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10 Things You Need To Remind Yourself Of To Begin A Brighter Day

10 Things You Need To Remind Yourself Of To Begin A Brighter Day

Sometimes, it’s hard to know what’s needed in order to begin your day in the best way possible. Doing exercise, checking your emails, not checking your emails, having a shower, sleeping in, having a light breakfast, having a full breakfast…the list goes on and on until it’s an unmanageable mess and you can’t decide what to do one way or another.

Want to know how to begin your day? We’ve compiled some of the best things to do and remind yourself of to make sure you begin your day on the right note and keep having a great, bright, and positive day.

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1. Remember that it’s a brand new day

Upon waking up, a positive way to begin your day is to simply acknowledge the fact that this is a brand new day, unlike any you will ever have again or will have ever had previously. Some days, the bravest thing we can do is wake up and face the world, and it’s made much easier by the fact that every day is the chance to do something right, to be the best version of yourself you can be. You can work towards those goals of yours, those dreams, and you can achieve anything you want in those same hours as are available to everyone else. Begin your day with the knowledge of that fact and go forth into a brighter day feeling indestructible.

2. Have a proper breakfast

One of the best ways to begin your day is to actually sit down and have a proper breakfast, rather than rushing around and either skipping the meal altogether or grabbing something on the go. Wake up early and carve out the time for a breakfast that will act as the proper fuel for your day ahead. There’s something incredibly satisfying about sitting down with a full and enjoyable breakfast you can eat and savor—a full English, some yogurt and honey, scrambled eggs, orange juice—whatever really attracts your taste buds in the morning, and if you want to have a brighter day, go ahead and enjoy a piece of the day entirely for yourself.

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3. Spend time in the sun

Or just generally outside, if preferable, because let’s be honest, the weather isn’t always pleasant. The point is that if you want to begin your day in a positive manner, you should spend time outside in nature or at least in fresh air. Numerous studies have shown that spending time out in nature, or even living close to nature, can positively affect a person’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being. It’s advisable for everyone to try and spend a little time with nature, even if it’s only for five minutes during a lunch break. Go sit out in a park or take a walk in a forest. It’ll be reinvigorating and rejuvenating and will help you continue your day.

4. Check your emails as little as possible

We’re all experts at checking our emails at numerous, regular intervals and often it proves to be such a disruptive time-vampire that it can make even the process of beginning your day much more broken. One of the best ways to have a brighter day is to make sure that you’re not constantly running back and forth from the altars of Outlook and Gmail. A lot of the time you won’t be needing something specific and it’ll be wasting time for the sake of wasting time, purely out of habit. Limit yourself to checking your emails every half hour, or even better, every hour. You’ll feel more freedom and will enjoy having more time and focus throughout the day.

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5. Smile at everyone

Smiling is good for you. It’s a scientific fact that smiling helps improve positive feelings, mental health, and has plenty of physiological benefits, even if you start off faking that smile. Let’s face it, the world can suck a lot of the time, but putting a smile on your face can be the perfect way to begin your day on the right foot. Smiling encourages positivity and also helps affect other people. Several studies have shown that smiling at other people makes them much more likely to smile back, a reciprocal gesture developed to foster social inclusivity through our millennia of evolution. Essentially, smiling and smiling back helps you feel more positive and generally better, something we’re designed to do. What better way to begin your day?

6. Read something good

Begin your day by reading something good, something that makes you smile or makes you think, because nothing will wake up your mind and inspire you to have a great day more than reading something you love or that interests you. Reading widens your horizons, focuses your mind, and enlightens you to new ideas, new thoughts, and new stories that can help positively shape you. Read a chapter of a novel, read a magazine article that caught your eye. Read it on the bus to work, read it during your lunch, and use it as a break and as a way to have a brighter, better day.

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7. Have something sweet

Having something sweet might not be the best idea first thing in the morning (see tip 2 for some breakfast suggestions, because three donuts does not a good breakfast make) but planning a treat throughout the day is a perfect motivator to help you begin your day. It doesn’t even have to be sweet—treat yourself to something nice and that is guaranteed to make you happy and smile. Keep it in your back pocket and make it a part of your schedule so that you get to begin your day in a positive way and with at least one treat set for later.

