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7 Steps To Own Your Morning And Seize Your Day

7 Steps To Own Your Morning And Seize Your Day

How you start your day usually defines how your entire day will go. Do you want your day to be great? Then, you have to start it in a great way! Here are 7 steps you can do to seize your day by owning your morning:

1. Wake Up One Hour Earlier

First things first. To own your morning, you need to incorporate some activities into your life. Since your mornings are already as busy as they are, the only thing you can do to make room for new habits is to wake up at least an hour earlier.

Not to mention, waking up early is already a huge feat in itself! Waking up an hour earlier can give you a sense of achievement and fulfillment. It can give you a confidence boost and emotional lift as you start your day with an accomplishment.

2. Spend Your Best Time by Taking Stock of Yourself

The best time you have during the day is right after waking up. It is when your energy tank is still full and when other people have not yet pushed their agendas to you. By staking stock of yourself in the morning, you will have more energy to figure out waht you want out of your life and it usually lies in the deepest, purest, and “unadulterated” desires of your heart. You can pray or meditate in order to calm down and focus on the most important things.

Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

By praying or meditating, you can connect not only with the Divine, but also with yourself, your purpose, your mission, your own agenda, your own goals, your own dreams, your own heart, and the things that deeply matter to you. You are worth your best time.

Also, in stillness and quietness, you can affirm yourself and fill your mind and your heart with uplifting words and encouragement.

3. Write Down, Revisit, or Revise Your Long-term Goals

Feeling inspired and empowered yet? Don’t simply let the inspiration pass. Put them into writing. Write down your long-term goals and your lifelong dreams. Capture the deepest, purest, and “unadulterated” desires of your heart and have direction for your day and the rest of your life.

After writing down your goals and dreams, make it a habit to remind yourself of what you truly want to achieve in your life every morning. As you gain more clarity with your dreams and how you are going to achieve them, you can always revise or refine them and include some action plans on how you are going to make them a reality this year, next year, or even five to ten years from now.

As they say, “Never overestimate what you can do in a day. But, never underestimate what you can do in a year.” What more in a decade?

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4. Set Your Daily Goals

No matter how great or how inspiring your goals and dreams are, you can work on them only one day at a time. Now is the only time you have. In order to make the most of your life, you have to make the most of each of your days.

Start by writing down the three most important tasks you need to accomplish for each day. A simple to-do list will do. Make sure they are aligned with the long-term goals and dreams you wrote in step three. When you have finally gotten used to finishing three tasks per day, you can increase the number of your important tasks to seven. If you increase it to more than seven, you might get too overwhelmed.

While vision and direction are in your long-term goals and dreams, action is in the present moment.

You can look back to the past with gratitude. You can look ahead to the future with hope. But, the present is the only moment you truly have to make things happen. Live one day at a time.

5. Sharpen Your Expertise

When you finally find your purpose, the one thing that you love to do and the one thing wherein you can make the greatest contribution, you have to keep improving at it. You have to keep developing your skills, increasing your knowledge, and mastering your craft. And the best time to do so is in the morning, when your mind is still fresh, alert, and open to new ideas. Not to mention, new ideas can excite you all throughout the day!

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You can read periodicals, journals, and publications related to your industry. If you are a doctor, you can read about the latest in modern or even alternative medicine. If you are an architect or engineer, you can read about latest trends in exterior or interior design. If you are a business person, a subscription to a business magazine may prove extremely beneficial. Some self-help and thought-provoking books also work well for almost everyone.

6. Use Your Head Start and Start Acting

Planning, affirming yourself, and even sharpening your skills are great. But, they are useless if you will not take action and deliver results. Action trumps everything, every time!

You can also make use of the hour you wake up earlier to get a head start in your work. It feels good to start working when everyone else is just waking up. It feels better when you are already gaining momentum when everyone else is just coming in to work. And the best feeling in the world is finishing all your tasks when everyone else is just gaining momentum. Don’t waste the hour you wake up earlier but use a head start!

Not to mention, the silent moments in the office are usually the most productive. It’s a sacred feeling.

7. End a Vicious Cycle of Waking Up Late by Sleeping Early

The hardest step in owning your morning is actually waking up early. Whenever you wake up late, it already drains you of your energy, motivation, and confidence for the whole day and you end up dragging yourself to work. Then, when you cannot accomplish all your tasks in a single work day, you work overtime and pull an all-nighter. Then, it becomes a vicious cycle of sleeping late and waking up late.

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First things first. Let go of all your backlogs and start anew. Sleep early tonight, so that you can wake up early tomorrow. Start with a clean slate! Besides, maybe your backlogs were not really important for you to keep deferring them anyway. Own your morning and seize your day by having a good night’s rest.

Your past does not define your future, but it sure is important when it comes to waking up early!

How about you? How do you own your morning and seize your day?

Featured photo credit: Watching Sunrise by whologwhy via flickr.com

More by this author

Carlo Cruz

Writer and Artist

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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