12 Things Successful People Do Before Breakfast

Jenna Goudreau, Business Insider

“If it has to happen, then it has to happen first,” writes Laura Vanderkam, time management expert and author of “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.”

Those among us who have managed to find professional success and eke out a life actively embrace this philosophy. They must set aside their first hours of the day to invest in their top-priority activities before other people’s priorities come rushing in.

Science supports this strategy. Vanderkam cites Florida State University psychology professor Roy Baumeister’s famous finding that willpower is like a muscle that becomes fatigued from overuse. Diets, he says, come undone in the evening, just as poor self-control and lapses in decision-making often come later in the day. On the other hand, early mornings offer a fresh supply of willpower, and people tend to be more optimistic and ready to tackle challenging tasks.

So what do successful executives and entrepreneurs do when they are rested and fresh? From Vanderkam’s study of morning rituals, we outline the following 12 things that the most successful people do before breakfast.

They wake up early.


Successful people know that time is a precious commodity. And while theirs is easily eaten up by phone calls, meetings, and sudden crises once they’ve gotten to the office, the morning hours are under their control. That’s why many of them rise before the sun, squeezing out as much time as they can to do with as they please.

In a poll of 20 executives cited by Vanderkam, 90% said they wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, for example, wakes at 4 a.m. and is in the office no later than 7 a.m. Meanwhile, Disney CEO Bob Iger gets up at 4:30 to read, and Square CEO Jack Dorsey is up at 5:30 to jog.

The bottom line: Productive mornings start with early wake-up calls.


They exercise before it falls off the to-do list.


The top morning activity of the rich and powerful seems to be exercise, be it lifting weights at home or going to the gym. According to Vanderkam, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns schedules an hour-long personal training session starting at 6 a.m. twice a week; Christie’s CEO Steve Murphy uses the mornings to do yoga; and Starwood Hotels CEO Frits van Paasschen runs for an hour every morning starting at 5:30.

“These are incredibly busy people,” says Vanderkam. “If they make time to exercise, it must be important.”

Beyond the fact that exercising in the morning means they can’t later run out of time, Vanderkam says a pre-breakfast workout helps reduce stress later in the day, counteracts the effects of high-fat diet, and improves sleep.


They work on a top-priority business project.


The quiet hours of the morning can be the ideal time to focus on an important work project without being interrupted. What’s more, spending time on it at the beginning of the day ensures that it gets your attention before others (kids, employees, bosses) use it all up.

Vanderkam uses the example of business strategist Debbie Moysychyn, who dealt with so many ad hoc meetings and interruptions throughout the day that she felt she couldn’t get anything done. She started thinking of the early mornings as project time, and chose a top-priority project each day to focus on. Sure enough, not a single colleague dropped in on her at 6:30 a.m. She could finally concentrate.


They work on a personal passion project.


Novel-writing and art-making is easy to skip when you’ve been in meetings all day, are tired and hungry, and have to figure out what’s for dinner. That’s why many successful people put in an hour or so on their personal projects before they officially start their days.

History teacher Charlotte Walker-Said told Vanderkam she spends the hours between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. working on a book about the religious politics of West Africa. She can read journal articles and write several pages before dealing with her teaching responsibilities at the University of Chicago.

Carving out the time in the morning to write, and making it a habit, meant she would actually follow through. Vanderkam cites one study of young professors that showed writing a little bit every day rather than in intense bursts made them more likely to get tenure.


They spend quality time with family.


We may exalt the family dinner, but there’s nothing that says you have to have a big family meal at night, says Vanderkam. Some successful people use the mornings to invest in family time, whether reading stories to the kids or cooking a big breakfast together.

Judi Rosenthal, a financial planner in New York, told Vanderkam that, unless she’s traveling, mornings are her special time with her young daughter. She helps her get dressed, make the bed, and occasionally they work on art projects together. They also make breakfast and sit around the table and chat about what’s going on. She calls those 45 minutes “the most precious time I have in a day.”


They connect with their spouses.


In the evening, it’s more likely you’ll be tired from the day’s activities, and time can easily be wasted with dinner preparations and zoning out in front of the TV. That’s why many successful people make connecting with their partners a morning ritual.

Besides, as Vanderkam wonders, what could be better than pre-dawn sex to energize you for the day? After all, regular sex may make you smarter, boost your income, and burn calories.

Even if they’re not getting frisky every morning, many couples use the early hours to talk. For instance, BlackRock Managing Director Obie McKenzie and his wife commute from the suburbs into New York City every morning. They spend the hour-plus trip discussing their lives, finances, household to-do lists, and plans for the week.

