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Mentalrobics™

You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!

People tend to get distracted from their goals by negative thoughts or worrying about what could go wrong. For example, if your goal is to clean your garage, you might say to yourself, "What's the point, it will just get messy again." Or, "I'll never get this done today. I'll do it when I have more time." These negative thoughts prevent you from seeing the true goal.

The next time you have an unpleasant task to complete, make a note of any negative thoughts that arise. Try to counter each negative thought with something positive. You could say, "It won't get messy again if I put in place an organization scheme that works." Or "Maybe I can't get this all done today, but I could get the left side of the garage finished today and then I could park my car inside." Picking an appropriate goal and keeping negative thoughts from distracting you will make it easer to stay motivated.

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One of the most common reasons why people lack the motivation to complete a particular task is because the task is not fun. Without this intrinsic motivation, people can be easily distracted or persuaded to do something else more enjoyable. Have you ever put off cleaning the bathroom to watch TV instead?

One way to motivate yourself to complete undesirable tasks is to find some way to make them fun. Sometimes it will be difficult to make things enjoyable, but if you have a little brainstorm, you can probably figure something out.

For example, to make cleaning the bathroom fun, you could:
1) Play some music and coordinate all your movements to the beat of the tune.
2) Set a timer and race against the last time you cleaned the bathroom. Try to be as efficient as possible.
3) Multitasking! Try to clean two things at once using both hands.
4) Pretend that you are fighting a war against a tiny dirt army. Your sponge is a bomber. Make airplane sounds.
5) Strap sponges to your feet and clean the tub without your hands.

Yeah, some of these may sound silly, but if you let your inner child out and have some fun, you may find that the task is easer to do.

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One technique for becoming lucid in a dream is to ask yourself if you are dreaming. If you are awake, the answer will clearly be "no". But if you are sleeping, the answer is not so certain. There is a high likelihood that this question will cause you to realize that you are dreaming.

To take advantage of this you should get into the habit of asking yourself on a regular basis if you are dreaming. If it becomes habit, then it is likely that you will ask yourself when you are actually asleep. We have already discussed how you should ask this question whenever you see a dreamsign. Unfortunately, dreams don't always have easily identifiable dreamsigns, so you should try to ask yourself this question at other times of the day. It's difficult to remember to ask yourself this question without any sort of cue, so pick something that you encounter on a regular basis and ask the question whenever you see it. For example, you may ask yourself if you are dreaming every time you walk through a door.

The more you ask yourself this question during the day, the more likely it will be that you do it while asleep.

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One technique for becoming lucid in a dream is to try to read something. For some reason, words are very impermanent in the dream world and often change between glances. Find some writing and read it. Then look away and read it again. If the words stay the same, then you are probably awake. If the words change, then you are certainly asleep.

To get in the habit of performing this test, you will need to do it when you are awake. This could be as simple as looking at your digital watch twice whenever you check the time. If you are dreaming, the numbers will change between glances.

Another way to do this is to take a business card and write, "Am I dreaming?" on the back. Keep this card in your pocket and take it out from time to time. Read the question and then flip the card over. Wait a second and flip it back. If the question has changed, then you are dreaming and can become lucid.

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One of the most successful ways of achieving lucid dreaming is to keep a dream journal and look for dreamsigns. A dreamsign is something recognizable to the dream world that can trigger you to become aware that you are dreaming.

A dreamsign can be something that occurs frequently in your dreams. By recording and analyzing your dreams, you will be able to identify recurring objects and themes. For example, you may find that your dreams frequently contain a bicycle. With this knowledge, you can begin to question your state whenever you see one of your dreamsigns. Anytime you see a bicycle you should stop and ask yourself, "Am I dreaming?" Asking this question while dreaming is usually enough to make you become lucid. If you develop this habit while awake, then it is likely to carry over into the dream state.

A dreamsign does not need to be something that occurs frequently in your dreams. Dreamsigns can also be things that are highly unusual. For example, having dinner with a celebrity, or having your hair suddenly turn blue. Anything that is unusual should make you stop and think about whether you are dreaming. With practice you will become adept at identifying dreamsigns while dreaming, and using them to question your state and become lucid.

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