check the news

The world is a very busy place, and it's important to know what's going on--and how what's going on may affect your business day--before you get to the office, not after. Forget old-fashioned newspapers that are printed the night before. Plug into online news services or television cable news channels to get up-to-the-minute news that you can really use.

4. Check and send email

Checking and responding to your work email messages before you actually get to the office will give you a big head start on your workday. You can also send assignments to the members of your team and check on progress.

5. Set your top-3 priorities

The first thing I do after I get out of the shower is to check my list of priorities for the day. Do they still make sense? Have some faded in importance while others have emerged? Set your top-3 priorities for the day while you're still at home, then work on them for the first hour after you arrive at the office.

6. Check in with your loved ones

Now, before you head to the office, is a great time to check in with your loved ones.What are the plans for the day? Do you need to be a part of them? If you have kids, then you'll want to be sure that you've got school and other meetings and special events on your calendar.

7. Power up

Don't forget to eat some breakfast--your brain and body need the energy to get you through the morning. According to nutritionists, this should include some protein (eggs, bacon, milk) along with complex carbs and fiber. Leave the sugary cereal on the supermarket shelf.

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