Ever heard that you should start your morning by completing one small task like making your bed?
This is stupid advice. Don’t follow it.
If you feel like you have achieved something by making your bed, then you’re way off.
Making your bed is a stupid little task that doesn’t make you feel good at all. If you find satisfaction in doing something so small, and you think that’s a good start, it’s not.
“You must do something meaningful to start the day if you want to change the world”
Start the morning with something big.
Yup, that’s what I said you little rascal. Do something that matters. For me, that’s writing blog posts like this one, instead of doing chicken little tasks that don’t serve anybody – like making your bed. I recommend starting the day with an epic achievement.
Sit down and write something you are proud of.
Go and train for that sport you love.
Prepare that presentation that is going to change your company.
Wake up and do public speaking first thing.
Now that last one is one I do every fortnight. I wake up at 4 am and go to Toastmasters at 7 am to start the day with a speech. It sets up my entire week and gives me energy. Try it for yourself.
Your mind is fresh in the morning – don’t waste it.
As the day moves on, your energy levels get lower (especially if you have a poor diet). This is why starting your day by wasting your valuable energy making your bed is total nonsense!
Don’t make your bed, use your energy for something that will make you fulfilled.
Start the day with something that will make you damn proud of yourself.
When I publish a freshly written article on Adccited2Success at 5 am, I feel on fire. I get to work ready to steamroll over anyone who wants to take me off my purpose. I feel like a lion ready to pounce on its prey and fight any enemy that presents itself.
Your bed can wait.
You know what? Your bed can wait. It doesn’t need to be made right this second. You can do hard labor when you get home and you’re tired from the day. Making your bed requires no thinking so don’t waste your mind on it.
“Low energy states are the best time to make your bed, iron your clothes and cook meals”
Achieving goals builds momentum.
The reason why I don’t want you to start your day achieving rubbish goals is that it gives you no momentum. Doing something difficult in the morning sets your day up to tackle even more challenging obstacles.
I’d rather you did the big stuff first and then worried about the small stuff like how your rainbow colored doona on your bed looks. Who you trying to impress with your bed anyway?
Some days will suck.
Okay, so I’ve made it sound like every day you are going to live like a commando or even GI Joe. Don’t worry I’m not that silly or crazy. There are days that you will suck. You’ll wake up and achieve nothing. You’ll do dumb stuff like make your bed instead of doing something a bit more difficult.
It’s okay. You can’t be Rambo every single day or hour. What I want you to think about here is to spend the majority of your week in a peak state that involves attempting meaningful goals in the morning. Miss a day here and there. Take the weekend off.
Relax, because you can’t always be on like a pit bull ready to attack.
“If you take yourself too seriously, then you’ll start to lose the plot. Your ego will become out of control and you’ll think you are unstoppable and do something dumb like taking a selfie on the side of a skyscraper where you could fall to your death. Don’t laugh; this is now a thing!”
Everything in moderation. You also need balance. Don’t mistake balance, though, for being lazy and doing half-assed stuff like making your bed.
Mornings have defined me.
I get dozens of emails asking how I find time to write and do all the crazy things I talk about.
My response is always the morning. Doing big stuff in the morning has allowed me to get a head start on life. I will not accept mediocrity and even when it hurts, I do my best to remember why I put myself through these challenges, day after day.
There’s something about progress that is addictive and it’s a big part of the success formula. The first thing you do shouldn’t be:
– Make coffee
– Drink lemon water
– Look at your phone
– Check your social media followers.
The first thing you should do is bite a chunk off one of your big audacious goals that forms part of your life’s purpose. Now feel free to substitute the word purpose for vision, goals, meaning of your life – I don’t care amigo.
Again, do the big stuff.
Let’s rinse and repeat, so you’re clear. Don’t wake up and do little, tiny, meaningless goals like making your bed and wasting the best hours of the day. Wake up and do something that will give you a sense of fulfillment.
Hope we’re clear now. Time to go do the big stuff. The really big stuff!
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
A Step by Step Process That Will Help You Make the Impossible, Possible
We have all been there, looking at something and wishing we had it. The girl, the car, the money, the family, the lifestyle…but then we tell ourselves “Yeah, but that’s not me”. The people who get that are cut from a different cloth and we keep telling ourselves that until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We waste the wings we got believing the entire time that we can’t fly and that it’s impossible for us. We don’t even see our wings most of the time. (more…)
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
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.
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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