8. Use a to-do list

To-do lists are the new kind of social accessory that everyone seems to be carrying around with them, or at least the people I know. To-do lists are extremely useful, however, and they can certainly help you begin your day on a bright and positive note when utilized right. Preparing a to-do list the night before can be extremely beneficial, as it allows you to assess your goals for the day, state your objectives and determine which tasks need accomplishing. It also provides some much-needed mental space; once you’ve jotted everything down, it’s safe and on paper or electronically stored. Use that to-do list to begin your day right so that you wake up happier, more at ease, and in a much more relaxed state, allowing you to have a bright day.

9. Have fun plans

Getting off of work gives a rush of euphoria that nearly everyone feels, and one of the best ways to begin your day is to ensure you have some awesome plans lined up for when you get off work or finish all your duties for the day. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t have to be base jumping or dinner with Beyoncé, but having something positive, fun and enjoyable waiting for you at the end of the day can make the beginning of your day infinitely easier. Make a date with yourself for an evening of reading, TV, and takeout; go out dancing and drinking with some work colleagues and friends; go see a film on a date; absolutely anything! It ensures you can begin your day with a positive end goal and a treat at the end of things to make it all worthwhile.

10. Get plenty of sleep

Lastly, the best way to begin your day brighter and happier is to get plenty of sleep. Yes, I know there’s a culture of ‘let’s see how little sleep I need to function’ and wearing your three hours of sleep like a badge of honor, but getting such a small amount of shut-eye can lead to a multitude of health problems and a complete shutdown of any sense of healthy productivity or well-being in general. The best way to begin your day? Make sure it’s been preceded by a good amount of restful sleep so you can ready yourself for a productive and brighter day.

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Chris Haigh

Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

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Last Updated on June 27, 2019

How to Use Observational Learning for Your Best Improvement

How to Use Observational Learning for Your Best Improvement

Someone walks over, introduces themselves and raises their hand out in front of you. How do you know what you’re supposed to do next?

If this were the first time you saw this behavior, you wouldn’t have a clue.

If you were from an Eastern culture, you might go to bow toward this person. But you know what to do because since childhood, you’ve observed many adults shaking hands.

Observational learning is a learning theory in psychology that describes how we learn by watching and imitating others.

In this article, we will look into what observational learning really is and how it helps you learn and grow.

What Is Observational Learning?

Children learn many of their behaviors and expressions through observation. We pick up things as fundamental as walking, playing, gestures, facial expressions, and body postures via observational learning.

In the 1970s, psychologist Albert Bandura outlined a four-stage process of how observational learning occurs:[1]

  1. Attention: Notice something in the environment.
  2. Retention: Recall what was noticed (memory).
  3. Reproduction: Copy or mimic what you noticed.
  4. Motivation: Get reinforcement from the environment for completing the behavior (or punishment for not).

Pretty simple, right?

Neuroscience provides further evidence. Mirror neurons fire when one animal acts and another animal observes as if the neurons in one brain are mirroring the patterns of another brain.

The result?

You make a funny face at a baby. And the baby makes the same funny right back at you.

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What Influences Observational Learning

Observational learning doesn’t always occur, so it’s essential to understanding the conditions in place when it does.

So when are we more like to imitate others? It happens when:

  • You doubt yourself and your abilities.
  • You are confused or in an unfamiliar environment.
  • You’re in a position of authority, like a boss, leader, or celebrity.
  • Someone is similar to you in some way: interest, age, or social class.
  • You see someone getting rewards for their behavior.

For example, let’s say four people go out to an upscale restaurant. One person frequents this type of restaurant while it’s the first time for the other three individuals.

The person who is comfortable in this environment knows what to do: when and where to place the napkin, how the place setting works, and how to communicate with the wait staff. Because he knows what to do, in this situation, he’s the authority.

The rest of his company are in an unfamiliar environment. And when we don’t know how to behave, we tend to look around and observe the behavior of others.

Somehow, we know who to observe by picking up subtle cues. So without having to think about it, the rest of the party subconsciously looks around and begin to discern who the “expert” is and what he’s doing. And this sort of process frequently happens throughout our development and the rest of our lives.

Performing Your Best with Observational Learning

Observational learning usually occurs subconsciously in social situations. That is, our basic need to belong, or “fit in,” drives us to adapt our behavior to the actions of others.

But the real power of observational learning comes from making this process active and conscious.

What does this mean?

