How do I avoid losing focus on my goals after waking up?

Oh, you’re not the only one who loses focus after waking up.

All of us have experienced this many times. Maybe we start the day with great ideas or big plans of what we want to do. Maybe we get a rush of energy just thinking about these things. And then something happens: we find ourselves rushing in the morning, we are running late on our way to work or school, we forget to bring things along with us, we start feeling overwhelmed with the volume of tasks on our ever-growing list. Or maybe none of those things happen, but we find ourselves procrastinating about getting started with the day, and next thing we know, it’s lunchtime and our focus is just gone—plain and simple.

Sounds familiar, right?

It’s important to keep in mind that there’s a big difference between having an idea and acting on the idea, just as there’s a big difference between beginning the day with good intentions and actually making things happen.

And that, right there, is how you can get out of this situation.

Start making things happen.

Here are 5 ideas that can help you get there.

Idea #1. Confront your procrastination by replacing the words “I can’t do this!” with “Why not try it?”

Hey, we’re all guilty of procrastinating at some point in our life. It doesn’t require a lot of effort, and it’s almost a default reaction to something challenging.

How do you do it?

  • First, ask yourself if there is something else hiding behind procrastination. Maybe it is fear of not being able to do something successfully, not being able to be better at it than other people, or maybe not even understanding why we are doing something to begin with.
  • Next time you feel like procrastinating, rather than immediately reacting with “I can’t do it”, ask yourself where the resistance is coming from. Be honest with yourself. Start with providing an explanation, for example by saying, “I can’t because….” Then you’ll know the source of your resistance.
  • Think of what you gain when you say “Why not?” You win over fear and you start thinking beyond obstacles. There is something powerful when you leave a door open to explore possibilities, instead of shutting that same door in your own face. It’s a subtle change in your attitude that can have a big impact in your life.

Idea #2. Train your brain to focus by asking yourself this question every morning: “What is the one thing I am committed to completing today?”

It’s a simple brain training technique that makes it easy for your brain to focus on goals that are important to you right now. It also boosts your critical thinking skills because it forces you to prioritize what’s most relevant.

How do you do it?

  • Put it in writing. Write it in big bold letters on a sheet of paper and hang it on your bedroom or bathroom wall.
  • Read it out loud as you start your day, and come up with an answer on the spot.
  • Follow up by taking action and by reminding yourself throughout the day about the commitment you made.

Idea #3. Get your brain on board.

Before you start doing anything new, get your brain on board with what you’re about to do. It helps you get motivated to take action and become fully absorbed in whatever is in front of you.

How do you do it?

  • Instead of approaching something as a chore, turn it into a choice. Tell yourself, “This is something I really want to learn more about!” The benefit? It gives you a greater sense of control about what you’re doing. That’s much better than feeling like you’re reacting to things or you’re obligated to do things that are not your idea.
  • Remind yourself of the reason for action with this question: “Why am I doing this?” Make the connection with the initial reasons for working on something to begin with. It can be to learn a new skill, research a topic you’re interested in, study for an exam so you can graduate and start your career, explore a business opportunity, solve a specific problem at work, etc.
  • Visualize what you’re about to do. This is a technique called building a mental model, where you imagine all the steps you’ll be taking. For example, if you are researching something new, visualize covering a certain amount of material, taking notes on important concepts, and writing down what you’ll need to follow up on later. By telling yourself a story, you map out the entire learning process so it’s easier for your brain to understand it.

Idea #4. Make your personal goals a top priority.

Whether you’re a student, working full-time, or taking time off to be a parent or start your own business, you should do whatever is possible to work on your personal development. If you don’t, it will eventually catch up with you and may leave you feeling unhappy or overwhelmed with ordinary daily activities.

How do you do it?

  • Start thinking about the big picture. Ask yourself—where do you want to be 5 or 10 years from now? Who do you want to become? What is a dream scenario for you: a life in a specific city, having a partner to share your life journey with, being surrounded by smart and interesting people who contribute to your personal growth, being fluent in another language? Get specific with the description of your ideal life.
  • Second, narrow it down. Set aside an hour or two one evening to do the following:
    • Write down your top 3 personal goals.
    • Under each, write down 3 things you would need to do on a consistent basis to get you closer to each goal.
    • Then, make a plan for the week ahead so that you can devote blocks of time to making progress in the areas you’ve identified.

Idea #5. Keep learning, keep improving, keep hacking your life.

