The year is almost over, and there is nothing that any of us can do about it! Next year is a blank canvas, and you can start to make sure that you hit your desired outcomes. But remember, with a new year, something has to change.

I started this year off with some strong personal and professional goals. Here is a list of just a few:

  1. Grow my leadership coaching company, Plan to Lead.
  2. Eliminate food and beverage products that have more than 12 grams of sugar with few exceptions 
  3. Get totally out of debt.
  4. Start waking up at 5 am.

When the year first began, some of these seemed easier than others, but after some time, I hit every one of these goals. I am not some kind of goal conqueror; I just try to set my self up to achieve my goals by giving something else up. I gave up to go up – and you can too.

This year may have its ups and downs, but you too can positionyourself to hit your goals by knowing howto answer these three questions: 

1. What are my clear and compelling goals?

What are the clear and compelling goals that you are trying to hit?  These are the goals that would help you achieve massive growth and stretch you far and wide at the same time.

For some, you may want to grow your business by twenty percent. For others, you may want to grow your faith, improve your health, or grow a relationship with someone else.

The goal here is to get very clear and specific on what you want. These are not clear and specific enough:

  1. I want to grow my business.
  2. I want to grow in my relationship with my spouse.
  3. I want to wake up earlier.
  4. I want to grow in my faith.

These are clear.

  1. I want to grow my business twenty percent in revenue next year.

      2. I want to go on biweekly dates with my spouse.

      3. I want to get up at 5:00 am every morning.

      4. I want to have thirty minutes of devotional time every morning at 5:00.

2. What do you have to give up to reach your goal?

Most likely, you will have to giveup something in order to achieve something bigger. To reach my goals, I gave upcontrol and brought on team members for my company, gave up ice cream, paideverything off, and gave up watching movies most weekday nights. 

If you are looking to grow your business, you’re going to have to decide what tasks and responsibilities you need to delegate to other team members. We created a document to help with this and you can have it by signing up through one of the pop-up boxes!

The companies that we coach are finally experiencing tremendous growth. The owners of these companies are handing off more and more responsibilities because they understand that they have to give up to go up. 

3.Who will keep me accountable?

When we’re aware that someone is always checking on our progress, we tend to perform better. You need someone who will encourage and challenge you to reach your full potential.

You may have a close friend or peer that will check in on you at least twice a month. Personally, I have found the best results by having someone who could coach me into being accountable.

This year is in your hands, but someone who needs to take some action if you want to reach new goals. So, take some time to set your goals, decide what you are giving up, and enlist some help! May this be your best year yet!

If you would like to talk to a coach schedule a call.

I love the underlying concept of work-life balance, but I don’t love the practicality of it. The word “balance” implies an even distribution over the course of time. So if you work too much one week, you will have to spend more time with the family the next, and vice-versa. You never arrive at your goal because this is an uncertain finish line. Luckily, there is a better way.

For years I have coached and trained others to live a more intentional life, and I am also on the same journey.  I have found that most people have a desire to change but become incredibly frustrated with the results they’re getting. Even worse, they look at those who seem to have it all together and have limiting beliefs that they can’t do the same.  I know how they feel as I have been there as well.

One of the greatest trades you can make when it comes to productivity is trading balance for healthy rhythms. While balance is unclear, rhythms are defined through a series of habits.

Almost forty percent of your actions are simply your habits according to the best selling book The Power of Habits. So if you change your habits, you will change your life. In order to create healthy rhythms, you will need to follow these five steps.

1. Decide on your goals.

The first step in the process of creating health in your life and business is deciding your desired destination, or goals. You need to clearly define what is your most important goal for the main areas of your life. We have our clients fill out a life and business plan.

Your goal should be in the form of x to y by z. For instance, your work goal may be to bring up sales revenue from one million dollars in quarter one to one million two hundred thousand dollars by the end of quarter 2. You may have a personal goal of losing fifteen pounds in the next 60 days.

2. Define your habits.

Once you have clarity on what your most important goal is for an area of life, you need to add the specific habit(s) that will help you to achieve it. Keep in mind that there are some habits, called keystone habits,  that set off a chain reaction for others to happen.

If you are a business owner, one of your habits could be to spend four hours a week working on the business instead of just in the business. Your keystone habit for your sales goal may be to contact ten loyal customers a week to see how they are doing and if they need any further assistance. Your habit to lose weight may be to write down your caloric intake every day and not to exceed so many calories.

