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Getting Rid of Yesterday: How to Start Your Day Fresh

Getting Rid of Yesterday: How to Start Your Day Fresh
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New Day

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes we start a day with the previous day still in mind. We think about the mistakes we made in the previous day, how things went wrong, and how we felt bad about it. No wonder it becomes difficult to focus on the current day. And since we cannot fully focus on the day, our performance may drop and things may once again go wrong. This pattern could repeat again and again, where the burden from the previous day is taken to the current day and make it bad, which will then be a burden for the following day. The chain may be hard to break and your overall performance may drop, not to mention the difficulty to have a peaceful mind.

So it’s important leave the past day behind. Always start your new day fresh, without thinking about yesterday. This way you will be able to fully concentrate, do your best, and improve your performance.

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Here are some steps on how to do that:

1. Take time to evaluate your day

At the end of a day, take some time to think about it. You should do it at the same day and not wait until the next day. You should finish dealing with your day before the next morning comes.

The purpose of this thinking time is not to regret how bad your day was, how things went wrong, or how people treated you negatively. This won’t do you any good to improve your life. Instead, the purpose of this thinking time is to extract lessons which you can bring to the following day.

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2. Ask the right questions to extract lessons

To extract the lessons, you should ask the right questions. There are basically two questions you should ask:

  • What have you done well?
    There should be some things you have done well. What are they and how did you do them? What can you do to make sure that you can continue doing them well or even better?
  • What have you done wrong?
    Usually there are also some things that do not go as expected. What are they and how could they happen? What can you do to improve yourself and avoid the same mistakes in the future?

3. Make a commitment to apply the lessons

After you extract the lessons, you should make a commitment to apply them. To do so, find some actionable things you can do to apply the lessons. Next, remind yourself to do them. You may write them down if you want to.

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4. “Close” your day

After you have spent the time to think about the day and extract the lessons, make a decision to “close” the day. Think of it as closing the door to the past day. You are done with it; don’t think about it anymore. You should close the door to the past day so that you can start your new day fresh.

Here are some things you should realize to make it easier to “close” a day:

  • The day has passed; there’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t change the past no matter how hard you try.
  • Instead of thinking about something you can’t change, focus instead on the things you can change, and that is the present.

Having the mindset to focus on what you can change will make it easier to “close” your day.

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5. Bring only the lessons to the next day and nothing else

After you “close” a day, you should not bring anything out of it to the next day except for the lessons you extract. These lessons deal with things you can do something about. They deal with the present, not the past. Instead of thinking about the past, focus on applying the lessons to the present. This way you will be able to start your day fresh without the burden of yesterday.

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Donald Latumahina

Donald Latumahina is the founder of Life Optimizer, a self-improvement blog to help people reach their full potential.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2020

15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)
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It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

  1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
  2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
  3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
  4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
  5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
  6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
  7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
  8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
  9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
  10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
  11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
  12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
  13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
  14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
  15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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