There’s no doubt that your habits are excellent predictors of your current and future circumstances. The things you do each day matter in a big way. Slightly overeating each day is vastly different from slightly undereating each day when you consider the results months down the road. Save a little each day or spend a little more each day. Consider the difference.
Most people have a morning routine, but fewer have an evening routine. You’re not in a rush at night, so use the time to the best of your ability. A few effective evening habits can pay off in a big way in the future.
Develop a nighttime routine that enhances your life:
1. Plan the following day. Avoid going to bed without a concrete idea of how you’ll spend the next day. Just a list of three things you’d like to accomplish the next day can be a good start. When you wake up in the morning, you won’t have to think about what you should do first. You’ll already have a basic plan.
2. Forgive everyone and everything. Each day is a new day. The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to let go of today. Many of the negative things that happened to you are outside of your control. You can choose to make yourself miserable, or you can choose to move on.
* A grudge can feel like an appropriate response, but you’re only hurting yourself. You need your mind clear if you want to become a high achiever.
3. Read. This is the most common bedtime habit shared by those that have achieved a high level of success. Make an effort to read for at least 30 minutes each night. Spend the time wisely. You’ll learn more from a book on current events, an autobiography, or something related to your field than you will from re-reading a Harry Potter novel.
* Reading is good for your brain health and your stress levels too.
4. Exercise. Many successful people report taking a walk or engaging in other types of exercise before bed. Be careful with this one. You might find yourself less able to sleep after a bout of exercise. Experiment and see what works for you.
5. Use the time to be creative. You’re likely to find that your creativity is at its peak either early in the morning or later at night. The evening can be a great time to problem-solve and brainstorm new ideas. You might use the time to write. Let your imagination roam.
6. Meditate. By meditating before bed, you’ll sleep better. It’s also a great way to unwind from your day and let go of the stresses you’ve accumulated during the day. There are plenty of excellent resources to get you started with your meditation practice. Just a few minutes each night can be productive.
7. End the evening with feelings of gratitude. Spend two minutes thinking about the blessings in your life. What are you grateful for? Focus on the great things, experiences, and people you already enjoy in your life.
Do you have a bedtime routine? The hour or so before bed can be put to good use. You likely use that time now to watch TV or play on your phone. Imagine the changes you could make over the next year if you harnessed that time wisely.