Category Archives: Finance

finance

The Best Money Move At Every Stage Of Your Life | The Huffington Post

Age may be just a number but as the years go by, our feelings about money—how we earn it, how we spend it, and how we stash it away—tend to change, too. “Our relationship with our finances evolves across our life,” says financial therapist Amanda Clayman. “Depending on which phase we’re in, we may find ourselves more at peace or far from it.” All the more reason to establish a durable financial game plan.

  • Starting Out
    Credit: Alex Potemkin/E/Getty Images
    In our 20s, getting by on an entry-level salary can make it tough to set long-term financial goals. Nearly half of female investors ages 25 to 34 agreed with the statement “I am driven more by the present than the future when it comes to financial decisions,” according to a 2014 Ameriprise Financial study.

    Many millennial women are delaying marriage, which also brings financial challenges, says Stefanie O’Connell, author of The Broke and Beautiful Life: “They’re contending with the higher cost of living alone and saving up for major milestones on their own.” On top of that, four in ten millennials describe their debt as “overwhelming,” according to a 2014 Wells Fargo study.

    Your Best Money Move: Negotiate. Asking for $55,000 instead of $50,000 early in your career could amount to $600,000 over 40 years.

  • The Sandwich Generation
    Credit: PeopleImages/istock
    Money may not buy happiness, but for women in midlife—think Gen Xers and some baby boomers—it can provide relief. According to a 2015 study, the link between income and happiness is strongest at this stage—60 percent stronger than for young adults.

    Sandwich generation women may be juggling the costs of raising children (daycare, after-school activities, college) and of aging parents’ medical needs. “The pressure is on,” says Clayman. “So the more money you have to cover these bases, the more you can reduce stress and increase contentment.”

    In 2012, about 15 percent of middle-aged adults were providing financial assistance to an aging parent and a child.

    Your Best Money Move: If you leave your job to care for family, stay in touch with colleagues and tap resources like Après, a LinkedIn-style site for women seeking to reenter the workforce.

  • The Fantastic 50s
    Credit: wundervisuals/istock
    Starting around 55, our financial certainty peaks; 62 percent of boomer women feel a strong sense of control over saving and investing, according to Ameriprise. “As you age, you’re more likely to have confidence about what to do, how to do it, and when,” says financial behaviorist Jacquette Timmons.

    Eighty percent of female boomer investors say they’re satisfied with their achievements.

    Your Best Money Move: If you delay Social Security benefits until your full retirement age, you’ll receive 100 percent of your benefit.

  • Boomers and Beyond
    Credit: abel Mitja Varela/Taxi/Getty Images
    Later in life, money doesn’t affect just the way you plan for the future; it can have an impact in the bedroom. A 2016 McGill University study of women ages 55 to 85 discovered that the more well-off they were, the better their romantic relationships and sex lives tended to be. As the study’s coauthor Annie Xiaoyu Gong explains, when women have more education and economic stability, they may also have a heightened sense of power and be more fearless about asking for what they want.

    Your Best Money Move: Worried about having enough for retirement? You can make additional catch-up contributions to certain retirement accounts, like a 401(k) or an IRA, starting at age 50.

Farnoosh Torabi is a personal finance expert, the author of When She Makes More, and the hose of CNBC’s Follow the Leader and the award-winning podcast So Money.

Via: The Best Money Move At Every Stage Of Your Life 

High-Paying Job Listings Are Written To Attract Men, Study Finds 

MUCELLA VIA GETTY IMAGES

Would you consider yourself a driven, experienced leader eager to get your hands dirty?

Then you’re likely a man.

Job listings that include words and phrases like “get your hands dirty” and “driven” are more likely to attract male applicants, according to data analysis done by a machine-learning startup called Textio.

And these characteristically masculine terms are used even more frequently in postings for higher-paying positions, according to new data from the company, which studies millions of real job listings and related information to find patterns and trends that help companies hire more efficiently ― and without bias.

The findings add another layer of explanation for the lack of women at the top in the business world.

“It is not super surprising that the listings skew more male, when you look at composition of executive teams,” Kieran Snyder, Textio’s CEO and cofounder told The Huffington Post. Majority-male executives are probably driving the job requirements for these roles and using characteristic language.

Textio keeps a database of nearly 100 million real-world job listings, updated constantly. The two-and-a-half-year-old startup also gets information from clients (including CVS, Johnson & Johnson and Cisco) on how long it takes to fill a job, as well as who was hired ― their age, gender, ethnicity, etc. Data is in the aggregate so no personally identifiable information is shared.

