10 Ways to Energise Your Day

Waking up in the morning can be difficult. Even if you go to bed full of energy and enthusiasm, it doesn't always carry across to the morning. If you find yourself with a groggy head after waking up, try some of these tips to give yourself some energy.

1. Exercise – 20 to 30 minutes of exercise can do wonders for your energy levels. If the weather is nice, it's even better as you can go outside and breath in some fresh air. If you're particularly enthusiastic, you can go outside in the cold and rain too. If nothing else it will wake you up!

2. Relax – It might seem counter-productive to relax as soon as you get up, but it aids concentration and gives you some time to clarify your thoughts. Even though "just getting on with it" seems like the smart thing to do, it can end up doing more harm than good. Take a few minutes every morning to do some deep breathing or light meditation and clear your head.

3. A Quick Shower – Some people recommend a lukewarm shower in the morning to wake them up, but personally I prefer it to be a little warmer. This is a good idea if you've done some exercise!

4. Ditch The Computer – There have been far too many days when I've sat down to "check my email" only to glance at the clock later and find half my day has gone. Even if your work requires a computer, try and blast through some manual tasks first.

5. Listen to Something Inspiring – This also goes great with exercise. Make a collection of inspiring tunes or podcasts, and listen to them whilst you work-out.

6. Read Something Inspiring – A few inspiring stories first thing in the morning can be a great boost. There are plenty of books full of these stories, but autobiographies are also a good place to go.

7. Revisit a Previous Victory – This is one of my favourites, because it's so simple but is easy to overlook. When things get difficult, our first reaction is often to affirm that we're incapable of completing the task, when the truth is that we're much better than we give ourselves credit for. Take a few moments to remember all the times you've been faced with a difficult moment and have succeeded.

8. Read Your Goals – Your goals should inspire you, so read through them every morning to get yourself in the mood. This also helps to keep you focused on what you want, which is always a good thing.

9. Choose a Reward – Not everything on your to-do list will be fun and exciting, and you may need a little encouragement to get things done. Pick out something that you want, and then treat yourself to it when you're done. Make sure you spend some time thinking about the reward to build your desire and motivation. Simple, but effective if done properly.

10. Ditch the TV and Newspaper – It's nice to feel informed, but being bombarded with all of the unpleasantness the World has to offer every morning can be a real motivation killer. Use the time saved to read something more inspiring, such as your goals or an uplifting story.

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Becoming Proactive

In "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", Steven Covey wrote about seven habits that could change a person's life on an immeasurable scale. These habits are split into three distinct areas: Private Victory, Public Victory and Renewal, which cover both internal and external change.

The first habit, and possibly the most fundamental, is "Be Proactive".

What does it mean to "Be Proactive"?

The term "Proactive" has lost a lot of its meaning in recent years, as it has been picked up and bandied around as a buzz-word (much like the term "synergy"). Once you cut through the management speak, you'll see that this habit is one of the most vital that any person can develop.

Being proactive is about choosing how you react in any given situation. The more commonly held reactive model of living suggests that how we act in certain circumstances is out of our control. If someone shouts at us, we become upset. It's not our fault, it's theirs. They made us feel this way.

The proactive model says that you can decide on how you react. By living a proactive life, you take full responsibility for how you act and feel.

Steven Covey illustrates this habit with the story of Victor Frankl, a Jewish prisoner during World War 2. With the exception of his sister, Frankl's entire family perished during the war, and Victor himself was subjected to savage and harrowing torture. During his time as a prisoner, he came to realise that although his captors could take away the freedoms of his physical body, they could not take away the most basic freedom of all - the freedom to choose his response.

How do you become proactive?

Like building any habit, becoming proactive takes time and consistent effort, but it can be learnt in a similar way to most other habits.

I would certainly recommend taking a thirty day trial to see if it makes a difference. Start small and build your way up. Going in at the deep end can destroy your confidence, so start with small things. This helps to give a solid foundation as you gain experience and confidence.

A few examples of where you can try out being proactive:

  • Work on a small task you've been putting off, and pay close attention to how you feel whilst doing it. Experiment with changing how you feel during the task.
  • Replace reactive language such as "I can't" with proactive language like "I choose"
  • Show unconditional love to another person. Don't wait for them to show it to you.

There are plenty of other ways to be proactive, so have fun and experiment. One of the great things about doing a thirty-day trial is that you can try lots of different approaches in a short space of time, but without the pressure of making a permanent commitment.

Why does it make a difference?

Everything can build upon this habit. Becoming a better person requires that you go about it in a proactive way. Getting fitter, learning a new language, starting a business, forming a new relationship or maintaining an existing one. All of these activities benefit when you act in a proactive manner instead of a reactive one.

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