Everyone is obsessed with how successful people start their day. And if you’ve decided to do something about the quality of your life, you’ll start working on developing a morning routine and trying different versions of it.
But we seem to have forgotten that what productive people — those who work each day to achieve what they want and who have hacked so many areas of their lives — do before they go to bed is just as important.
The evening routine is one of the most underestimated habits, and yet it’s an absolute must when it comes down to changing how your day goes and whether you want to get stuff done.
A nighttime ritual affects your sleep and the mood you’ll be in when you get up, and thus becomes the foundation of your whole day.
It’s a wind down period, and there are many things you can do at that time.
The actual routine starts an hour or two before going to bed, and you must turn it into a regular thing done at a certain time if you want to see changes in your energy level, productivity, mood and motivation.
Here’s what you can include in it:
1. A walk
Go for a short walk in the evening. It will help you leave everything behind and stop thinking about the workday.
It will be quiet time for yourself, without any distractions. And you can use it to reflect on different things that interest you or to just empty your mind and enjoy the silence.
2. Assess your day
Every single night Benjamin Franklin took the time to make an examination of his day. And it helped him stay focused on what he was doing, see if he was making progress, understand where he needed to improve and whether or not he was happy with the results.
It’s a great thing to do at the end of the day as a part of your evening routine.
It takes 5-10 minutes but helps you evaluate your day’s work and have control over your goals, tasks and progress.
Many great people read right before they go to sleep.
It’s a good thing to do at the end of your ritual, and even in bed. The reading process itself will help you fall asleep faster, if you struggle with that.
What your book will be about is your choice. But it’s important to leave the digital devices for tomorrow and have the company of a real book now.
Also, this can be another opportunity to learn new stuff, get inspired, generate ideas or challenge your mind with some philosophical topics.
A short meditation session is a great thing to include in your morning routine, but it has an even greater effect when done twice a day.
So set aside a few minutes and just sit still. Let your thoughts flow naturally and don’t try to focus on some or ignore others.
Then try to let go of all that. Because it’s in the past now. You need to empty your mind and eliminate those regrets and worries for the past day if you want to go to sleep in peace and start the next day fresh.
Turn off everything around you. You only need your alarm.
A good nighttime ritual’s purpose is to let you sleep well, and that means no notifications, sounds, lights or other interruptions.
Another powerful moment of the day, when your mind is as susceptible as in the morning, is before going to sleep. So add some mantras.
These positive affirmations (which you can say in the mirror for a better result) will stay in your mind when you sleep and will influence your confidence, belief in yourself, goals and dreams, and how dedicated you are to them.
So let yourself know one more time before you go to bed that you can achieve whatever it is that you put your mind to, that each day you’re getting closer to your dreams, that you’re staying focused on what’s important and aren’t allowing others to direct your life.
Why can’t the morning pages be done in the evening too?
Share what’s bothering you on a piece of paper, write down everything important that happened throughout the day and analyze how it affected you. Think about how you felt and whether you completed your tasks for the day.
Or just write about the things that come to your mind, positive thoughts, big plans for the next few weeks, etc.
8. Plan your next day
That’s a simple and quick thing many leaders do each night. It helps them to get ready for the next day and know what they have to do right after they wake up, so that they won’t waste any time and can just start working.
So spare a few minutes to make a to-do list and think of all the tasks – big or small – you need to get done tomorrow, even the non-essential ones.
This way you won’t need to remember anything and will know exactly how the next day will go.
Now decide what the 3 most important tasks are.
They must be things that are urgent, that are connected to your goals and that you really want to accomplish and will affect you as a person and your future.
Now try to break them into smaller tasks, then figure out what you need to do first and make it easy and simple. This way you won’t have an excuse not to go all the way and complete them.
And then, if you’re really motivated to succeed, you’ll get up early, do your morning routine and start working on these 3 right away.
Now that the day’s over and you’re headed to bed, take a minute to say thank you.
Go through all the opportunities you had, the nice people you met, the work you did and the goals you worked on, the nice meals you had and the great chats you had time for in that day, and be grateful.
Now you’re ready to move on to the next day, where even more beautiful things will be waiting for you.
Lidiya Kesarovska is a writer and blogger in the fields of self-improvement, life hacking, human potential and minimalism. She’s the creator of Let’s Reach Success, where her mission is to motivate and inspire and think of creative and unusual ways to overcome fear, procrastination, insecurity, clutter, failure, overthinking, discontent and much more.
Read more from Lidiya Kesarovska:
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