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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!

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DFG Health and Wellness on Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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