Choose one or two habits that when done either on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, that will ensure that you will hit your goal.

3. Disrupt your schedule.

If the way you are currently spending your time is not giving you your desired results, then it’s time for a schedule change. You will most likely need to change your schedule to thrive in your key areas such as self-development, relationships, and business.

Some of your current fruitless activities will change and its place will be slotted for your new habits.

We look at the schedule a week at a time and call it our weekly rhythm. Inside your weekly rhythm is time to accomplish your habits and ultimately ensure reaching your goals.

4. Draw lines in the sand.

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. In order to accomplish your goals, you are going to have to set some healthy boundaries in your life. There will be times when you say “no” to the good so you can say “yes” to the great.

Since you already have your time slots full of your new habits, you can say no to things since you have a prior commitment. This part will make or break your ability to grow your business or personal life.

5. Dig your heels in.

I would love to say that everything will magically fall into place once you start, but there will be resistance. That resistance will come from the fact you’re already predisposed to your current habits and life itself.

How long does it take to form a new habit? Though it varies, research shows it more likely to take two months or so. This is one of the benefits of our year-long leadership coaching program, the opportunity to solidify many new habits. Here is the good news–once something becomes a habit, it does not require much effort to keep it going.

Take some time and clarify your goals and follow the steps in order. Plan today for the business or life you want to live tomorrow.

Want Impact? Focus on these Two Elements of Life


Maybe you have heard the phrase, “if everything matters, then nothing matters.” The reality is, every area of our life does not have the same impact on outcomes. This is true for leaders as well.

When we look at the life of a leader, we tend to gauge success by external things. We look at the size of their company, how much income they have, what type of home they live in and other such elements of life that become the Mendoza line for what may be considered a great leader.

But we’ve also seen a number of leaders who appeared to have great “success,” — all the external things in place — but based on a poor decision now face a life that is crumbling around them.


Recently, I have come up with a term to consider how far a leader will go. I call it ” The Slingshot Effect”. The premise is that which is closest to you will determine how far your life and leadership will go. Let’s explore this.


1. Inner Life

What is going on the inside of you will eventually make its way to the outside of you.  If you are falling apart on the inside, the outside of your life will eventually do the same.

Our inner life is about connecting to things that are near to us and the parts of our life that are bigger and beyond us. This includes our faith, our motivators, and attitudes.

You have to take time out of your life to invest in your inner life. For me, investing time in prayer, meditating, reading the bible, and reflection is a game changer.

Taking the time in your schedule to do these will also help deter you from making poor decisions based on a bad condition of your soul and spirit. While it may seem to cost you valuable time, it’s really an investment that will pay off long term. Whatever you invest in this season, you will be able to pull from the next. The best investment you can make is investing in your inner life.

2. Inner Circle

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, he shares a study conducted by Dr. Robin Dunbar. In the study, Dr. Dunbar created an equation to figure out the number of relationships primates can have, including humans. According to Dunbar, you can have 150 casual friends, 50 close friends, 15 friends you can confide in, and a support group of five.

The one that will have the biggest impact on your life is the closest five. Jim Rohn is known for saying you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. This means that those you are spending the most time with today, are shaping who you are becoming tomorrow.

If you don’t like who you are becoming, you may want to take a look at your short list for your inner circle. I want to challenge you to make sure that your inner circle is made up of people of these three shared attributes.

  •  Mutual values

Except for family, those in your inner circle should have values that align with yours. Our value system is the foundation of all that we say and do.

You can be friends with anyone you choose, but those closest to you should share values. It’s even more important than having similar interests. Having similar interests may make the relationship more interesting, but having the same values will make it more enduring.

  • Mutual Direction

If you are leading others, you need to make sure that your closest friends are people who are going in a similar direction as you. If you want to be a person of strong faith, lead a family well, and/or have a good work ethic, you don’t want to be spending the most time with those whose lives are going the opposite direction as yours.

You want people who will encourage and challenge you to reach your God-given potential in the areas that you deem to be most important.

  •  Mutual Trust

Relationships are built on trust. If you can’t trust people in the present you can’t trust them with your future.

Apart from similar values, the most important characteristic I was looking for in a wife was that she was trustworthy. The same is true for friendships.

Someone being trustworthy is simply a fruit of a person who lives a life of integrity.

I challenge you to take some time and reflect on your inner life and circle. Here are some questions for reflection.