They network over coffee.


Especially if you like to make it home for dinner, the mornings can be a great time to meet with people for coffee or breakfast. Plus, networking breakfasts are less disruptive than midday lunches and more work-oriented than boozy cocktail parties, Vanderkam notes.

Christopher Colvin, a New York-based lawyer and entrepreneur, started a networking group for Ivy League alums called IvyLife. Most days he wakes at 5:30 a.m. to walk his dog and read, but every Wednesday he attends an IvyLife networking breakfast. “I feel I’m fresher and more creative in the mornings,” he told Vanderkam. “By the end of the day my mind is more cluttered.”


They meditate to clear their minds.


Type-A personalities typically demand as much from others as they do from themselves, so it can be difficult for them to disconnect from their mental to-do lists and calm their minds. Before they head out the door, many successful people devote themselves to a spiritual practice such as meditation or prayer to center themselves for the rush of the day.

Manisha Thakor, a former corporate executive who founded and now runs MoneyZen Wealth Management, practices transcendental meditation to clear her mind. She does two 20-minute sessions a day, the first before breakfast and the second in the evening, and focuses on breathing and repeating a mantra in her head. She’s found it to be “one of the most life-enhancing practices” she’s ever experienced, she told Vanderkam.


They write down things they’re grateful for.


Expressing gratitude is another great way to center yourself and get the proper perspective before heading to the office. Writing down the people, places, and opportunities that you’re grateful for takes just a few minutes but can make a real difference in your outlook.

Pharmaceutical exec Wendy Kay told Vanderkam she spends a good chunk of her morning “expressing gratitude, asking for guidance, and being open to inspiration.” When she gets to work, she always has a clear vision for herself and her staff.

They plan and strategize while they’re fresh.

Planning the day, week, or month ahead is an important time management tool to keep you on track when you’re in the thick of it. Using the mornings to do big-picture thinking helps you prioritize and set the trajectory of the day.

Banking exec turned teacher Christine Galib wakes at 5 a.m. on weekdays, exercises, reads a few Bible verses, and reviews her tasks for the day before making breakfast. She told Vanderkam this ritual makes her days more manageable and effective.


They check their email.


While time management gurus may suggest putting off email as long as possible, many successful people start the day with email. They may quickly scan their inboxes for urgent messages that need an immediate response or craft a few important emails that they can better focus on while their minds are fresh.

For instance, Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project,” wakes at 6 every morning before her family’s up at 7. She uses the time to clear her inbox, schedule the day, and read social media. Getting these tasks out of the way from the start helps her concentrate better when she moves on to more challenging projects, she told Vanderkam.

They read the news.

Whether it’s sitting in the corner diner and reading the papers or checking the blogs and Twitter from their phones, most successful people have a pre-breakfast ritual for getting the latest headlines.

For example, GE CEO Jeff Immelt starts his days with a cardio workout and then reads the paper and watches CNBC. Meanwhile, Virgin America CEO David Cush uses his mornings to listen to sports radio and read the papers while hitting the stationary bike at the gym.

By the time they get to work, they have a pretty good idea of what’s going on in the world. Then, they can get down to the business of changing it.


When Corporations Sue Governments

In 2004, the Pacific Rim mining company applied to dig for gold in El Salvador. Pacific Rim (since acquired by the Canadian-Australian company OceanaGold) assured the government of then-President Antonio Saca that its work would be eco-friendly and would generate jobs. But with 90 percent of the country’s surface water contaminated, and fearing damage to the Lempa River — an essential source of water for El Salvador’s 6 million people — the administration failed to approve the proposal.

In 2008, Mr. Saca instituted a moratorium on new mining permits; to date, this has been maintained and is widely popular.  Pacific Rim fought back in 2009, filing a $77 million lawsuit with the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (Icsid), a World Bank-affiliated institution in Washington that facilitates arbitration between governments and investors. The case was brought under a 1999 Salvadoran investment law, according to which foreign companies could take the Salvadoran government to international arbitral tribunals.  Pacific Rim raised its suit to $301 million and the final Icsid hearing opened in September; a verdict is expected in 2015.  International arbitration is considered by its proponents to be relatively objective.

Indeed, over 150 nations have consented to arbitration at Icsid. But corporations are increasingly using investment and trade agreements — specifically, the investor-state dispute settlement provisions in them — to bring opportunistic cases in arbitral courts, circumventing decisions states deem in their best interest. And now investor-state dispute settlement provisions may be enshrined in two new treaties: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and Trans-Pacific Partnership, currently under negotiation between, respectively, the United States and the European Union, and the United States and 11 Asia-Pacific nations. If the final agreements contain these mechanisms, we can expect a flood of cases like Pacific Rim v. El Salvador.