You’d think that some jobs just naturally attract more women than men ― for example, guys are just are more interested in leadership roles ― but Textio has found that the language in the job post itself is also important.

And they’ve tested this theory at a few big companies. Travel company Expedia, for example, rejiggered a job posting for an engineering role to include more feminine toned language and they hired more women, Snyder said. The original job post had skewed male. The company saw similar results with jobs posted by Johnson & Johnson.

Other social science research has turned up words and phrases more likely to appeal to women than men. And another startup called Unitive is also a software program that helps analyze job listings for bias.

Textio claims to take the research further. By looking at real data, the company was able to turn up some language that isn’t on anyone’s list of gendered words. These include exhaustive, enforcement and fearless (masculine) and transparent, catalyst, and in touch with (feminine). The company has venture backing from a few well-known Silicon Valley investors.

For this recent report, the company looked at global job data, comparing listings for lower-level roles with those for executive roles ― including titles with “chief” in them like CEO, COO, CTO, CFO, those with “president,” like vice president and senior vice president, as well as director-level jobs.

In only two countries were executive job listings written with a more feminine slant: Australia and Ireland.

TEXTIO
Around the globe, job listings for high-paying roles skew masculine — except in two countries.

The company provided examples of male-biased and female-biased executive jobs.

Here’s a real female-slanted posting for a chief technology officer at a company, with its name changed to Acme.

TEXTIO

 

And here’s a CTO job-listing that skews male:

 

TEXTIO

Despite the fact that women now make up nearly half of the labor market, and have for a while, they’re still conspicuously absent from the top of the org chart. Only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. And around the world, women hold only 24 percent of senior roles, according to a 2016 study.

In one sense, the reason for the imbalance is simple and boils down to sexism. Women were long dismissed as serious workers or leaders and explicitly not welcome at the top of the corporate ladder.

Yet, in 2017, overt prejudice is less likely the driving factor for gender imbalances. Instead, there are more practical obstacles, like a lack of paid leave or the pressure on women to take on the primary responsibility for care taking at home and put their careers on ice. And a variety of implicit biases that play out at work that are harder to see and fight.

As this data show: Some of that implicit bias starts before you even land the job.

Via: High-Paying Job Listings Are Written To Attract Men, Study Finds

Scam Alert: This Con Can Cost You Money — And Send You To Jail

Kelli Williams, a market researcher by day, was looking for a little side hustle. The 38-year-old from Oak Park, Ill., cruised Craigslist and found what seemed like a great moonlighting gig. “It seemed like it would be perfect. You could work as many or as few hours as you wanted and it was all done from your computer, remotely,” she said.

A guy named “Bill” had a warehouse in California and wanted her to list items on eBay—under Williams’ account—and manage the transactions and inquiries. Bill would receive the order and ship the goods to the customers. “It all actually worked at first. I listed the items, the people received them, I got some money,” Williams said.

The honeymoon didn’t last long. “As I took on more and larger items, complaints started rolling in. People weren’t getting their items. They were demanding refunds. I kept pestering Bill and he would say the item was on its way. More emails, more demands for refunds. His next excuse was that they got lost in the mail (and he told me some ridiculous percentage of items get lost in the mail every day).”

But because the items were under Williams’ name and account, she was responsible for giving out refunds for increasingly expensive items, such as exercise equipment, electronics and software. “The last time I contacted Bill to essentially beg him to make this right, he became a totally different person (for all I know he could have been) and threatened me. He said he knew where I lived and worked and would send his ‘family in Chicago’ after me.”

In all, Williams lost about $5,000 in what’s known as a “reshipping scam,” and she had to start all over again building a new eBay account because all the bad reviews had made her original one unusable. This happened about 13 years ago, and she’s since rebuilt her reputation, but unfortunately, she’s not alone in falling victim to a scam. According to the FBI, college students, especially now, are prone to this kind of con. “Never accept a job that requires depositing checks into your account or wiring portions to other individuals or accounts,” the FBI warns on its website.

“Reshipping scams, like many job scams, are appealing because they offer the opportunity to get a job and get paid quickly. Because they don’t have any experiential or educational requirements, most job seekers are qualified for these sorts of scam jobs, which allows scammers to access a bigger pool of potential victims. Most job seekers feel at least some pressure to get a job quickly, especially if they’ve been out of work or need extra income to meet their debt obligations. Scammers understand this vulnerability and they prey on it,” says Brie Reynolds, a senior career specialist at FlexJobs.com, an agency that helps place people in legitimate work-from-home and part-time positions. 

