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How to Wake Up and Instantly Achieve Something Everyday

How to Wake Up and Instantly Achieve Something Everyday

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    Imagine this: you wake up and you instantly achieve something. You complete a goal, you make progress, you build momentum and you build self-esteem. You make it part of your routine and achieve something everyday, instantly.

    All you have to do is tackle a goal when you wake up.

    Each morning when I wake up I get started on one of my goals before I do anything else. Before I’ve even had breakfast, had a shower or got changed, I’ve usually completed the most important task of my day.

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    When I started doing this it had massive effects on my productivity. I had done the most important thing, I’d made progress on the previous day, I’d achieved what I wanted to achieve and had the rest of the day to add to that.

    By making this part of my morning routine, I gave myself a huge boost every single morning, compounding on the last day. My achievement and progress rate went through the roof, my momentum grew, and the feeling that I’m achieving something is constantly with me.

    It is simple to do, and could be the quickest, easiest lifehack you’ve ever used!

    The first step is to plan what it is that you’ll be working on. This needs to be done the night before.

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    What is your major goal? What is the most important task for you to do? What would reap the most benefits? What would progress you further and push you towards what it is that you want?

    The important point here is to choose something that provides the most results, it has to be something that is meaningful to you and helps you to progress toward your goals. If you choose a major task that is congruent with your life goals, you’ll feel a stronger sense of achievement. If you’re faced with a decision of writing a book vs. ironing clothes, start writing the book! Tackle the big things early in the day, and you’ll see that you still have time for the small things later. Put them at the bottom of your to-do list!

    Once you know what you’re going to do and you have your plans set out for when you wake up, it is time to forget about it and get some sleep!

    When you wake up, get started instantly. Jump out of bed, skip your whole morning routine and just get started on the task.

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    Don’t get a shower, don’t get changed, don’t stretch, lie back and turn on the T.V. If you really have to eat something, grab something quick and wait until later for a larger breakfast (unless you plan on working for a long time)!

    You don’t want any distractions, no TV, no radio, don’t check your e-mails, don’t check your RSS reader, don’t check your facebook, twitter, digg, stumble upon, any social network. If you don’t need it, don’t use it!

    If possible, don’t have anyone interrupt you or disturb you. It helps a lot if you wake up before anyone else. You get an hour or two where you can just sit quietly and get on with your task, it’s this quiet isolation that is ideal for getting something done.

    If you do this everyday, you’ll be making progress every single time you wake up, before you have even had a shower and got dressed, you’ve achieved what you wanted to. Before everyone else is awake, you’ve completed one of your big goals. It is a life changing habit that is easy to start. Make it part of your morning routine and see how your progress snowballs, compounding each day on top of what you have previously achieved. Doing it every day helps you to stay motivated, it’s constant progress, it isn’t once a week , it is every day, it is part of your routine, it is the first thing you do, everything else is second to it.

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    Those goals that are gathering dust can be done before anyone else is even awake. You’re starting the rest of the day with your main goal completed, you’ve built momentum for the rest of the day and you are going to be inspired and motivated by what you’ve already achieved. This constant feeling of achievement every morning means that your self-esteem is building, which means that you are motivated to achieve more and more. It’s a cycle of motivation and achievement and once you get started it is hard to stop it.

    Try this, and instantly achieve something the next time you wake up.

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    Last Updated on July 17, 2019

    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

    What happens in our heads when we set goals?

    Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

    Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

    According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

    Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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    Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

    Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

    The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

    Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

    So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

    Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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    One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

    Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

    Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

    The Neurology of Ownership

    Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

    In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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    But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

    This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

    Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

    The Upshot for Goal-Setters

    So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

    On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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    It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

    On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

    But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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    Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

    Reference

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