Investor-state dispute settlement provisions feature in many significant pacts, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, and nine U.S.-E.U. bilateral investment treaties. Foreign investors can sue over alleged violations of myriad “investor protections,” including public-interest regulations that would reduce their profits. But it doesn’t cut both ways: Governments or communities affected by foreign investors cannot bring claims. Equally troublesome, tribunal operations are often opaque.

Today, countries from Indonesia to Peru are facing investor-state suits. Mexico and Canada have lost or settled five each under Nafta, paying hundreds of millions of dollars to foreign companies. In the largest award to date, Icsid in 2012 ordered Ecuador to pay $1.77 billion to Occidental Petroleum for canceling its contract with the corporation. And this October, it ordered Venezuela to pay $1.6 billion to Exxon to compensate for nationalizing oil projects. Nearly 200 disputes are pending at Icsid alone. Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story  American and European claimants have brought 75 percent of recent investor-state cases, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Unsurprisingly, Washington seeks to include investor-state-dispute provisions in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

But opposition is growing. The European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, refuses to accept that European courts “be limited by special regimes for investor-to-state disputes.” Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s vice chancellor and economy minister, has warned of states seeing “policy objectives circumvented by the threat of damages.” Last month, the French trade minister, Matthias Fekl, too, came out strongly against investor-state settlement provisions: “We must preserve states’ rights” to “set and apply their own standards,” he told the French Senate. British politicians have made similar statements amid fears that such cases could solidify the increasing privatization of Britain’s national health service.  Such thinking is not unfounded, particularly concerning environmental policy. In 2012, the Swedish energy company Vattenfall sued at Icsid following Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear energy; though figures have not been made public, it allegedly claims billions from Berlin in compensation for shuttered power plants. And modification of a single set of regulations can trigger a flurry of litigation: In the Czech Republic, one change in energy policy yielded seven claims in 2013; in Spain, six.  Investor-state dispute provisions need not be extended in new treaties. The European Union should continue to demand the removal of these provisions from the T.T.I.P. They must also be expunged from the T.P.P.  For El Salvador, a $301 million loss — just under 2 percent of its G.D.P. — would significantly reduce funds available for health care and education. And even if Pacific Rim’s claim fails, as many expect, the suit has cost El Salvador almost $13 million to date — which amounts to nearly its entire environment and natural resources spending in 2013. Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia have officially denounced the Icsid convention. Though El Salvador likely fears a retraction of Washington’s substantial financial assistance if it withdraws, it should consider doing so as well.  The investor-state dispute settlement mechanism is like playing soccer on half the field. Corporations are free to sue, and nations must defend themselves at enormous cost — and the best a government can hope for is a scoreless game. As the T.T.I.P. and T.P.P. negotiations continue, Pacific Rim vs. El Salvador should remind us not to privilege foreign investors to the detriment of the national — or global — good.

Manuel Pérez-Rocha is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington.

New York Times

Cabinet minister’s brother arrested in Edmonton police sting

By Brent Wittmeier,

EDMONTON – The younger brother of a Conservative cabinet minister was one of four men nabbed in an Edmonton police drug sting.

On Tuesday, Edmonton police announced four people had been charged in a “dial-a-dope” operation in which nearly $35,000 worth of cocaine and marijuana was seized from three Edmonton residences. Raymanpreet Singh Uppal, 28, was one of four men charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of stolen property over $5,000 and weapons offences.Tim Uppal, 40, represents Edmonton-Sherwood Park and is Canada’s multiculturalism minister.

In an emailed statement, Uppal confirmed his brother had been charged.

“Yesterday, I learned through the media of charges against my brother. I have always spoken out against drugs in our communities. Anyone found guilty of such offences should face the full force of the law.”

Surrey RCMP wraps up inaugural Citizen Police Academy

The Surrey RCMP on November 26th, 2014, wrapped up its inaugural Citizen Police Academy with a special ceremony for all participants acknowledging their completion of the program.

The ten week academy provided a group of Surrey citizens and business owners with an inside look into policing through interactive learning sessions delivered by officers and staff. The goal was to foster a better understanding between the public and the RCMP and explore how they can work together to enhance public safety. It is the hope of the Surrey RCMP that participants use what they have learned and go on to become ambassadors for crime prevention in their community.

The program was, without a doubt, a resounding success, says Corporal Nicky Noonan, lead organizer of the Citizen Police Academy. While this was our first attempt at such a program, we were very encouraged by the feedback we received from both participants and presenters.