And to make matters worse, the damage could go beyond losing money for the victims . “Reshipping job scams aren’t just annoying–they can actually involve job seekers in criminal activities. Most of the time, the goods being reshipped are stolen, and once a person receives those stolen goods and then mails them to another location, they’ve unwittingly become part of that crime,” Reynolds says. In fact, to her knowledge, there are basically zero legitimate reshipping jobs.

Being able to tell the difference between a real and fake job is more important than ever , because, according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com,  the population of work-at-home employees (not including freelancers) has grown by at least 103% since 2005 — 3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time.

Some other “make money from home” offers that could be scams include:

Data Entry: Jobs in this category often require an upfront payment for processing or training and very rarely pay as well as advertised.

Pyramid Marketing: This illegal scam doesn’t exchange goods, just money. Similar to chain letters, people invest in pyramid marketing because they believe they will benefit from investments made by people who follow them into the program.

Stuffing Envelopes: Typically this involves signing up and paying a fee. Once enrolled, you receive a document explaining how to get others to buy the same envelope-stuffing opportunity you did. You earn a small commission when someone else falls for the scam and pays the nonrefundable fee.

Wire Transfers: Wire transfers  move money quickly from one account to another. These transactions are difficult to reverse making it nearly impossible to recover lost funds.

Unsolicited Job Offers: These often arrive in the form of job scam emails. They offer immediate employment or the opportunity to interview for a great job. Be wary of any job with vague job requirements and descriptions, unprofessional emails, online interviews using a Yahoo IM account, and any emails that don’t include contact information or that are sent from a personal email account.

Rebate Processor: Job seekers are promised high income in exchange for processing rebates at home. A nonrefundable “training” fee is usually required to get started as a rebate processor. Instead of simply processing rebates, this job involves creating ads for various products and posting them on the Internet. A small commission is earned when someone buys the products, part of which is sent back to the buyer as a rebate.

Assembling Crafts/Products: Most companies offering these positions require you to pay an enrollment fee and purchase all supplies and materials from them; then the companies reject finished products regardless of how closely they match the sample finished product.

Reynolds advises job-seekers to dig a little deeper if something seems like easy money. If the answers to these questions raise your hackles, you may want to hold off on applying:

  • Is there a detailed job description that talks about duties and responsibilities, plus application requirements, or just a vague one?
  • Are there spelling errors, grammatical errors, capitalized letters or dollar signs ($$$) used throughout the description?
  • Is the interview conducted over instant messenger (like Yahoo IM or Google Chat)?
  • Does the interviewer focus mostly on how much money you’ll make, or how easy the job is, or how qualified you are, rather than asking you real questions about your qualifications?
  • Are you offered a job right away, and perhaps pressured to accept quickly, before you’ve had a chance to think about it?
  • Is the hiring company’s name listed in the job posting?
  • Do you need to pay to get the job, buy supplies, or invest in the company?
  • Does the job listing sound too good to be true?
  • Does the company ask you to provide your social security number, driver’s license number, credit card number, or bank information?
  • Does the language used in the posting sound odd or strangely written?
  • If you’re unsure of the job, do you really want to risk it?
  • Do you have a bad gut feeling?

Williams filed a police report and learned that others had been taken by the same scammer—but she doesn’t think he was ever caught. She said she’d never even had that “red flag” feeling. “I was naive. If anything, I should have known that it was too easy and good to be true.”

 

 

Vanessa McGrady would be thrilled if you’d visit her new blog, www.greenmeansgotravel.com. You can find her on Twitter (@VanessaMcGrady) and learn more about her work at www.vanessamcgrady.com.

Via: Scam Alert: This Con Can Cost You Money — And Send You To Jail

13 Body Language Blunders That Make You Look Bad 

GETTY
Dr. Travis Bradberry shares 13 mistakes that have a tendency to make even really smart people stumble. Learn them before they tempt you into looking bad.

Our bodies have a language of their own, and their words aren’t always kind. Your body language has likely become an integral part of who you are, to the point where you might not even think about it.

If that’s the case, it’s time to start, because you could be sabotaging your career.

TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90 percent of top performers, to be exact). These people know the power that unspoken signals have in communication and they monitor their own body language accordingly.

“Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, 80 percent of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words.” – Deborah Bull

When you’re working hard and doing all you can to achieve your goals, anything that can give you an edge is powerful and will streamline your path to success. Just make certain you don’t fall victim to any of these body language blunders.