  • Do I like what is going on in my inner life? Do I like who I am becoming?
  • Do I have mutual values, direction, and trust with my inner circle?

If you want to go far in leadership, you have to monitor what you allow closest to you. That which is closest to you will determine how far your life and leadership goes.

What is one area you could improve in in your inner life or circle?

Like most people, you want to make sure you are choosing the right path when making big decisions. The bigger the decision the more that is involved. This can cause fear as you do not want to cause damage by making the wrong decision.

Throughout life, you will have to make quite a few big decisions; where to go to college, whom to marry, and even whether or not to accept that job offer in another city.

Most recently, my wife and I have wrestled with her not working full-time so she could devote more of her time to our children. Many people have wrestled with this decision before, and I think this is a decision the couple has to make.  For us, I knew that was Christa’s dream to be a stay at home mom.

With this desire came many other questions. When is the right time? How will this affect the future? How will this change our finances? When, if ever, will we pull the trigger?

Craig Groeschel once said, “The decisions we make today, determine the stories we tell tomorrow.”

I wonder if we could rephrase it as, “the big decisions we make today determine the big stories that we tell tomorrow.”

[bctt tweet=”The decisions we make today determine the stories we tell tomorrow. Craig Groeschel” username=”justinsetzer”]

With all the thoughts, questions, doubts, and concerns that can come with making big decisions, there are things that can help make the process less overwhelming.

1. Information.

  • Adequate information

Growing up my pastor told me you needed two things when making a decision; adequate information was one of them.

When making a decision, you need to consider the different types of cost involved: opportunity cost, monetary cost, time cost, and consequential cost.

  • Accurate information

The other thing my pastor growing up told that I needed when making a decision was accurate information. It goes without saying that we have a plethora of information in this day and age, but not all of it is truly accurate.

Do your needed due diligence before making a big decision and make sure that the information you have is correct.

2. Clarity.

You need to be clear on what you want in life, especially if you want to make big decision-making more fruitful. If you are looking for something to help you have better clarity in your life, I encourage you to create a life plan.

The questions to ask is what decision will lead me to my desired outcome.

3. Wisdom.

As a person of faith, I always want to try to have God’s wisdom when I making a large decision. Take a look at what Jesus’s brother James said, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” This is my starting point when it comes to wisdom.”

You should also seek wisdom from your spouse, family, trusted counselors, mentors, and books.

From our life plan, Christa and I knew that one of our desired outcomes was for her to be able to devote her time to our children.

I would love to know what other ways you use to you make big decisions.








Many children are diagnosed with ADHD (or ADD) in their adolescence, and it goes away as they get older. Then there is the rest of us.

Growing up my parents did not see eye to eye on whether or not to medicate us for ADHD, and I believe they both had good reasons. They spent a small fortune (enough to buy a brand new car) to have my twin brother and I extensively tested. The results after a week were that we indeed had a little bit of an attention problem. Okay, maybe I was given the highest legal dosage of Ritalin as a kid, or at least that is what I remember. Like most people, I stopped taking medication before I became an adult, but guess what; I still have issues with my attention span. Though my attention span has improved tremendously over the years, there are a few apps that help me focus even better while I am at work.

1. Focus at Will:

Focus at Will combines scientific study and music to help you to concentrate for a longer period of time. I remember the first time I used this app, I was able to concentrate for a prolonged period of time. They also have a timer on the app that allows you to set self-deadlines for tasks. There is some learning curve with the different types of music offered with Focus at Will. I use quite a few of them, though I am not convinced that the one listed for those with ADHD works for me. Please do yourself a favor and see if you concentrate better with the app and give me your feedback.

This is the most expensive of all the apps and hacks that I use and recommend, and unfortunately, there are no free options.

2. Rescue Time:

Rescue Time allows you to track how you are spending time on your computer. If you are on Facebook a ton, it will let you know that you are very distracted. It also will compare your current week to the previous week to let you know whether or not you are improving at being a good steward of your time. Luckily, there is a free version of this application. Here is the description of the app from their home page:

“With so many distractions and possibilities in your digital life, it’s easy to get scattered. RescueTime helps you understand your daily habits so you can focus and be more productive.”

3. Stay Focused:

Potentially the greatest value comes from being able to limit how much time you spend on a certain website or a group of sites collectively. So if you are spending too much time on social media sites, you can let Stay Focused know to only allow you to spend thirty minutes total a day on all the social sites.