Some of the feedback from participants included:

Today, I consider myself a well-informed citizen of Surrey and [am] very grateful for the opportunity.

Without a doubt, I can say that you have 25 more members out in our community who will strive for the betterment of society. Keep it up!

I was unaware of just how many programs and departments there are and how each of them work. What a great way to see how our community benefits… Thank you for allowing me a behind the scenes look.

Avian flu detected at two Fraser Valley farms; up to 18,000 chickens, turkeys dead or to be destroyed

Abbotsford:As many as 18,000 chickens and turkeys are either dead or will be killed after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed cases of avian influenza at two Fraser Valley farms.

“At one farm, there were originally 11,000 birds and over half have died from the disease,”  says B.C.’s chief veterinary officer Jane Pritchard.

Preliminary testing by the Province of British Columbia has confirmed the presence of H5 avian influenza on two farms in the Fraser Valley; a turkey farm in Abbotsford and a broiler breeder farm in Chilliwack.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has placed the two farms under quarantine to control disease spread and the industry sector has been notified to adopt enhanced biosecurity practices.  Further testing by the CFIA is underway to confirm pathogenicity and to determine the precise subtype and strain of the virus. Pathogenicity refers to the severity of the illness caused in birds. Results are expected within days.

Avian influenza viruses do not pose risks to food safety when poultry and poultry products are properly handled and cooked. Avian influenza rarely affects humans that do not have consistent contact with infected birds. Public health authorities stand ready to take precautionary measures as warranted.

Initial tests for the disease were conducted on December 1 at a British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture laboratory in Abbotsford, after both operations experienced sudden deaths of birds over the weekend.

All birds on the infected premises will be humanely euthanized and disposed of, in accordance with provincial environmental regulations and internationally accepted disease control guidelines. As lead response agency the CFIA will ensure the quarantine of the infected farms, and determine a surrounding surveillance zone for further testing. The CFIA will also lead on required depopulation of birds, while the Province will provide technical support on required carcass disposal. Once all birds have been removed, the CFIA will oversee the cleaning and disinfection of the barns, vehicles, equipment and tools to eliminate any infectious material that may remain.

The Province of British Columbia, the CFIA, the owners of the infected birds, and the poultry industry are working closely together to manage the situation. Both levels of government will work with the poultry industry to address issues as they emerge. The Canadian poultry sector currently practices a high level of biosecurity that reduces the risk of disease spread.

Project Swoop traffic campaign results

Surrey:On November 27th, a one day traffic education and enforcement campaign, Project Swoop, the Surrey and White Rock RCMP along with the Fraser Valley Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU) issued over 70 violation tickets for a number of speeding and high risk driving behaviours. Speeding was by far the most ticketed infraction followed by seatbelts and distracted driving.
The campaign took place at various high collision locations throughout Surrey and White Rock and included a number of officers, volunteers, and auxiliaries from the Surrey and White Rock RCMP, CN Rail Police, ICBC Road Safety Team, and Surrey Crime Prevention Society.
During this time of year incidents involving vehicle crashes and pedestrians significantly increase, and a large number of those incidents can be prevented, says Cpl Bert Paquet of the Surrey RCMP. The Surrey RCMP continue to participate in events such as Project Swoop as they have proven to be effective in reducing the number of traffic incidents in the City of Surrey.
Speed-related crashes significantly increase from October to December in BC,says Karen Klein, local ICBC road safety coordinator. In poor weather, slow down, increase your following distance and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.

Man dies after being hit by semi-trailer truck in Surrey

by  Kevin Diakiw – Surrey North Delta Leader

An elderly man has died from injuries he sustained after being hit by a semi-trailer truck last week.

The 78-year-old man was crossing at a crosswalk at 7 a.m. on Thursday (Nov. 20) when he was hit by the truck at 124 Street and 82 Avenue.

He was taken to hospital with a fractured vertebrae and died on Friday of his injuries.

Police say the driver of the truck remained at the scene of the accident and is extremely upset. RCMP say it’s too early to say if criminal charges will be pursued.

It was Surrey’s sixth fatal accident involving a pedestrian. Last year, there were seven pedestrian fatalities in total.

Surrey as had 13 traffic fatalities this year, six of which involved pedestrians.

Of traffic fatalities, Surrey has one of the highest percentages involving pedestrians. For the past several years, almost half of the people dying on Surrey roads have been pedestrians.

Regionally, about 30 per cent of traffic fatalities involve people on foot, and provincially, the figure is 15 per cent.

