We all have rituals throughout the day. Coffee break at 10, lunch at noon, snack at 3. Some of us like to exercise at 5 am while others wait until after work. I like to put my socks on before my pants…it’s just how I do it. Others are more pants first then socks.

When and how you wake in the morning along with what you do can either set you up for success or a painful yawn fest the rest of the day.

We’ve all heard the old adage – “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Well, that may or may not be true depending on your DNA and nutrition style. But there are other morning rituals that are a lot more immutable.

1. UNNECESSARY DECISION MAKING: Rummaging through your closet trying to decide what to wear first thing in the morning is costing you 10% more bandwidth and time than it would the night before. In addition, standing in front of your open refrigerator trying to decide on what to have for breakfast or if you’re going to have it at all usually leads to bad results. Decide what to wear and what to eat the night before and have them prepared.

2. HITTING THE SNOOZE ALARM: By hitting the snooze button, you’re interfering with your body’s natural wake mechanisms, which actually sets you up for more exhaustion during the day ahead. When your alarm goes off for the 2nd or 3rd time, your body and brain are confused, resulting in that foggy feeling called sleep inertia. Sleep inertia can stay with you throughout the day, making you feel exhausted. Get into the habit of getting up at the same time every day and never hit the snooze.

3. IMMEDIATE COFFEE: I hate to tell you, but that coffee first thing in the morning, the pre-breakfast caffeine jolt has negative all day ramifications. Drinking coffee first thing in the morning can radically affect the levels of cortisol in your body, which will negatively impact your energy. High cortisol can lead to increased blood sugar and even weight gain. Coffee before breakfast can also create serious problems for your stomach and digestive system. The best time to sip your almond milk latte is after at least 8oz of water and a good healthy meal between 9:30 a.m. and noon.

There’s more… a lot more but start with these first. Breaking old habits is never easy nor is starting new ones.

Let’s be BIGGER than our challenges.