There is also a nuclear option on Stay Focused. If you want to keep yourself off certain sites that are a time waster for you; you nuke the site. Just remember, you will not be able to get back on that site.

4. Nozbe:

Nozbe is the task management system that I have used for years. It is geared towards David Allen’s GTD (Getting Things Done) system.

This app helps me to remember the things I need to be working on; therefore lowering the risk of me entering into a state of prolonged distraction.

5. Evernote:

It if weren’t for Evernote I would not have an enjoyable way to retrieve much of the digital information I collect. This is my go-to application for many good reasons. Most importantly it is the location where I store many important documents, notes, quotes, business cards, and likes for later retrieval.

The free version of Evernote is very good. I sprang for the premium version because I utilize the premium features on a frequent basis.

6. Weekly Rhythm:

While this is not an app per se, having a weekly rhythm helps me to stay on track by using my time in a predetermined manner. In my rhythm, I schedule a time to finish the needed tasks, develop leaders, develop myself, spend time with family, use my quiet time, and so forth. When coaching an individual or company, I encourage them to create a rhythm to maximize their productivity.

While my attention span still affects my productivity from time to time, these apps and hacks have helped me to move forward tremendously.

If you have any other apps that you use to help you stay focused I would love for you to share.

(Some of the links are affiliate links. I only recommend apps that I am currently using. I use the free version of everything listed, except for Evernote and Focus at Will.)

Coaching is something that has helped me with leadership development. In fact, I think it’s something that professionals can’t afford not to have.

There I was stuck. Have you been there? Knowing that you have potential, but don’t understand why you can’t get past where you are. Like me, you have reached out for help only to come up empty.

I was there, but I didn’t plan on staying there, and I don’t think you do either. Instead of hoping something would change, I started investing my money in coaching. Honestly, I didn’t know the results I would achieve, but I knew there needed to be a change. Do you know what happened? A life change happened.

Coaching is becoming a huge industry, and I believe it’s because it works. You can go further faster with someone in your corner.

Coaching is one of the best investments I have made in my life, and I would encourage you to do the same. If you need more convincing here are some more benefits of coaching.

1. Clear Direction.
A coach will typically ask what results you are looking for and help you create a plan to achieve those results. The coach will not make the plan for you, but they will help you discover how to get from where you are to your desired future.

2. Perspective.
A coach is able to offer a different perspective than your own. The reality is that you have some blind spots, so they can help you see what would otherwise not be apparent to you.

3. Increased Productivity.
According to research done by ICF, seventy percent of coaching clients had a boost to their work performance. That same article showed that more than half of those coached improved their time management skills as well.

4. Work/Life Balance.
Coaches can tell when you are off-kilter in your work/life balance. This alone is worth the investment.

A good coach will encourage you to not only grow in your professional skills but give your best to your faith, family, and health.

I have been on both sides of the coaching relationship, being the one coached, and now coaching others. It is something I believe in wholeheartedly.

If you are in a season where you are trying to improve personally and professionally, I challenge you to invest in a coach.

Many leaders have wondered why their teams are not performing up to their expectations. The answer may be closer to home than you think.

When I was in my early twenties, a few of my friends and I decided to take a weekend off and go to Daytona Beach. Who doesn’t love the feel of getting some time off for some rest and relaxation?

We took off from Tampa where we all live and began the scheduled two-hour journey. As I was driving us there, we were goofing off, having fun, and full of expectations for a great weekend.

Then something happened. I saw a sign on the interstate for Miami. We had been going in the wrong direction, and none of us knew it.

Sadly, the same things happen in the workplace. Employees come to work each day, put in a good day’s work, all the while going in the wrong direction.

You as the leader can help change that be helping your team in these three areas:

1. Know what their job is.
This sounds basic, but according to a Gallup study of over two million employees, “‘only about half of the employees strongly indicate that they do.” This means that one out of every two employees doesn’t confidently know what is expected of them. This same study also found that managers were just as likely to not know what was expected of them.

Just to get to first base, they should have a clear job description, but this alone is not enough. They need you as the leader to provide continual clarity on what they are supposed to do, how what they are doing impacts the company’s overall objective, and how they are making a difference.

2. Affirmed when they are doing a good job.
Yes, employees should do their jobs whether or not they are praised for their effort, but we all want to know we are appreciated and are doing our job. Studies show the companies that have good cultures of recognition have a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate.