Now that you’ve started to incorporate some changes into your life to remain focused on things that are your top priority, all you need to do is continue moving forward. Life is not static, and your efforts should also not be static. Think about ways to improve what you’re doing each day.

How do you do it?

  • Measure your progress. Find ways to measure how you’re moving forward. Maybe you’ll set aside 30 minutes each day to focus on learning a new skill. If so, add up the hours at the end of the week and see if you can add more time each day, even if it’s just a few more minutes. Then see how many hours you’ve devoted to it in a month.
  • Evaluate how you’re doing. Ask yourself a few questions to understand how you’re keeping up with the goals you’ve set for yourself. For example, did some activities you started doing take more time than you anticipated? What could you have done better? Where can you make adjustments to stay on track?
  • Take time to appreciate the change. Yes, it’s important to make progress, to stay focused, to reach that important goal. But every step of the way in getting there is super important too. So find the time each evening to pause and reflect on what you’re doing, and give yourself some well-deserved praise for all those efforts. It really does feel good to be aware that you’re on the right track!

How can I force myself to have the discipline and motivation to become the best version of myself?

If I were you, I would start by changing the words I use when talking to myself.

We don’t think about it often, but words are powerful. They shape our thoughts, they affect our personal growth, they impact our confidence. And they can be one of the most critical factors to our success in life.

And honestly, I don’t like the word force. When I hear it, I think of aggression, violence, pain, feeling passive and helpless. None of those feelings can get me motivated to do anything. So why would you want to force yourself to do anything? And more importantly, how do you imagine sticking to any action or habit if you force yourself to do it?

I’ll tell you what I like: the words brain training. When I hear them, I think of positive things—discipline, motivation, achievement, mastery, success. Even better: I feel like I have the power to do things and change them. This makes me feel much better about taking action and moving towards becoming the best version of myself.

So let’s go back to the original question and rephrase it:

How can I train my brain to have the discipline and motivation to become the best version of myself?

Much better!

The answer? There are many tips you can practice every day.

Here are 7 tips to get you started.

Tip #1. Build your unique daily routine. This practice will help you become the master of your own time. In addition, you’ll experience a greater sense of calm knowing in advance what your day will look like. It could be a simple morning routine to get you energized and start the day on a positive note, or doing your most complex work early in the day when your brain is well rested, or doing your most creative work late at night when you can be alone and away from distractions. The key is to plan it ahead and then do the same type of activity at the same time each day. You’ll create a routine customized to your specific needs, your goals, and what you believe to be most relevant to you.

Tip #2. Do your deep work early in the day. If you do, it will help you better deal with your procrastination habit. According to scientific research, the brain’s peak performance happens 2-4 hours after we wake up: so if you wake up at 7, your peak times are 9–11 a.m. Doing deep work at this time allows the brain to focus fully on the problem at hand, with fewer distractions, less inputs from our environment, and with a lot of energy that we’ve gained from a restful night. All you have to do is adjust your mornings a little. Stay away from checking emails before noon, leave calls and meetings for the mid to late afternoon, and listen to the news later in the day (while driving and running errands, for example).

Tip #3. Always have a goal to aspire to. When we have specific goals we want to achieve, everything we do in our daily lives will have a greater sense of purpose. It’s what makes the difference between just living life day to day, and living a life that has meaning. To help you focus on your goal, start each day with the question: What is the one thing I am committed to completing today? This question forces you to prioritize, helps your brain focus better, and streamlines the work you need to do on that particular day, so that you don’t feel stressed, tired, or overwhelmed with making too many choices.

Tip #4. Think about the big picture of your life. Focus on the work you’ve planned to complete today, but always keep your eye on at least two steps ahead. Don’t see any action you’re making today as an isolated incident. Think about its implications and potential consequences. Is your behavior geared towards achieving a one-time effect, or will you feel benefits in the long run? Is what you’re doing today going to help you become who you want to be next year, in 5, in 10 years? Become strategic so that you can achieve long term results that your future self can benefit from.

Tip #5. Replace saying “I can’t” with “why not?” whenever you’re faced with a challenge. Much like replacing the phrase, “how can I force myself” with “how can I train my brain”, this is yet another small adjustment in how we speak to ourselves that can have a positive effect on our life in the long term. We’re much better off if we spend a little time figuring out where the resistance is coming from (why do we think we can’t?), rather than give in to it immediately without a fight (“I can’t and that’s that!”). When we replace that phrase with “why not?”, we leave things open-ended. There is something quite powerful when we create that open space because it means we keep our mind open to possibilities, whatever they may be.