Once you understand how observational learning works, you can choose to apply it in ways that support your personal and professional development.

Modeling

Modeling

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is another term for observational learning. Let’s say you want to become an expert presenter. No problem. Find a few presenters that you believe are highly skilled and watch what they do.

Pay attention to everything:

  • How do they hold themselves?
  • When do they pause?
  • How do they emphasize specific points?
  • Do they use slides? Imagery? Sounds?
  • What gestures do they make as they communicate?

Modeling the success of others is perhaps the fastest way to elevate your game and make rapid progress in your development.

Shadowing

In the workplace, observational learning is often called shadowing.

By shadowing an experienced employee for a period, you’ll naturally learn how to perform the tasks this person does each day. This process works effectively in sales environments too.

Apprenticeship

If you study the masters of any field, you quickly learn that they had great teachers or masters from whom they learned.

In Mastery, author Robert Greene points out that those who reach the level of mastery in any field submit to a rigorous apprenticeship to absorb the secret knowledge of those with many years of experience.

Similarly, in The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle highlights that anyone who cultivates talent has a master coach who knows how to break things down and teach things in a way that accelerates learning.

So if there’s any area of your life that you’re seeking mastery in, with who can you form an apprenticeship?

Here in this article, you can learn more about apprenticeship at work: What Is an Apprenticeship and What Value Can It Bring to Your Career?

Hijacking Your Behavior

Our brains, in many ways, are like sponges. We absorb what we observe.

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While this observational learning can be a powerful tool for our personal growth and development, it can also be a destructive force.

How?

Consider all of the bad behavior we witnessed when we were kids (and still today):

The list goes on. And yes, we observed and absorbed these behavioral patterns too from our parents, teachers, family members, and friends.

We also adopt behavior we observe on television and in the media. Studies show, for example, that teens who watched a lot of sexual content were more likely to start having sex soon after.[2]

Does this mean that watching violent movies will make you act violently? Not necessarily, but these images are imprinted in our unconscious and often later express themselves under the right conditions.

Here’s the bottom line:

Be very conscious of the media you consume and with who you spend your time. Our minds are like computer hardware and what we observe is like the software. So choose positive and life-supporting software if you want your brain to mimic it!

5 Ways to Use Observational Learning to Your Advantage

Here are five tips to make observational learning work for you:

1. Be Highly Selective on What, Who and When You Observe

Remember, observational learning is taking place whether we want it to or not. To harness this powerful force, consciously select who you are observing and in what context.

For example, if you know someone who’s highly productive in their work, ask to shadow them as they work.

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But this individual may be an entirely different person when they aren’t working. So be mindful of what behavioral patterns you’re absorbing.

2. Pay Attention to the Details

Those who achieve mastery in any area of their lives do so by mastering the fundamentals and then continually improving on more subtle levels. To the inexperienced eye, it’s often difficult to notice what they do differently.

In the case of negotiations, for example, a skilled negotiator knows how and when to disarm the other player. Sometimes these skills express themselves instinctively, so you may pick up on details in behavior the individual doesn’t even know they are doing.

3. Maintain a Playful Attitude

Many of us are conditioned to believe that seriousness is a valuable quality for learning. Psychologist Abraham Maslow, however, found that self-actualizing individuals,[3] or individuals with positive mental health, tend to have a more innocent, playful attitude when they are learning and developing.

Research also shows that we learn up to ten times faster in the areas that interesting to us.[4] So stay curious, open, and ready to learn.

4. Rehearse What You Observe in Your Mind

Studies show that rehearsing specific patterns of movement in our mind’s eye can help our brains encode desired actions and behaviors.[5] Many peak-performance athletes and musicians use this form of creative visualization training.

Visualization practices are extraordinarily powerful when you do it right before bedtime so your subconscious mind can process in the images while you sleep.

5. Don’t Just Observe, Do

To make observational learning stick, you must also do whatever it is you’re observing . Many companies combine shadowing experienced employees with hands-on training to accelerate the learning and development of new employees.

The Bottom Line

In the personal development space, observational learning is often called modeling the success of others .

Perhaps as you’re reading this, you’re already getting ideas of who you can start modeling.

Here are three questions to help you get started right now:

  1. What skills and behaviors to you want to learn?
  2. Who already possesses these skills and behaviors?
  3. How can you start modeling these individuals right away?

Now, make it so!

More About Learning

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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