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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

15 Minutes a Day Can Change Your Life

One simple trick applied for 15 minutes a day can change your life. That simple trick is reading something positive or uplifting 15 minutes right before you go to bed. Turn off the TV set a timer and read. That is all there is to it. So why is something so simple so difficult to do? Well to be effective you need to apply the rule everyday regardless of how tired you are, this is a commitment to yourself and you will need to work at it to keep up even when you are so tired all you want to do is go to bed.

I have a regular queue of books that are lined up for reading rotating then in the order listed:

- An uplifting book. Usually in the self help genre that will provide some tool set that I can apply to my life right away.
- An industry book. part of my personal commitment to continuous learning requires that I spend time building my industry specific skills and new skills
- A fiction book for pleasure, I do stay away from the horror genre.

According to the REM sleep or dream sleep is the stage that is associated with processing emotions, retaining memories and relieving stress. Giving your mind something positive to think about all night long will leverage this processing period during your sleep. Michael Hyatt has a great post on taking a break from the news that essentially comes down to what you are putting into your head impacts your view of the world.

Loren taught this 15 minute reading technique to me over ten years ago and he explained that if he is too tired to read he actually stood up and read until the 15 minute timer went off. The level of commitment to the goal is as important as material you are reading. If you want to see a change happen that will open a new world of opportunities and ideas make a daily 15 minute commitment to yourself.

I have applied this tool for years with excellent results and when, like Oprah, I do revert backward it is a simple step to get back on track. This simple solution allows me to keep my goals for continuous learning, an escape from the world, and positive reinforcement. A simple 15 minutes a day plan can change your life.

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