Tip #6. Improve your relationship with your mistakes. There’s a lot of truth in the statement: you either learn to fail or fail to learn. Making mistakes is a normal part of life. It’s how you approach them that matters. Try a different strategy of viewing your past by forgiving yourself for mistakes that you made. Reflect on them, learn from them, but don’t hold on to them. This applies to your relationships, your career, your education, and other areas of your life in which you feel you didn’t achieve what you wanted or underperformed in some way. By changing how you relate to mistakes, you will give yourself more freedom to manage your future more successfully.

Tip #7. Always, always be persistent. The writer Seth Godin said, “Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment.” How true! What this means is that you should do your best to fight the urge to give up whenever things get tough, hard, or even ugly. Know the difference between what feels hard to do right now and what’s good for you in the long run. And let’s face it: nothing really big and truly amazing happens in one day or even a month. So next time you fail or fall, do your best to get up, dust yourself off, and keep going.

What 10 minute daily activity would sharpen my mind over a year?

Here’s one thing you can do in 10 minutes or less that will keep your brain focused, sharp, and working optimally for you.

Ask yourself one powerful question first thing when you wake up: What is the one thing I am committed to completing today?

And here are 5 reasons why it’s good for your brain:

  • It simplifies your decision-making. Our brain functions so much better when it’s not bogged down with evaluating priorities, considering the pros and cons, and going back and forth on small things that can be a huge waste of time. If you have to make a choice on something, you should do it as early in the day as possible.
  • It taps into your willpower bright and early. We all have only a finite amount of willpower that we can distribute on what we want to do each day. It’s not negotiable. So, in order to maximize it, it’s best to have a plan of attack early in the morning so you know exactly where to focus your energies, and why.
  • It encourages strategic thinking. In order to accomplish something that is of value to you, you’ll need to assess what needs to be completed on that particular day. Maybe you know there’s a deadline at work for one project that you can’t delay any longer, and asking the question will push to you think about what you need to do right now.
  • It keeps you focused. Once you ask the question, you’re much less likely to give a frivolous answer, and instead you’ll push yourself to be honest about what’s top priority for you. Maybe you didn’t give it a lot of time or maybe you procrastinated, but that’s over now. The question is out there, and now you have to address it and move on to the next step, which is action.
  • It boosts your critical-thinking skills. By posing the question to yourself, you’ll come up with a few scenarios of what the answer might be. Maybe it’s starting a difficult task, or analyzing a problem you haven’t been able to solve for days, or finishing up an assignment that’s 90% done but needs some fine-tuning. Either way, you’ll need to assess your why and how before you give an answer, and that will keep your brain on its toes. Which is exactly why you want to train it this way in the morning, so it knows how to run smoothly the rest of the day!

What are daily activities that can help me become more disciplined?

First, let’s get one thing out of the way. If we’re being completely honest, there’s nothing really attractive about the word disciplined. I don’t know about you, but to me is sounds harsh, almost like a punishment that is imposed by someone or something outside of ourselves. And if we frame this question in such a way, it’s much tougher to actually come up with a solution that is helpful to us.

But here’s a different approach that works for me.

For me, it’s a simple math equation:

Self-discipline = freedom.

Well, what does that mean exactly?

It means that when we are self-disciplined, we allocate our time more optimally so that we can afford to do what is important to us. Yes, this means getting our work and responsibilities done first so that we still can devote energy to doing the things that are important for achieving our personal goals. By being self-disciplined, we give ourselves the freedom to truly express our highest self.

Now back to the original question. Let’s rephrase it so it sounds like this:

What are daily activities that can help me become more disciplined and give me more freedom to do what I believe to be important?

Here are 5 different answers to this question. Try one out today and see how it can help you.

Answer #1. Begin each day by asking yourself this question: “What is the one thing I am committed to completing today?”

This technique trains your brain to focus on which goals are important to you right now, and it forces you to prioritize the goal you believe to be the most relevant in this moment. How do you practice this habit? Put it in writing. Write it in big bold letters on a sheet of paper and hang it on your bedroom or bathroom wall. Read it out loud as you start your day (for example, as you’re brushing your teeth or getting ready for work or school). Come up with an answer on the spot and answer it out loud. Then follow up by taking action: focus your energy throughout the day to completing your one thing.

