Archive for October, 2006

Tips for getting up early

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

Do you want to get up earlier?  If you do, here are a series of tips that should help to turn you from a lay-a-bed into an early riser.

  • Do you really want to get up earlier?  I mean really want to?  If you’re not committed to getting up early, then you won’t.  It’s that simple.  You have to want to get up.  And remember that applies first thing in the morning, when you’re groggy and sluggish, not say at lunchtime when you’re wide-awake and firing on all cylinders.  Wanting to get up is the key to actually getting up!
  • Set a realistic “up” time.  Set a time that you want to be up by, not one that you think you should be up by.  If you set an unrealistic get up time, you’re far more likely to fail.
  • Ditch caffeine.  It seriously messes with your system.  If you are pepped up on coffee all day you’ve messing with your body patterns and you’re adversely affecting you sleep patterns.
  • Don’t go to bed until you are tired.  You only get the best, most productive sleep when you are actually tired before you go to bed.
  • Before you go to sleep, tell yourself that you’re going to get up at whatever time you want to be up by.  For example, if you want to be up at 6am and you’re in bed at 11pm, repeat the following to yourself a dozen or so times:
    “I will be up at 6am, in 7 hours from now.”
    Remember to say it like you mean it.  This will program your subconscious to get up when you want to be up (with practice you can train yourself so you don’t need an alarm clock).
  • Try different styles of alarm clocks – radio, CD, light, beeper.  See which one works best for you.
  • Put a system in place to wake you up.  If you need an alarm clock, put it out of your reach so that you have to get up when it goes off.  And when it goes off, get up.  Take a few deep breaths and stretch a little and start the day.
  • Maintain your routine 7 days a week.
  • Don’t fall into the “snooze” trap.  If you’ve had eight hours sleep and you’re still tired, 10 minutes isn’t going to make any difference.

Work at getting up early for 21 days and you’ll have established the new routine as a pattern and it’ll be a lot harder to break.

See you tomorrow – morning!

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Scott Adams on affirmations

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

The Dilbert Blog is probably one of the most eclectic blogs that I read.  Scott Adams has a knack for going from one interesting and thought-provoking idea to another.  Yesterday he posted a thoroughly interesting and readable article on affirmations and how he has used them in the past to make changes in his life.

What are affirmations and how do they work?  Scott sums it up as:

The idea behind affirmations is that you simply write down your goals 15 times a day and somehow, as if by magic, coincidences start to build until you achieve your objective against all odds.

An affirmation is a simple sentence such as “I Scott Adams will become a syndicated cartoonist.” (That’s one I actually used.)

I’ve read whole books on affirmations but in those two sentences Scott has told you pretty much everything you need to make use of them.  No, seriously, I mean it.  The basic form of an affirmation sentence is something like this:

“I Joe Bloggs will …”

Make it positive, make it personal and repeat.

Go ahead, read the article!

Scott then goes on to answers some FAQ questions relating to affirmations.  Three of these answers are particularly interesting:

    • I’ve never heard of a “monkey paw” affect where you achieve your goal but something horrible happens to you to balance it out.
    • I don’t know how long you should try affirmations before concluding that they don’t work for you. But trying it for less than six months probably doesn’t give it a chance.
    • Affirmations have not worked every time for me. But the few times they did not work, I must say I wasn’t fully invested in the objective. For example, there are a few cases where if I had achieved an objective it would have caused a lifestyle change that wasn’t entirely positive.

That last point is particularly relevant. You must, on all levels, want the change to happen.  If you have doubts or worries of uncertainties, the affirmation is doomed.

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Eye movement and lying – Simple steps to becoming a human lie detector!

Monday, October 9th, 2006

Can you tell if someone is lying just by looking at their eyes?  You bet that you can!  We give away a lot about ourselves through our body language, and the eyes are especially a giveaway.

First off, when I say “left” or “right”, I mean left and right from your viewpoint.  Secondly, this technique holds true for most right-handed people, and many left-handers too.  With that sorted, let’s look at the theory.

OK, There are seven general directions that people’s eyes can move towards:

  • Up and to the left
    Visually constructed images
  • Up and to the right
    Visually remembered images
  • To the left
    Auditory constructed
  • To the right
    Auditory remembered
  • Down and to the left
  • Down and to the right
    Internal dialog
  • Straight ahead
    Usually, this is a sign of concentration (usually visual accessing a memory) or someone trying to hide how they feel

The two cues to lying that you need to be on the look out for are “up and to the left”, where the person is constructing a visual image (that is, lying about something they saw/did), and “to the left”, where the person is constructing an auditory experience (lying about something they heard). These are pretty good eye cues that the person is lying to you. 

Nothing is 100% accurate and some people are wired differently, or they eye movements are hard to pick up on.  In these circumstances it’s a good idea to run some test questions (don’t let on what you’re doing of course!) past the individual and see how they respond to them.

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