1. Exaggerated gestures can imply that you’re stretching the truth. Aim for small, controlled gestures to indicate leadership and confidence, and open gestures—like spreading your arms apart or showing the palms of your hands—to communicate that you have nothing to hide.

2. Crossed arms create a physical barrier that suggests you’re not open to what the other person is saying. Even if you’re smiling or engaged in a pleasant conversation, the other person may get a nagging sense that you’re shutting him or her out. Even if folding your arms feels comfortable, resist the urge to do so if you want people to see you as open-minded and interested in what they have to say.

3. Inconsistency between your words and your facial expression causes people to sense that something isn’t right and they begin to suspect that you’re trying to deceive them, even if they don’t know exactly why or how.

For example, a nervous smile while rejecting an offer during a negotiation won’t help you get what you want; it will just make the other person feel uneasy about working with you because they’ll assume that you’re up to something.

4. Turning yourself away from others, or not leaning into your conversation, portrays that you are unengaged, uninterested, uncomfortable, and perhaps even distrustful of the person speaking.

Try leaning in towards the person who is speaking and tilt your head slightly as you listen to them speak. This shows the person speaking that they have your complete focus and attention.

5. Slouching is a sign of disrespect. It communicates that you’re bored and have no desire to be where you are. You would never tell your boss, “I don’t understand why I have to listen to you,” but if you slouch, you don’t have to—your body says it for you, loud and clear.

The brain is hardwired to equate power with the amount of space people take up. Standing up straight with your shoulders back is a power position. It maximizes the amount of space you fill. Slouching, on the other hand, is the result of collapsing your form—it takes up less space and projects less power. Maintaining good posture commands respect and promotes engagement from both ends of the conversation.

6. Avoiding eye contact makes it look like you have something to hide, and that arouses suspicion. Lack of eye contact can also indicate a lack of confidence and interest, which you never want to communicate in a business setting. Sustained eye contact, on the other hand, communicates confidence, leadership, strength, and intelligence. While it is possible to be engaged without direct, constant eye contact, complete negligence will clearly have negative effects on your professional relationships.

7. Eye contact that’s too intense may be perceived as aggressive, or an attempt to dominate. On average, Americans hold eye contact for seven to ten seconds, longer when we’re listening than when we’re talking. The way we break contact sends a message, too. Glancing down communicates submission, while looking to the side projects confidence.

8. Watching the clock while talking to someone is a clear sign of disrespect, impatience, and inflated ego. It sends the message that you have better things to do than talk to the person you’re with, and that you’re anxious to leave them.

9. Exaggerated nodding signals anxiety about approval. People may perceive your heavy nods as an attempt to show you agree with or understand something that you actually don’t.

10. Fidgeting with or fixing your hair signals that you’re anxious, over-energized, self-conscious, and distracted. People will perceive you as overly concerned with your physical appearance and not concerned enough with your career.

11. Scowling or having a generally unhappy expression sends the message that you’re upset by those around you, even if they have nothing to do with your mood. Scowls turn people away, as they feel judged. Smiling, however, suggests that you’re open, trustworthy, confident, and friendly. MRI studies have shown that the human brain responds favorably to a person who’s smiling, and this leaves a lasting positive impression.

12. Weak handshakes signal that you lack authority and confidence, while a handshake that is too strong could be perceived as an aggressive attempt at domination, which is just as bad. Adapt your handshake to each person and situation, but make sure it’s always firm.

13. Getting too close. If you stand too close to someone (nearer than one and a half feet), it signals that you have no respect for or understanding of personal space. This will make people very uncomfortable when they’re around you.

Bringing It All Together

Avoiding these body language blunders will help you form stronger relationships, both professionally and personally.

Via: 13 Body Language Blunders That Make You Look Bad 

Want to save enough to retire in your 30s? This guy did 

Fancy cars and high-end shops are probably not a way to reach your savings goals.

 

3 life and money tips from a savings expert

When you’re so good at saving money that you can retire at age 31, people understandably want to hear your money tips. That’s how Clark Howard ended up with his own radio show, where he takes consumers’ questions about all things personal finance.

As it often is, debt has been a popular topic recently, and Howard has a few tried-and-true tips he likes to share with consumers. Whether you’re committed to paying down huge credit card balances or simply want to avoid ending up in debt, here are three things Howard recommends you do.