Answer #2. Tap into your willpower early.

As soon as you start your day, chances are you’re overwhelmed with the amount of things you need to do, so it’s natural that you procrastinate on some of those things (okay, many!) and postpone them for later. Big mistake. Why? Because we all have a finite amount of willpower that takes us through the day. If you want to focus on priorities, work on them early. Do that task that you’ve been putting off all week before lunchtime. Write up a plan for the school or work week ahead of time. Finish up homework you’ve been putting off because you’d rather do something more fun. You’ll be glad that you did in the evening when it’s time to wind down and relax.

Answer #3. Train yourself to start the day with a quick yet effective morning routine.

There are many benefits to having a morning routine. It can make you feel super productive at the start of the day, it can give you focus, it can provide you with a sense of achievement early in the day, and it can even give those 24 hours your life more purpose. In addition to all of that, a morning routine gives you time (that precious commodity we all seem to be running out of!) to do what you consider important to your personal development, and gets you closer to achieving your goals.

Answer #4. Take care of your essentials.

Self-discipline is not something that is externally given to us. It is a choice we make every single moment of every day, and we become responsible for the choice (or choices) that we make. We are disciplined when we take care of the essentials: we know how to eat what’s healthy to give our body enough energy and optimize our brain’s performance, we make physical exercise a daily habit, and we practice a nighttime routine to help us unwind in the most relaxing way so we get the sleep that we need.

Answer #5. Create a peaceful place in your mind.

More important than tidying up your apartment or house, it will benefit you greatly if you regularly work on keeping your mind clean and uncluttered. Why? When it’s not full of jumbled thoughts, confusion and worry, it can work its real magic. And how do you do that? By practicing mindfulness through meditation. This small practice doesn’t require a lot of time, it’s simple to follow, and it has many benefits, including better focus and more concentration. You can try it early in the day so that you prepare your brain for the day ahead, or you can practice it at night so you have more restful and calm sleep. Download the Headspace app to start with a simple 10-minute session.

How do I stay calm and focused?

To get any kind of work done, it always helps to have a game plan.

When you do, you won’t be wasting time throughout the day trying to figure out what’s important, what you should ignore, and what you need to do if you run into a problem.

A game plan in your pocket is something that will instill more calm in your mind simply because you know it’s there. No guesswork needed. You have it covered.

So what’s a simple game plan to start with?

Here are 5 things you can practice every day to boost your focus and remain calm, whether you’re working from home, studying for exams, or holding down a job with a long commute.

#1. Give yourself a chance to start the day mindfully.

Instead of jumping out of bed as soon as you realize you’ve hit the snooze button one too many times, you’ll benefit from one small practice that will calm you before the day actually begins. That practice is meditation. It does not take a lot of time to do, it’s simple to follow, and it can be beneficial by improving your focus, decluttering your mind, and helping you to feel more relaxed and positive about your life. Start with just 10 minutes with an app called Headspace. It is a guided meditation that helps you breathe deeply and manage your thoughts better.

#2. Get your mind focused by asking yourself one question as soon as you get out of bed: What is the one thing I am committed to completing today?

There are many benefits of asking this question: you’ll start prioritizing what really needs to be done, stay focused on your goals, and you will make a promise to yourself to finish one thing that’s important to you. How can you ask this question? Write it down on a large sheet of paper, then hang it somewhere on a wall so you see it first thing (in the bathroom or bedroom, for example). You can even add some photos to your question; they can be of things that you find inspiring and beautiful, which can boost your motivation. Then ask the question out loud, and come up with an answer quickly.

#3. Create a short 10–15 minute workout as part of your morning routine.

Why would you do any physical activity in the morning? Because it will help you wake up faster, it likely to boost your mood, and can actually help you with your work or studies. It’s not necessarily a long or tedious routine, and to do it you might not even need to leave the house. For example, before you shower and make breakfast, start the day with some morning yoga, a set of sun salutation poses, go for a short run in your neighborhood, or just crank up the volume on your hip-hop playlist and dance in your room. It will give you energy for the rest of the day.

#4. Work on the most mentally challenging tasks first.

Why? Because we all have only a finite amount of willpower to last us through the day, so putting the important stuff off for later won’t necessarily mean you’ll get to it later (or get it done). You’re better off by doing deep work as early in the day as possible—the focused, uninterrupted, analytical thinking that requires you to be in the “flow”, allowing you to concentrate on what’s right in front of you and nothing else. It could be reading, taking notes, coding or problem-solving. When is the ideal time to do it? The sooner the better; research shows that our analytical brain starts functioning optimally around 2–4 hours after we wake up.

