Monday, January 23, 2017

Prime your State for Success

You wake up feeling tired and overwhelmed, dreading the day ahead.
You are in the midst of your day and are struggling with finding a solution to the latest problem to cross your desk.
You arrive home after a long and busy work day, looking forward to crashing on the couch, when your daughter reminds you of her school project you promised to help with.

Sound familiar?  We all face similar situations daily, times when we lack the energy and focus to fully and successfully handle what we must. It is far too easy to allow the overwhelm to over-take us, to allow our emotions to lead us to thoughts of  'I can't', 'It's too much', 'I`m not`.

Instead of being driven by our emotional state though, we need to learn to take control. We don`t need to be at the mercy of our states when we can readily shift our state to be what we need it to be in order to face the challenges in front of us.

Many of the world`s most successful people have a morning routine they follow in order to set their state for the day. They know that how they feel drives what they do and will therefore impact what they achieve that day. These short routines/rituals allow them to establish the mental and emotional mindset they need to accomplish what`s in front of them.

In Psychological terms the actions they take are called Priming. We know that our exposure to various words, images and concepts can have a major impact upon our behaviour. Often this occurs unconsciously.  It is the reason why so many advertisers pay for you to hear and see their messages. They are 'priming' you to buy their products. However, there is nothing preventing us from using this same principle deliberately upon ourselves in an effort to increase our success.

We know that energy is life.  It therefore follows that the quality of our energy will determine the quality of our life.  Starting our day by reinforcing how tired we feel, how tough the day is going to be, how much we are dreading it will only serve to prime our minds to find each task we undertake to be difficult and overwhelming.  Instead we need to start each day with positive energy.  

Many successful people find that engaging in a minute or two of activity (jumping jacks would work but so would a vigorous walk) is enough to get their body feeling awake, energized and ready to tackle the day. You don`t need a full workout routine to produce a change in your physiology, to prime yourself into a positive state.

Tony Robbins, world famous Performance Coach, is a strong advocate of the need to prime himself daily. He has an established 10 minute routine he follows, regardless of where he is in the world, to help him set his mental and emotional state for the day.  He does a cold water plunge, followed by a breathing exercise followed, in turn, with 3 minutes of focusing on 3 things he`s grateful for, 3 minutes focusing on the presence of God and 3 minutes focused on three things he`s going to make happen that day.  This 10 minute routine sets the pattern for his day.
"To me, if you want a primetime life, you've got to prime daily"  Tony Robbins
How do you start your day? Are you dragging yourself out of bed thinking about how much more sleep you need? Are you thinking about the meeting you wish you could avoid, the project you're behind on, the to-do list you can't seem to ever get to?

How's that working out for you so far?

Why not try something different? Why not get out of bed and do 50 jumping jacks (or so) to get your heart pumping and to feel some energy and then take 1 minute to think about what you're grateful for and then 1 minute to think of 3 things you are going to achieve that day.  Note I said 'going to' achieve, not things you 'want' to achieve.  Language here is everything, you are priming yourself to get things done.  

That's a 3 minute routine that no one is too busy to follow. Try it for a week and see how much better you're feeling and how much more you've achieved by only investing 3 minutes each day. A small social experiment that could pay big dividends to you. 

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