1. Always save some money

Saving money is Howard’s primary approach to getting out of debt. Shoot for a savings rate of a dime per dollar earned (or 10%), but if you’re not saving anything right now, start by setting aside a penny per dollar (1%) and increase your savings rate every six months, he said.

“Now you may wonder, what does this have to do with eliminating debt in your life?” he said. “You have to start off by learning to live on less than what you make.”

Unless you can find a way to make more money, that means you need to cut things from your budget and put that extra money toward your debt (or a savings account, so you don’t have to turn to a credit card in an emergency).

2. Pay more than the minimum

“A lot of people pay the minimum payment because that’s what the bill says,” said Alex Sadler, managing editor of Clark.com. Doing that could leave you in debt for a very long time, so make it a priority to budget for more than the monthly payment. Credit card bills also include a section that says how much you need to pay each month in order to get out of debt in 36 months (three years), which can help you figure out how much room you need to make in your budget to get out of debt.

When you have multiple debts to pay off, Howard recommends using the “laddering method” to save the most money. That means focusing on the debt with the highest interest rate first.

“Keep throwing money at it, and [on] all the others pay the minimum,” Howard said. “Methodically, step by step, work your way to zero debt.”

It helps to make a list of all your debts and their interest rates. In fact, most people who call Howard don’t know how much debt they have, so sitting down and getting a sense of the numbers is a great place to start.

“If you ever want to get out of debt … the first thing you have to do is figure out how much debt you owe, and then you can make a plan,” Sadler said.

3. Find a cheaper alternative

One of the most common kind of questions Howard gets these days is about student loan debt, particularly from older consumers who borrowed or cosigned on behalf of children or grandchildren. As with all kinds of debt, the best thing to do is avoid it in the first place, because once you’re in debt, there’s usually not much you can do to get rid of it other than pay it off. (This is especially true of education-related debt, because it’s rarely discharged in bankruptcy.)

“The reality with anybody approaching college is the cost of college needs to be the highest priority,” Howard said. “You may have your favorite, but if your favorite would put you into very heavy debt or your family into very heavy debt, you need to go with a different school.”

Though he’s talking about education, that approach applies to anything that could put you in debt. You can’t always avoid going into debt, but if you save up as much as you can and opt for more affordable things (like a vehicle with fewer options or a home with most but not all of the things on your wish list), you’ll end up borrowing less and spending less money on interest.

As you work to pay down and stay out of debt, keep an eye on your credit scores. Not only will good credit help you qualify for better terms on things like an auto loan or mortgage, it can also make it easier to get everyday necessities like a cell phone or utility accounts. You can see two of your credit scores for free, with updates available every 14 days, on Credit.com

Via: Want to save enough 

The incredible reason east sides of cities are poorer than west sides 

 
Getty Images
A sign outside a second hand shop on New York’s Lower East Side in 1955.

Past pollution still having an economic impactThe east sides of New York, London and Paris are noticeably and famously poorer than their western sides. And it turns out there’s a reason for that.

Researchers have found that it’s due to the impact of air pollutants at the time of the Industrial Revolution, as prevailing winds in the U.S. and Europe typically blow from west to east. And it’s an impact that has lasted into today.

A paper from the Spatial Economics Research Centre examined 5,000 industrial chimneys in 70 English cities in 1880, and then re-created the spatial distribution of pollution. That historical pollution explained up to 15% of within-city deprivation in 1881.

“A pollution differential equivalent to the one between the 10% and 90% most polluted neighborhoods of Manchester would be associated with a gradient of 18 percentage points in the share of low-skilled workers,” the paper found.

Perhaps more incredibly, that difference has continued to this day even though the pollution that caused them has waned.

SERC

“Past pollution explains up to 20% of the observed neighborhood segregation whether captured by the shares of blue collar workers and employees, house prices or official deprivation indices,” the paper written by Stephan Heblich and Yanos Zylbergerg of the University of Bristol and Alex Trew of the University of St. Andrews found.

The researchers say the findings have practical implications both in the developing and developed world.

The success of urban policies to revitalize deprived areas depends on their position relative to the tipping point. For countries like China where pollution is a current challenge, there also are long-run consequences to consider, they added.

Via: The incredible reason east sides of cities are poorer than west sides 

Tough Morning Routines Will Make You Exceptionally Successful

Your morning projects the vibe of the rest of your day, and that is something that the ultra-successful live by day-to-day. While the rest of the world is still struggling to find a coffee filter, there are people who have already laid the groundwork to make their day as productive and fantastic as possible.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. Everybody from Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg swear by their rigorous morning habits as a key to their success. And academic research shows that those who adopt morning routines have a greater “ability to take action to change a situation to one’s advantage.”

