Step 1 in feeling like a winner: win.
Start your day off with something very easy that’s part of your routine. It can be knocking out 50 push ups, going for a run, reading a chapter of a book, writing a quick blog post, or even something like brushing your teeth.
Make sure that whatever it is, it’s something that will move you in a productive direction. Even brushing your teeth prevents cavities and whitens your teeth. Frame your first activity of the day from the perspective that you are crossing an item off your to do list, giving you one less thing to do for the day, and one more thing that gives you an easy win.
This may seem simple, but when you consciously pay attention to your morning routine, you may find that you already do several things every day that are “wins” for you, you just need to notice them.
My personal favorite way to start the day is to do some breathing exercises. I’ve talked in previous posts about doing pranayama and breath holds. And just to be clear, some people think that breathing exercises are only for hippie tree-hugger types, but mastering breathing is endorsed by members of groups such as the Navy SEALS and is an essential part of their training and ability to outperform adversaries.
Both of these exercises are not terribly strenuous, but do a great job of clearing your head and also building mental toughness, which will come in handy later on in the day when you need the persistence to overcome some of the day’s more difficult challenges.
Reinforce and Reward Yourself
Whenever you do something right, you absolutely must reward yourself. I talk a lot about conditioning, and rewarding yourself appropriately. Conditioning works on a subconscious level, but rewarding yourself consistently and at the right time can speed up your learning curve and performance level substantially in a short amount of time.
Start with a small reward that doesn’t go overboard, but makes you feel good. If you are working out, give yourself a literal pat on the back after finishing a good set. Do this after every set or after you are finished with a particular exercise or muscle group. Don’t wait until the end of the workout, reinforce and reward yourself along the way to energize you and keep your spirits up.
Some of my favorite rewards are wasabi peas, they are small enough to carry around in a baggy, or just in your hand. Complete a task and give yourself a peanut, wasabi pea, or piece of chocolate. If you are skeptical then at least try it for a day, you may find that it works for you.
Save bigger rewards like watching an hour of netflix or going to a movie or eating dessert food for the end of the day. The smaller rewards keep you going during the day, given after small tasks, but give yourself a jackpot after finishing a day of hard work. Crack a beer, go out with friends, reinforce yourself for putting in a productive day’s work.