Some people are naturally "up-an-at-'em" types, while others need a little push to reveal the version of their best self. One thing's for sure, if you don't start the day on the right foot, the rest of it may never fall into step.

A high level of morning motivation is one of the keys to being an overall successful person, no matter the field they're in. Are you seeking a little more rev in your motor once that alarm clock sounds? If so, you're already motivated! But a few extra mindful steps each morning can take your desire to succeed to new heights. Follow these easy-to-do yet impactful actions to make the most of your morning and the 24 hours to follow.

Be an Early Bird

The saying that the early bird catches the worm makes sense. The last bird to rise from the nest won't find anything left to eat. Same goes for people. While most aren't seeking to delight in a juicy earthworm, sleeping in is not the way to grab life by the horns. Rising early ensures getting the most out of the day and doing so before others have a chance to steal your thunder (or your worm for that matter).

As per Forbes, Richard Branson has been quoted as saying that, "he gets up at 5 am every day, no matter where he is because it gives him a head start on the rest of the world."

Aside from getting that running start, the wee hours provide for "me" time that gets quickly swamped as the hours pass. As Inc. puts it, "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."

Just be sure to hit the sack at a reasonable time so you wake refreshed and rearing to start the next day off on a positive note.

Grab the Latest Headlines

Motivation to learn about the world around us is just as important as zeroing in on our field of work. Skim the paper or flip on the morning news at the top of the day to find out what's going on so you can be on top of the latest trends and breaking stories. By doing this early, you won't be tempted to surf the web mid-day to read up on news bites and you'll have the knowledge to keep up with relevant conversations with co-workers and clients.

According to Inc., the most successful people read the latest headlines before breakfast. Makes sense, as these highly motivated people need to be well-rounded and well-versed in a range of topics. With the information you gather, you can apply what may be useful to your line of work. With this kind of motivation, it may just be you making headlines soon!

Give Yourself a Moment to Breathe

Motivation without a little meditation can lead to a rushed and possibly stressful day. As eager as you may be to get your day in gear, take a while to breathe deeply, clear your mind, and prepare yourself both mentally and physically for the day ahead. Wake up a bit earlier so you have time to reflect and strategize for the most successful day possible.

You can sit peacefully, watch a meditation video, put on soothing music, or sit outside as the sun rises. It doesn't really matter how you find your "Zen," just give yourself the room to do so. With a clear and conscious mind, you can better tackle the day with energy and intelligence. You will be able to motivate those around you as well thanks to your clarity and mental sharpness.

You may want to take this time to practice your spirituality, religion, or gratitude as well. Motivation comes from within, so find it deep in your soul and allow it to pave your path to achievement.

Eat Something Energizing

Motivation may come from the mind, but without the proper fuel, it may never make it very far. Start your day off with something nourishing and balanced, whether you sit down to the table or take some food on the go.

Try to get some protein to keep you feeling full from eggs, peanut butter, yogurt, or even a smoothie or shake. No matter what you eat, make sure you go for something healthy. Greasy breakfast sandwiches or a powdered donut from the conference room may sound tasty, but they will drag you down, no matter what kind of motivation you thought you may have had.

As per Time, Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos has said that he avoids morning meetings so he can have a leisurely breakfast with his wife and four children. Spending quality time with loved ones is a motivator in itself.

Get Moving

Pump up your body and mind with exercise first thing. You'll get your blood flowing, heart beating, and you won't have to stress over whether or not you'll be able to squeeze in that workout sometime later in the day.

As per Time, Bill Gates exercises first thing in the morning while watching instructional videos from the Teaching Company. Body and mind are taken care of in one shot! And at the top of what's sure to be a motivation-filled day to come.

And time management expert, Laura Vanderkam was quoted by Inc. as asserting, "A pre-breakfast workout helps reduce stress later in the day, counteracts the effects of high-fat diet, and improves sleep." All important factors in keeping the motivation momentum moving.

Are you motivated to try these tips tomorrow? See how they make a difference in the outcome of your entire day!

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What do you do when financial hardship hits and you can't make your monthly mortgage payments? This is a question on many homeowner's minds as nearly 17.8 million Americans are reportedly unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

When homeowners face financial hardship, such as the loss of a job, they often look to obtain a forbearance agreement from their lender. A forbearance happens when your lender grants you a temporary pause or reduction in monthly payments on your mortgage. Forbearance is not the same as payment forgiveness, in that you still have to pay the entire amount back by an agreed-upon time.

Mortgage lending institutions differ on their mortgage relief policies and qualifications; however, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were signed into law in late March of this year to protect government-backed mortgages.

Federally backed mortgages include:

  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
  • The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally backed loan who either directly or indirectly suffer financial hardship due to coronavirus automatically qualify for mortgage forbearance.

Even if your mortgage is not secured by one of these agencies, you still can call and see if you qualify, as many lenders will still offer the option in order to avoid foreclosures.

Under the CARES act, homeowners can claim mortgage forbearance due to financial hardship from COVID-19 for up to 12 months without requiring any documentation or verification. During the forbearance period, mortgage lenders cannot charge late fees or penalties.

Additionally, as long as your mortgage is current at the time you claim forbearance, the lender is required to keep reporting your mortgage as paid current throughout the entire period.

At the end of the forbearance, the CARES act protects consumers from having to make a lump sum payment. Instead, you will be given a repayment plan from your provider. Since repayment options vary, it's important you ask your provider about all of your repayment options.

Possible Repayment Options:

You may be eligible for a loan modification at the end of your forbearance. With modification, the mortgage terms are changed in order to add payments that were missed during the forbearance onto the end of the loan, extending the term.

Another option that may work for some is a reduced payment option. This allows you to keep paying monthly payments at a reduced amount. The amount missed is usually added back into the monthly payments at the end of the forbearance.

For example:

Regular payment: $1000 per month

Reduced payment: $500 per month

Payment after forbearance period: $1500 (until caught up)

Balloon payments, or lump sum payments at the end of the forbearance, are prohibited under the CARES Act. However, mortgage lenders may require homeowners who are not protected under the CARES Act to make a balloon payment at the end, so again it is best to check first with your provider.

Mortgage forbearance should only be considered in true financial hardship. In other words, just because of the pandemic, you should not take a forbearance on your mortgage if you can still afford your payments. Likewise, if you are able to start making payments before the forbearance period is up, it's best to do so as soon as possible.

The Next Steps:

Before you get in touch with your mortgage servicer, save time by gathering as much documentation about the mortgage as you can. Also, be ready to list your income and monthly expenses. Due to an influx in calls, financial institutions are experiencing extremely long wait times right now, and having your information at the ready will help.

Have questions ready to ask. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • What fees are associated with the forbearance?
  • What are all the repayment options available to you at the end of the forbearance?
  • Will you be charged interest during the forbearance period?

If your forbearance is approved, make sure to keep all documentation pertaining to it. Make sure to cancel any automatic payments to the mortgage during the forbearance period, and keep tabs on your credit report to make sure your lender doesn't report the loan as unpaid.


For more information on forbearance, contact your lender and discuss your options. If you need more assistance with understanding your options, you can contact a local agent for the housing counseling agency, or call their hotline at 1-800-569-4287.