By Matt Scoletti

From 2002–2011, my life was a downward spiral filled with alcohol, no purpose, and struggling to make it through each day. I knew it was time for a drastic change! I knew I couldn’t change everything all at once, so I started with 15 minutes at a time. I figured, if I could just own the first 15 minutes of the day, that would help prepare me for the rest of the day. Because of this new routine, life began to change for the better.

You can set your life straight by rewiring your brain for success with a simple 15-minute morning routine. I felt so strongly about this morning routine, that I decided to write a book about it. My book, The First 15: The Morning Routine That Took Me from Barely Surviving to Livin’ the Dream! is designed to help people begin their day with the right mindset to make a huge impact on their own life, as well as everyone surrounding them.

Three parts of my morning routine that you can easily start doing today are the Smile File, Grateful Greatness, and Pep Talks. The Smile File is a folder that I believe everyone should have. The folder consists of specific examples of positive impact you have had on other people. If you receive a positive email from someone you helped out, print it, and put it in your Smile File. Then, read one example from the Smile File each morning for 15–30 seconds. It will help you only focus on the positives from your past, instead of dwelling on negativity.

The second idea is Grateful Greatness. Taking 1–2 minutes per morning to think about three things you are grateful for can be a life-changing practice. Having a mindset of gratitude is the most powerful way to live.

The third concept is giving yourself a pep talk. The power of positive self-talk cannot be overlooked. Spending 30–60 seconds each morning to give yourself an upbeat, energetic, enthusiastic pep talk can help your self-talk be much more positive in the long term!

I tell my personal story and offer many other ideas in my book to potentially implement into your own morning routine. I have seen so many people’s lives change by starting their day in an intentional way, and I encourage you to block out 15 minutes to do the same. You can purchase my book, The First 15, on or on my website,