#5. Make sure that you turn off all distractions.

All those things that distract you don’t just take away your time to focus on getting work done. They can also make you feel overwhelmed, anxious, and even get you in a bad mood. Instead of going through your email or scrolling through your Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter feed in the morning, try setting your phone to Airplane mode. Check your email and social media apps only 2–3 times a day, maybe once every two hours or during your lunch break. Avoid browsing the Internet or reading the news. Get a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones which will help regardless of where you’re working: at home, in a busy office or coffee shop, or at university. Select music that can help you relax and improve your focus: classical music, your favorite beats, or even sounds of nature.

What’s the most outstanding life hack?

My top life hack is this:

Training my brain to be laser-focused first thing in the morning on ONE top priority.

But let’s be clear about one thing: I wasn’t born this way. Nobody is.

Here’s how I used to start the day:

  • When the alarm went off, the first reaction was to hit the snooze button. At least twice.
  • After acknowledging that yes, it was time to wake up, the follow-up reaction was to grab the phone and scroll through emails.
  • At this point, brainstorming would begin: what are all the things that need to be done and by when.
  • And in the background, the brain was never idle: all sorts of random thoughts would rush through—what’s the weather like, would the commute take long, how much time will be left after meetings to actually get work done, etc.

And when I started training my brain to focus, here’s what happened:

  • When the alarm went off, I’d open my eyes and feel calm about the day ahead.
  • I would start enjoying every part of my morning routine, from doing yoga to making the first cup of coffee, without feeling overwhelmed by what lies ahead.
  • I also started feeling more optimistic about getting things done and getting closer to my professional and personal goals.

The time it took me to do this brain training exercise: 5 minutes.

Here’s what I started doing.

I asked myself one question in the first 5 minutes after I wake up:

What is the one thing I am committed to completing today?

I feel there are many benefits to starting the day this way.

For example:

  • It puts me in the present moment: When I ask the question, I immediately have to think what’s important for that particular day. It forces me to “zoom into” my priorities.
  • It’s less overwhelming: Even though I may be juggling a dozen or more responsibilities during that day, I know that actually finishing one thing is doable and realistic.
  • It keeps one thing top of mind: There’s absolutely no way I can forget my top priority if I start my day thinking about it. It’s always there as a reminder.
  • It helps me ignore distractions: I’ve noticed that I’m less likely to pay attention to things that aren’t related to my number one priority.
  • It encourages better planning: I start working on my one thing early, then I can gauge how much more time it will take to finish it later in the day.

So how can you train your brain to be laser-focused with this one question?

  • First, write it down: Take a large sheet of paper and write the question in big bold letters with a thick marker.
  • Next, put it somewhere where you’re most likely to look at it: It can be on your bedroom or the bathroom wall, next to the mirror so it’s easier to see.
  • Then, look at the question and ask it out loud. You can do this as you’re brushing your teeth or getting dressed.
  • Take a minute to think what’s on your agenda for the day. Then pick one thing that has top priority for you and give an answer out loud.
  • A final tip: Start working on your one thing early. For one simple reason: your brain is more capable of tackling analytical and complex problem-solving tasks in the first few hours of the day. For most of us, this is how our inner biological clock (also called the circadian rhythm) works. That’s why it’s super helpful if you make the most of those first hours and get the hardest work out of the way, so it doesn’t get pushed back to the evening when you’re more tired, more cranky, and more inclined to procrastinate. It’s a small change that you can implement easily, which will give you more freedom and better control of your time. And the best part: it makes you feel like you own your day!

How can I make every minute of the day count?

Take ownership of your day!

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Of course we own our day, who else would? But if you take a minute and think: once you finish your school or work routine, check Facebook and Twitter throughout the day, spend time on your phone, commute back and forth to where you need to go, and watch your favorite TV shows, what’s really left of your day? More important, what did you do in that 24-hour period that will matter 5, 10, 20 years from now?

It’s a hard question, but you should ask it!

And if you’re not pleased with your answer, then make the effort to change something. Make your minutes matter. That’s what taking ownership of your day is all about.

Now let’s think what can help you get there. Here are two ideas to get you started.

Idea #1. Make your mornings count in 3 ways.

