It is 6:30 a.m. and my husband and I, both entrepreneurs, have been reading the daily news before the day really gets hopping with kids, breakfast, school and oh yes our daily work! We love to spend time reading what is going on and what novel things are happening in the world.
It feels like I just went to sleep, but I did get a lot of rest after a fun filled night of enjoying the Superbowl with family. As I sit in the quiet of our home the words "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" popped in my head and I remember a key piece of advice I have been living by for the last couple of years. It has worked wonders for me and I wanted to share it in the hopes that it will make an impact for anyone who reads this post.
If you have a creative mind, are a Type-A personality or just can't stop thinking about what next; you may notice you tend to forget to take a moment to reflect on what exciting things have been accomplished or what a wonderful day today was. We tend to put all our worries/tasks in our head, especially on Sunday evening, and create our "to do" lists as we are going to sleep. I know I have gone to bed with thoughts about what will happen in the next day, week or month. As I did it I noticed I was not getting to sleep.
My advice to you is to write your "to do" list in the evening or just before you leave work (if you can't get it out of your head when you go to bed). I have realized that the words on paper are no longer roaming in my mind and I am no longer thinking "Oh I cannot forget to do this or that, etc." Also, if you have long term goals that you will not do tomorrow it is great to have a "rolling list" of things you want to do in the future so you don't have to worry that you will forget. Plus you truly open up space when you take these items out of your mind and put them on paper. They are now safely in a place that you will not forget. As an entrepreneur I also have an idea file for those things that pop up and I am not sure what to do with them at the moment they come to me.
Now comes the big part! This needs to be done as you are settling in to go to sleep. If you love to journal pull out your pen and paper. If you are like me and just want to lie down then you will only need your mind (for a few moments).
- Think about one thing you learned today that will be useful and enjoy the amazing experience you had. Realize it is not as small as you may want to think and some people may never experience what you experienced.
- Realize that every day builds on each experience you have and if it was not an easy day, tomorrow will be here soon enough and you can create a whole new set of experiences. Don't forget that with each challenge comes a lesson and if you frame the challenge to learn the lesson, the experience no longer sits in your thoughts as negative.
- Reflect on what you loved in your day and be thankful for at least 5 things, but I love pushing past the normal list and really thinking of 10 or more. When you are grateful for these experiences it is calming and a wonderful way to wind up the day. This also enriches your life by seeing things you didn't notice before.
This has been an amazing way to learn from or enjoy each day; as well as a way to be more organized and less stressed on a daily basis. Sometimes it is not easy to do, but when I take a moment to reflect and still my mind, it is amazing what comes to mind. This may not be for everyone and I would love to hear what others may be doing around reflection, gratitude and working your to-do-list (when it needs to be worked-not when laying down to sleep).