So if you see someone who hit it out of the park recently, let them know.

Don’t be general about what they did by saying, “good job Tracy.” Instead, tell them specifically what they did, why it stood out, and how it impacted your organization’s mission.

That could look like this: “Tracy, I wanted to thank you for following through with that client of ours. I know they were pretty demanding, but like a champ, you pushed through the challenge, and they were elated with the outcome. Because of what you did, that company has signed a contract to use our services for the next two years. You have not only benefited our team, but you have shown another client why our company stands out.”

If you are in a non-profit or ministry, most of the work is done by those who volunteer their time. An affirmation may look like this: “Susie, I saw what you did for that single mom last week. She got to church just a few minutes before service began and realized she had no diapers in her diaper bag for her youngest. Instead of just saying, ‘oh no!’ You went the extra mile to ask a mom you know if she could spare a diaper. That single mom may not remember everything from the service, but she will remember how God showed his love through you. Your devotion to helping others has not only had an impact on that mom, but you solidified even more why she chooses to come to our church. Thank you for allowing Jesus to shine through you.”

One last recommendation on this subject; be genuine with your praise. If you are just checking off a box, people can tell.

3. Developed to do their job better.
Companies should be intentionally developing their team members to be the best version of themselves. As the employee get better, the company does.

This should not be the motive, team members should be developed for their benefit. More than a job, employees should be developed so they could reach higher heights.

Managers should have consistent meetings with their team members to help develop their strengths. Managers should also provide avenues for additional training; workshops, seminars, and conferences. When an employee knows that you are developing them for their benefit, they more likely to stay engaged.

Your team’s effectiveness will be largely impacted by whether or not these three things become part of your culture. Take a moment today and think about how you could improve in these three areas.

I would love to hear from you about how you accomplish any of these three areas in your organization.

If you are looking for more help in your business and personal life, I wanted you to be one of the firsts to know that I currently have four spots open for one-on-one coaching clients. My goal is to help you get clarity in your personal and business life, so you can reach your full potential, without neglecting your priorities. If you are interested in more information, go here.

No one enjoys going through challenging seasons. While we would all probably prefer to avoid them, trying times do have some benefits.

A few years back, I was going through a rough patch. I was grateful I had faith in God because it seemed I would never be able to shake the way I was feeling.

Thankfully that season passed, as they all do. The challenges we face can vary from season to season. You may be experiencing a challenge in your relationships, health, finances, workplace, business, or emotions. The good news is, something beneficial can come out of your circumstances.

Scripture shines some light on challenges in Romans 8:28; “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Everything we experience is not good, but some good can come out of everything. I believe challenges provide clarity in four key areas of our lives.

[bctt tweet=” Everything we experience is not good, but some good can come out of everything” username=”justinsetzer”]

1. Convictions

When you go through a challenge, you may end up shaken to the core; what remain are your true convictions. Challenges have a way of sifting out beliefs that are not true convictions and strengthening those that are.

2. Priorities

This may be the most beneficial item on the list. If you are going through a relationship challenge in your family, all of a sudden you may realize that working overtime or going to the ball game with friends is no longer so important.

You may be given a great challenge to make your true priorities a priority again.

3. Friends

When things are going well it is easy to have friends, but when you go through difficulties the strength of your friendships is challenged. You discover who will walk with you regardless of what is going on in your life. If you find that you have one true friend, you should consider yourself blessed.

4. Perspective

The challenges we face give us a more well-rounded point of view. As you face certain trials, you can engage better with others who are going through similar experiences.

The best prayer during challenges may be, “God help me see things the way you see them.”

The aforementioned season I experienced didn’t kill me, but it did bring clarity to the four areas above. Remember this as you are facing your challenge: God can work it out for good. You may not love what is going on, but there is something you can learn and grow from in the midst of your trial.

Would love to hear how your experiences have brought out clarity in your life.

There are those seasons of life that are incredibly busy. These seasons have the potential to chew us up and spit us out, but you can learn to thrive in them.

I am currently in an incredibly busy season of life. Just sitting here writing this post makes me think of the millions of other things I have to do. We have a large initiative at the church I lead; I’m preparing for outside speaking engagements, I am having some issues with an investment property, and more. I know that many of you reading this are just as busy as I am, if not more.

If I am not careful this busy season will really wear me out, and this has, in fact, happened to me in the past. Luckily, there is a better way.