ONE. Create a morning routine to give you more energy.

A routine that helps you start the day means that you become the master of your own time, you can start working on things that are important to you, and you can be more calm knowing in advance what your day will look like. For example:

TWO. Start your day with this question: What is the one thing I am committed to completing today?

  • Why this habit matters: it encourages you to think strategically about your life, it keeps you focused on your goals (both personal and professional), it forces you to prioritize, and it serves as a personal promise to yourself.
  • How you can incorporate this habit into your day: put it in writing. Write it in big bold letters on a sheet of paper and hang it on your bedroom or bathroom wall. Read it out loud as you start your day, and come up with an answer on the spot. Then, as you go through the day, make sure you’re working on completing what you’ve identified as your one thing.

THREE. Get your hard work done first.

We don’t function the same early in the morning as when we do at night. Our body and our brain are more likely to function better at certain times of day. It’s all about knowing your biological clock and how it works.

  • Why do hard work first? Because the early hours of the day are the optimal time for your analytical brain to perform the most complex tasks (in the case of studying, for example, these can be reading, comprehension, application, repetition). Some scientists call this time of day the brain’s peak performance time, and it’s about 2-4 hours after we wake up.
  • When exactly should you do it? If you wake up at 6, your peak performance times are between 8 and 10 a.m. Extend this time until lunch so that you cover the most important concepts when your brain is clear, less cluttered by additional tasks, and less likely to be distracted by events happening around you.

Idea #2. Think about the big picture using these 3 approaches.

ONE. Develop your life strategy.

Focus on the work you’ve planned to complete today, but always keep your eye on at least two steps ahead. When you have a strategy in place, everything you do each day will have more purpose. Try this:

  • Rethink your behavior: This applies to what you do each day and how you react to what’s happening around you. Is your behavior geared towards achieving a one-time effect, or will you feel benefits in the long run?
  • Think in terms of active versus passive: As you go about your day, are you merely reacting to events, people, and circumstances, or are you being proactive about them and providing value in some way to yourself and also to other people?

TWO. Set long-term goals for yourself.

This evening, take 30 minutes to write down the following:

  • Identify your top 3 goals. For example: graduate from college, get an advanced degree, find a job that is the best fit for your skill set, develop a skill that you’ve always wanted, get physically fit, relocate to a city or country where you would like to live and work, etc.
  • Under each goal, write down 3 things you can do on a regular basis to make progress. For example: if your goal is to get physically fit, then the things you should focus on can be creating a meal plan for the week to eat healthier, working out regularly, and doing research on YouTube for fun workouts that don’t take up too much time and can be incorporated easily into your day.
  • Then, create a weekly schedule to fit in the activities you’ve identified as important to achieving your goal. Divide each day into hourly increments, then block off time for your responsibilities, commute, meal times. You should still be able to find an hour to fit in 1–2 activities important to your goal. Too busy? Start with a small block of 15 minutes.

THREE. Use the end of the day to dream big.

Evenings are great for strategic thinking because it’s a time for the brain to settle into a different tempo when it can be more creative. If you’re setting goals and strategizing where you want to be in 6 months or a year with your personal development, this is when you can outline your next steps. For example:

  • Ask yourself: Where do you see yourself in the future, who do you want to become, what would be an ideal lifestyle for you?
  • Map out your dreams: Write down in detail what this ideal lifestyle would be like. Cover all areas of your life: what is that dream job, the daily schedule, the people you’d be working with? What does the city look like, the apartment or house you’d be living in, the commute to work? Do you see yourself with a partner, a family, children, with pets? Dedicate some time to describing everything in detail.
  • Make it visual: Get a large sheet of paper, then find photographs (from magazines, for example) that look like a visual representation of what you’d like your ideal lifestyle to be. Add pictures and write down phrases that are powerful and meaningful to you, and that pertain to your goals: your college degree, the perfect job, your ideal and fit self, your dream home, the dog you’d like to have one day, etc.
  • Incorporate it into your day: Put your vision map somewhere where you can see it first thing in the morning: in the bathroom as you’re brushing your teeth or in the bedroom when you’re getting dressed. Look at it often, absorb the pictures, read the words. Make it a daily habit to spend time observing everything you’ve put on your vision map.
  • Make the connection: As you’re looking at your vision map each day, ask yourself what you can do today to get you closer to your dreams. It is only when we are proactive about our life that we can truly make dreams come alive, make them real, make them part of who we want to become.