It's important to have morning rituals that help motivate you to take on the day.

Morning yoga on the beach. Photo via iStock.

OK, so not everyone lives near a beach, but don't worry, sun salutations are just as effective in your living room or office as they are at this Instagram-worthy locale.


And your morning motivator doesn't have to be something physical. It could be a few minutes of meditation or reading a few passages of an inspiring novel while sipping your morning coffee. Whatever it is, it should leave you feeling good, which will in turn help the rest of your day go that much better.

That was Ron Alston's notion when he started a morning ritual with his daughter of looking into a mirror and repeating outstanding affirmations.

Photo by Ron Alston, used with permission.

Alston is a YMCA program director and personal trainer in Virginia, and as such, he's always been an advocate for bolstering confidence in easy-to-reproduce ways. He started this ritual with his daughter, Aliya, to build her up each morning and remind her that she's "the greatest."

The ritual actually began with Alston and his father when he was a boy.

"My dad did this with me in the mirror as well, which I believe has helped make me more confident and positive," Alston said.

He started inspiring Aliya before she was born. He'd play her the 1996 Bulls anthem, which any Bulls fan knows is one effective way to get a positivity boost.

When Aliya grew up and started to talk, however, he brought her in front of the mirror and taught her to repeat a few choice phrases that he hoped would fill her with strength. These include "I am strong," "I am smart," "I work hard," "I am beautiful," and "I am respectful."

"The world will try to tear [children] down in many ways, but they must know they are unique and great in their own way,"  Alston said.

Naturally, the insanely adorable and uplifting video went viral. It's been viewed over 13 million times, and shared more than 360,000 times.

Many parents have thanked Alston for empowering his daughter in this way and declare they too will start similar traditions.

It doesn't have to take much, but a simple ritual like this can make such a difference in your life, in your children's lives, and in the lives of everyone you meet. Taking a moment to evoke your own worth and acknowledge the value of every person you interact with can only make our days brighter.

Watch the father-daughter morning motivation session here:

Morning Motivation Starting off with positive affirmations can set a great tone for how your day unfolds. Learning this from an early age can be very beneficial in the esteem and confidence of a child. We are all Destined for Greatness!

Posted by DFG Health and Wellness on Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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