One of the busiest seasons of my life was two years ago. I was completely overwhelmed. One day I was on the phone with my coach, and he really helped me put things into perspective. He essentially let me know that I may not be able to accomplish everything on my list, but I needed to ask myself what 3-5 things if done with excellence would be enough.

My desire is to help you navigate this season of overwhelm by doing a few necessary things.

1. Say yes to priorities.

You need to discover what your priorities are in this season. Take a moment to write down what the most important things are that need to be done.

One of my favorite books on the subject of priorities is Essentialism, by Greg McKeown. In that book Greg states, “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.” I don’t believe that you want someone else choosing your priorities for you.

In order to help you decide your priorities, use the Steven Covey quadrant to help you decipher what is most important. Over time you will be able to do this without having to use the quadrant, as it will become second nature to you.

2. Say no to things that are not priorities.

When things are busy we can get tired and our decision-making skills will not be as sharp. During busy seasons you have to be especially careful about what you say yes to.

Your time is a limited commodity, as there are only so many hours in the day. Because of this, every time you say yes to one thing you are saying no to something else. So, by saying yes to one thing, you may be saying no to your family, sleep, or finances.

When you get a request from someone and you know it’s not a priority, you can simply tell them that in order to be faithful to prior commitments you have to say no. If it’s your boss, you may have to tell them that yes, you can do this, but then ask which other tasks they want you to give up.

3. Say yes to rest.

Many times you may sacrifice rest when times are busy. Do yourself a favor; say yes to a good night’s sleep. Now, this may look different for you than others but get enough sleep. If you get the adequate sleep you are less likely to be stressed, and people will want to be around you more. If you are like me, you get a little grumpier when you have not rested enough.

You may think that you get more done by working late into the night, but studies show that sleep deficit is a productivity killer. So, unless you are part of the sleepless elite, get a minimum of seven hours of sleep.

Give yourself a clear time of when you need to be in bed by, and don’t slowly let it slip.

By giving yourself some clarity on what should actually be done during this season, you give yourself the liberty to say no to the wrong things and yes to the right things. You will be less overwhelmed and stressed out, sleep better, and don’t neglect your family or health as much. If you do these things you can thrive during this season instead of simply surviving.

I know there are more tips that you can add to this conversation, and I would love to hear from you in the comments below.


Typically people distinguish themselves as either a morning person or night person as if it is something etched in stone. Many people can switch from being a night owl to become a morning person.

I noticed recently that I was unhappy with my productivity. My productivity was by no means horrible, but I knew there was room for improvement.

During my last quarterly review, I decided it was time to start waking up earlier. I knew if I could get my quiet time and workout done before going to work I would be more consistent. There was one little issue; I needed to get up before 5:30. Now you may be a morning person, and that may sound like a breeze, but that was not the case for me.

Set yourself up for success, and make it is easier to wake up in the morning by following a few key things.

Before you go to bed:

1. Wind-down time. A few hours before you go to bed, give yourself some wind-down time. It is helpful for me if I eliminate technology for an hour or two before bed.

2. Set out your clothes out the night before. If I am going to the gym the next morning, I set my gym clothes out the night before. If you are married, and your spouse is still sleeping, they will appreciate less noise in the morning.

3. Get to bed earlier. If you keep doing the same thing, you are going to get the same results. You will still need 7-8 hours of sleep, so plan accordingly based on the time you want to get up.

4. Place your alarm away from you. If you put your alarm next to your bed, you are more likely to use the snooze option. Instead of setting yourself up for failure; place your alarm somewhere out of reach so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

Once you are up:

1. Drink a glass of water. After sleeping for 6-8 hours, your body needs to be hydrated. Drink sixteen ounces of chilled water when you get up. It boosts your metabolism by almost 25 percent.

2. Turn on some lights. Darkness cues your body that it is time to shut down, while light tells your body it’s time to wake up. I get up before the sunrises, so I turn on the bright lights in the living room. If you wake up after sunrise, step outside for a few minutes.

3. Get moving. I start my day off with my quiet time with God. If I start the day off by laying down while praying, I will go back to sleep. So I start the time off on my feet listening to worship music.

For you, it may be something different, but get your body going – stretch, go to the gym, or on a walk first thing in the morning.

I can’t tell you the extent that becoming a morning person has been a game changer for my life and level of productivity. You can have these same results, with a little discipline.