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6 Daily Steps To Compete Like A Champion

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Each day, whether we realize it or not, we endeavor to compete for something; the affection or love of a partner, a promotion in the workplace or, with ourselves to become a bigger, bolder version of ourselves.

Herein, I provide 6 steps on how you can compete every day to set yourself up for success. As you read these steps, visualize and imagine your personal definition of success. Think about how your definition of success jives with these steps.

Determine whether you are already incorporating them into your daily routine- or if you can begin introducing them into your day. Most importantly, find what works for you, stick to it and develop consistency.

1. Plan your day the night before

I’m glad that no one keeps a tally of the number of unsuccessful days I’ve lived. Frankly, I’m willing to bet we could all agree to that. What I can tell you is, the unsuccessful days have mostly been the ones that I did not plan.

As I have grown over the years in my management consulting and professional career, I have dramatically reduced those unsuccessful days by following one simple step: I have planned my day the previous night. I recommend that you list out goals that you aim to accomplish each week. Then, at the more granular level, highlight the tasks that you want to accomplish each day.

You can choose to put them into time slots, depending on whether you use a daily planner or simply a task or milestone list for the day. Once you have something in writing, you’ve made an actionable commitment to get it done.

Always allow yourself the ability to adapt and change if it’s in your best interest to do so. As the great Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.” Chances are, you won’t need to dodge monster right hooks over the course of your day, but you will encounter adversity and changes that force you to adapt and modify your plan.

 

2. Read your plan out loud in the morning

Reading your plan helps you process the information and store it in your conscious and subconscious mind. No matter how good you think your short or long-term memory is, if you don’t write or read your plan, you will forget some information. Recognizing new opportunities is a skill that comes to those who have a clear, prepared mind.

When you visualize what you want to do, you have an image in your imagination. Your imagination gives birth to the ideas, goals and plans that you have. Suddenly, you have a vivid picture of seeing yourself successfully carry out your goals for the day.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

3. Strengthen your conviction by believing in yourself

We can speak positively over our lives in two ways: Actually speaking the words and sending the same words from our mind into our subconscious mind via, “the voice inside our head.” Both are powerful ways to build faith. Here, I want to focus a little more on the second way.

Napoleon Hill once wrote: “Auto-suggestion is the agency of control through which an individual may voluntarily feed his subconscious mind on thoughts of a creative nature, or, by neglect, permit thoughts of a destructive nature to find their way into this rich garden of the mind.

The key here is to speak positively and to do this throughout the day. Don’t confuse this with ego-stroking or self-aggrandizing behavior. The most successful people practice auto-suggestion to feed their subconscious mind, in an effort to fuel their success.

 

4. Take breaks throughout the day to clear your mind

Scientific studies show that taking regular breaks help you to sharpen your focus and increase your ability to perform. Throughout my career, I’ve always built in time each day to get up, walk around and clear my mind.

We weren’t meant to spend our whole day fixated on a computer screen or working nonstop on our feet without a break. Take some time to chill and relax. Get outside and walk around a bit, fresh air will do you good. The change will give you some perspective and could take the edge off any stress or anxiety you’re dealing with.

 

5. Leave nothing to chance – always give 100%

There are two things you can always control- your attitude and your effort.

Achievement, both your sense of self-worth and that of others is well within your grasp if you have a positive, determined attitude and you’re willing to work harder than anyone else.

You may not always love everything you do. Heaven knows, our days will not be entirely comprised of pursuing our passions and loves all the time. Regardless, bring your best effort and attitude to everything that you do. The feeling, the emotional reward that comes with doing so is a brilliant sense of satisfaction to savor.

6. Rest with confidence, re-charge for the next day

Resting your mind and body are essential for living a successful, competitive life. If we never stop to rest, we’ll eventually burn ourselves out and suffer the consequences. A proper amount of sleep and rest is vital to our health and productivity.

During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health.” – National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

We all need to re-charge our mind and body every day. Never underestimate your need to shut down, decompress and get some sleep. You’ll be better for it!

How will you dominate your market? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Chris Connors is a senior business strategy consultant, writer, blogger and basketball coach focused on self-improvement, emotional intelligence and virtue. He works each day with top executives at Fortune 100 companies, helping them build their brands and improve their efficiency. In the evenings, he’s a family man, prolific blogger and aspiring author. Check me out here to connect with me on Facebook.

Motivation

How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals

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Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.

What is Motivation?

The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.

Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).

Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.

However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals. 

How to Get Motivated

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.

This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.

4 Ways to Make Starting Easier

1. Schedule it

One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it. 

When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.

An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”

2. Measure something

It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.

3. Extrinsic motivation

This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.

4. Make it public

Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

How to Stay Motivated Long Term

When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.

These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:

1. Stay in your goldilocks zone

The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.

For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging. 

The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.

2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals

Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within. 

For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.

3. Use “chunking”

Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.

Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.

For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.

4. Be flexible

We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.

5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion

Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.

This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.

Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.

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Motivation

What Is Dark Motivation and How Can I Use It to My Advantage?

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It’s Thursday, 8 PM. I’m relaxing at home, doing normal things, and scrolling social media. Tomorrow is a big day. There are lots of things to do with moving pieces of furniture because I’m moving to another city. On top of that, a repairman is coming to my house at 8AM, so I’ll have to get up early. (more…)

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The Killer Morning Routine to Boost Motivation

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If you’re anything like me, waking up in the morning is a hard task. Over the course of a number of years I’ve built a routine that helps wake me up and keeps me motivated. (more…)

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Motivation

Why “No Pain, No Gain” Is More Powerful Than You Realize

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