Police say we’re now heading into a dangerous season on local roads and are encouraging people to take the proper precautions.

“Speed limits are set for ideal conditions, and we often forget that,” said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet. “This time of year, we don’t see ideal driving conditions often.”

The key, he said, is to never put yourself in a position where you’re in a hurry to go anywhere.

The other important factor, Paquet said, is driver distraction.

“There’s a lot to be distracted from just paying attention to the road,” he said. “Dedicate your attention to a task that is probably the most complicated task you will ever do.”

He noted every one of the accidents that have occurred this year could have been prevented.

Male bleeding from neck

On November 26th, 2014 at approximately 1:50am, Surrey RCMP received a 911 call advising that a male was getting into a taxi in the 7400 block of 121A Street and was bleeding quite badly from a wound to his neck. Officers of the Surrey RCMP attended to the scene. The male had walked away from the taxi as police had arrived. Police located the male a short distance away. The male was transported to hospital by emergency health services. The male is supplying few details of the incident and was not being fully cooperative with police. The male’s injury is not life threatening.

Surrey RCMP is seeking the public’s assistance and is asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident that caused the wound to the male’s neck, or observed the injured male in the area in the 7400 block of 121A Street, to call the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers.

Police asking for help in identifying South Asian suspect

The Edmonton Police Service is asking the public for assistance in identifying a suspect in a composite sketch.

On Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 a 25-year-old female reported she was approached by a lone male at the Lakewood Transit Center at approximately 8:45 a.m. The male allegedly grabbed the female and demanded that she come with him. When the female began to scream for help, the male fled on foot.

“We’ve reached a point in the investigation where we are now asking public to identify the man in sketch,” says Staff Sgt. Marc Cochlin with Southeast Division. “Although this crime took place two months ago, someone may recognize the man in the composite sketch.”

The suspect is described as a South Asian or Middle Eastern male, 30 to 35 years of age, and is about 5’6” tall. He has a thin build, short black hair with some grey on the sides, brown eyes and was clean shaven. He was seen wearing a waist length grey jacket, dark blue pants, and black shoes.

Anyone with information that could help police is asked to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm.

Edmonton police seize nearly $35,000 worth of drugs, charge four men

John Edward Saul; Raymanpreet Singh Uppal, Jared Joseph Perner, and Arman Deep Singh Hanjrah, charged by police

EDMONTON – Police have charged four people with drug trafficking after seizing nearly $35,000 worth of drugs from three Edmonton residences thanks to a tip from the public.

As a result of a confidential tip from a member of the public, the Edmonton Police Service Specialized Traffic Apprehension Team (STAT) executed search warrants on three residences and seized drugs, weapons and cash, and also charged four individuals allegedly involved in drug trafficking.

In early 2014, STAT members commenced a drug-related investigation after receiving information about an alleged “dial-a-dope” operation.  During the course of the investigation, officers discovered that this was not a one-person operation, but a group of individuals allegedly involved in the local drug trade.  With the assistance of detectives from the EPS Drug and Gang Unit (EDGE), STAT officers were able to identify a number of additional suspects and residences.

On Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, STAT members executed search warrants on three south-side residences and one vehicle, and seized:

  • Two handguns and ammunition – a .38 Special Revolver and a .25 Semi-Automatic Pistol (prohibited weapon with serial number removed)
  • A conductive energy weapon (CEW)
  • Approximately $12,000 in Canadian currency
  • 370.8 grams of cocaine (approximate street value $26,900)
  • 1,585.2 grams of buff (approximate street value $6,340)
  • 90.2 grams of marijuana (approximate street value $1,350)
  • 16.6 grams of hashish (approximate street value $332)

John Edward Saul, 27; Raymanpreet Singh Uppal, 28; Jared Joseph Perner, 25; andArman Deep Singh Hanjrah, 21; were each charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking (cocaine), possession for the purpose of trafficking  (marijuana), possession for the purpose of trafficking (hashish), and possession of stolen property over $5000 (proceeds of crime).

Saul was also charged with unauthorized possession of prohibited/restricted weapon,possession of an offensive weapon dangerous to public, unauthorized possession of prohibited device or ammunition (x3), careless storage of firearm, weapon, ammunition (x2), andpossession knowing serial number alter/deface/remove.

Uppal was also charged with possession of an offensive weapon dangerous to public.

Perner was also charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking (steroids), possession for the purpose of trafficking (cocaine), possession of stolen property under $5000 (proceeds of crime), possession of an offensive weapon dangerous to public, and obstructing a peace officer.

EPS STAT continues to investigate the file.