10 Practices That Will Help You Win Your Day
One of the most important things to remember about success is that it is achieved in many forms and through multitudinous practices. We have a proclivity to focus on one principle or idea which tends to lead to stagnancy or being misdirected. One principle that has a massive influence on how successful you will be is what I refer to as the “Principle of Initiation.” The principle of initiation involves both, the importance of getting things started and how you get things started. I was just speaking with a potential client about the toughest step being the first one.
Most people simply fail to take action. With people who are inactive, there is always some reason for not initiating the process necessary to put their dreams in motion. There is not enough money. They don’t have the right training. The lack of proper connections, etc. While having adequate capital is vital, a person who understands that their greatest resource is their resourcefulness will find a way.
“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
The second half of the Principle of Initiation is what I want to share with you today. The second have of the equation surrounding initiation is the manner of initiation. How you start something will have an immensely powerful impact on how you proceed through the process and finish it. This does not mean that if you start badly you can’t overcome the bad start. Successful people do this all the time. But, who wants to work uphill all of the time. If you can create a smoother process, it simply makes sense to do so.
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The point of initiation can be any place or time designation you choose, but generally, I focus on days. Honestly, I often start my days over in mid-stride if I encounter a bad enough experience. I simply reboot and start from scratch. This is a very powerful and effective practice that allows me to compartmentalize events so that toxic fallout does not permeate my entire day. No matter how hard you try, you will not successfully circumvent the vicissitudes of life; however, when you are able to block off bad experiences so that they don’t negatively affect the rest of your day, you will have less stress and enjoy a more pleasurable experience.
In the field of high performance in which I operate, there is a common saying that goes, “win the first hour, win the day.” Basically, the manner in which you start your day has a mastodonic influence on the remainder of your day.
While your body is important, it is your mind that controls the entire ship. This is why even when I work with athletes, I spend more time on creating the right mindset than the physical preparation. When you have the right mindset, you can transcend the physical limitations that you believe you have. This is what separates those who survive Navy Seal training and those who don’t. It is not the biggest, the fastest, nor the strongest who make the cut, but those who possess the mental toughness to push through every obstacle. So, proper mental preparation at the beginning of the day can mean the difference between producing phenomenal results or having a day worth forgetting.
Following are 10 simple steps that everyone should incorporate into their day.
- Take Time to Remember Your Dreams
You are probably wondering what in the world does remembering what I dreamed about have to do with success. When you first wake up in the morning, the right side of your brain, the creative side, is functioning as the dominant force in your mental processing. In fact, you have unwittingly been using the right side of your brain throughout the night — albeit unconsciously. You would be amazed at how many of today’s success stories started as a literal dream. Mary Shelly dreamt about Frankenstein before writing it. Tehpanie Meyer came up with the concept for the Twilight saga in her sleep. The chemist who created the periodic table came up with the idea while sleeping.
So, by remembering and cataloging your dreams there is no limit to what you may uncover.
- Make Your Bed
Right now, I am sure you are wondering what in the hell does making my bed have to do with anything. Remember, how you start your day will have an impact on how the rest of your day goes. What if you could start your day with a guaranteed win, doing something that you can do with an exceptional level of excellence. When I get out of the bed in the morning, I make it up before I do anything else. I make sure that all the lines are symmetric and that the fold is exactly 12 inches from the head of the bed. I also make sure all of the pillows are properly placed based on my predetermined specifications.
By taking the time to do this, I successfully complete my first task, and I do it at a high level of excellence.
- Brush Your Teeth
While everyone should brush their teeth in the morning, this third step is not about hygiene but stimulating the right side of the brain. The moment your feet touch the floor, it triggers the left side of your brain to take over. The left side of the brain is responsible for controlling logical, rational, calculated tasks from determining if you need to pick up a gallon of milk to tying your shoes. While you definitely need the left side of your brain, even for speech, it is the right side that is likely to come up with the solution to some of your greatest challenges. Here is the important part, make sure that you brush your teeth with your off hand, which is the left hand for most people. Because you are doing something that you are not as familiar with doing, it will awaken your creative side.
- Hydrate Yourself
Believe it or not, your body loses water during the night, and since 50-60 percent of your body is made up of water, it is imperative to rehydrate in the morning to get your day started on a good note. If you start your day off dehydrated, it will have a negative impact on the functionality of your brain. The ability to develop lucid thoughts and follow complex mental blueprints is significantly diminished when a person is dehydrated.
- Take a Cold Shower
There is a wealth of scientific evidence that suggests that the presence of inflammation in the body has a direct negative impact on how well the brain is able to perform. There is also empirical data to support the fact that exposing the body to cold temperatures helps to reduce inflammation. This is why ice is applied to injuries to reduce and prevent swelling. By taking a cold shower, you not only reduce inflammation, but you help fire up your neurons in the brain and prepare them to perform with lucidity and focus.
- Sip on Some Brainpower Tea
Everyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I am a coffee person; however, I make it a point to get my dose of tea in. The right kind of tea can do wonders for the brain. Some of the things that I include in my morning tea (I also have a night version) include Goto Kola, Ginkgo, Lion’s Mane, Honey, and MCT unrefined coconut oil. Not only does coconut oil have its own medical benefits, it also improves the bioavailability of the other ingredients so the body can absorb them easier.
Journaling is an extremely vital part of my daily regimen; however, my morning journaling consists of creating a heart of gratitude and then setting my intent for the day. I usually identify three things I have to be grateful for, which usually starts with my beautiful wife. While the second two will change daily, the first is central and the first thing I focus on every day. I then write out some specific things I will focus on doing over the course of the day, much of which will be done within the first five hours. What I am doing here is solidifying the optimal state that I have been building since I woke up. Journaling is a powerful tool in creating the proper environment for success and you control the entire experience. You will want to do this in a quiet space where you will not be interrupted.
It has been proven that those who exercise in the morning have more productive days and sleep better during the night. If you have a busy morning schedule, you may want to break up your workout into multiple sessions, but you need to commit at least 10 minutes to get your heart rate up. Remember anything that is good for the heart is also good for the brain — because a heart that functions optimally will get an optimal amount of oxygen to the brain.
- Breathing Exercises
Performing breathing exercises daily is important, especially if you have a sedentary job like myself. A great deal of my day is spent in front of a computer or being seated as I work with my clients — making physical exercise and breathing essential. Slow breathing exercises are not only great for oxygenation, but it is also a great way to train your body to remain calm. Slow breathing works to slow everything down, which is an exercise that will help to calm you down when things become hectic or go wrong, which will inevitably happen.
According to several recent studies, the average American reads one book per year, but the top performers in the country read between three and four books per month. There is no coincidence that avid readers perform better. Not only do you gain knowledge when you read, but you also stimulate your brain anytime you engage new information. While I suggest reading books that will contribute directly to your goals, the studies reveal that even people who read novels regularly perform better than those who do little to no reading.