Adopting morning habits certainly isn’t a cakewalk (especially if you’re not a morning person), but the right ones will pay off enormously, and make it all worth the early morning cursing.

Here are some of thosehabits that willpay offfor your entire lifetime:

Get that worm.

Is a key to success waking up fifteen minutes before work and stumbling in while out of breath? Not just no, but hell no.

The most successful people take their mornings a step further by waking up very early. But Former First Lady Michelle Obama found even greater success when she realized that she needed to see herself as someone worth making time for.

“If I had to get up to take care of my kids, I’d get up and do that,” she said. “But when it comes to yourself, then suddenly, ‘Oh, I can’t get up at 4:30.’ So I had to change that.”

Even if your work doesn’t start early, take the time and generate the willpower to stay away from the snooze button. Finding the time to take care of yourselfin the morning is well worth the investment.

Don’t take anything for granted.

A day that starts off with a negative perspective is unlikely to be a great one, or even a good one. That’s why renowned life coach Tony Robbins suggests a morning “Hour of Power” or “Fifteen Minutes to Thrive.”

A big part of this involves thinking about what you’re grateful for. The benefits of gratitude are enormous — including reduced stress, increased productivity, and a generally improved sense of well-being.

No matter how grumpy you are when you roll out of bed, make an effort to be thankful. This can include family, friends, career, anything you wouldn’t want to take for granted. Then visualize “everything you want in your life as if you had it today.”

Indulge inthe silence.

Most of us, if not all of us, have just a little too much going on in our lives these days. Between the pressure at work, the crazy schedules of our families and the endless distractions from our phones and watches, there isn’t much quiet time (besides the very early morning, of course).

Take the opportunity to enjoy this time, because within the hour, all of the madness quickly starts to seep in. This quiet part of the day is the perfect time to indulge in some meditation.

If you are new to this, try the free app Headspace — it’s an introductory and guided meditation program that takes only ten minutes. Giving yourself this time has the ability to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep habits, increase memory and enhance relationships (just to name a few benefits).

Eat the frog.

We all have something on our to-do list that we just plain old hate doing, and a good majority of us will keep pushing it to the end of the day (or even to tomorrow), when we are exhausted from everything else, to finally get to it.

Instead of pushing things off, and getting exhausted in the process you should“eat the frog” (and no, I’m not referring to the French delicacy). Mark Twain famously claimed “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning that will probably be the worst thing you do all day.”

As productivity expert Brian Tracy says “Your ‘frog’ is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.” He recommends tackling those tasks “before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it.”

Not only does this method avoid procrastination, but it’s also a way to tackle things that take the most mental resources when you have the most energy in your fuel tank.

Eat up.

As much as we sometimes hate to admit it, mom was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and successful CEOs from Branson to Zuckerberg have all sung its praises and said that a big breakfast benefits them throughout the day.

There’s a glut of science backing them up. Breakfast does everything from boost your mental power to getting you in better shape.

The naysayers all say, “I’m too tired!” Well, breakfast wakes you up, while not eating anything does the exact opposite. And for those who cry in protest that there isn’t enough time to make a big breakfast in the morning. You can always do it the night before. I do.

Get your sweat on.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey jogs six miles every morning. Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at five o’clock in the morning to get sweaty. You don’t have to do exactly what they do, but you should really consider some sort of morning workout.

You probably know that exercise is great for you, but what you might not know is that exerting yourself in the a.m. will actually leave you feeling more energized and awake. And working out in the morning is the key to staying consistent with your exercise goals. “If you work out before your day distracts you, your chances of exercising regularly go way up,” says Cedric Bryant of the American Council on Exercise.

We all have good intentions of how productive we will be when we get home from work, that is, until our end of the week deadline gets bumped to tomorrow or our child gets sent home from school with a fever — and just like that, poof, another day goes by without a workout.

Find inspiration.

No matter how grumpy you are in the A.M., forcing yourself to find inspiration will do more to get you out of bed than the most heavily caffeinated Starbucks product ever will. Even when I’m sleep deprived, thinking about the change I’ll make that daythrough LexION Capital gets me all amped up.

Look no further than the late Steve Jobs. He famously said that he looked in the mirror every morning and asked himself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

You don’t have to reinvent the computer. Just take five minutes or so every day to think about the things you can accomplish that day.

Via: Adopting These Tough Morning Routines 

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