Lead

START YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE

blogHow are you ending your days?  When do you know it’s time to call it quits?  What’s your wind-down routine?

We tend to put a lot of energy and focus on our morning practice and habits.  How we decide to start our day is important but what about how we are closing out the day? The decisions we make in how we end our day can either set us up for feelings of fulfillment or disappointment.  How effective will our morning routine be without a restful reset the night before? I believe our habits and routines around winding down are equally if not more significant.

Wrapping up our work before transitioning into our space at home can be a healthy way to begin the evening.  Before you leave work, begin by reviewing any unfinished to-do’s. Make a priority list for the following morning and data dump all the things from your head to paper.  This can be a game changer in letting go of any stress or unfinished business. Take a few minutes and review the rest of the week, is there anything you need to adjust, any appointments you need to reschedule?  Staying ahead of your calendar and proactively adjusting to more realistic expectations will relieve any unnecessary scrambling later on.

There are a few critical opportunities throughout the day that make or break the quality of our life and relationships.  Our ability to transition from work to home is a big one. Schedule a buffer, make time to reset, regroup and set intention before switching gears. This can be a quick 5 minutes of alone time driving or sitting in your car before heading inside. It’s opportunity to shed the details of your day with an intentional reset.  Your fur babies, your children, partner, spouse, whomever is waiting for you, will thank you. How well are you showing up for your people at the end of the day?

I’ll never forget one of the greatest lessons of my life I learned from my then 2 ½ year old.  It was during one of my rushed and stressed transitions. I was running late to get home, feeling hurried and unprepared to leave work, most definitely not the best version of myself.  The moment I walk through the door I hear her screeching and running to greet me. I wasn’t ready but she’d been waiting all day. In the midst of the chaos I drop an armful of files and papers, beyond frustrated, I reach down to clean up my mess and she grabs my face with her chubby little hands and says, “Mommy, no big deal.”  Of course she couldn’t have know the impact this one seemingly ordinary simple moment would have on me that day. In those few seconds she showed me what I was missing by rushing and mismanaging my in-between time.  We don’t always get these moments of enlightenment and I’m so grateful she gave me mine.

What is the last thing you think about before your head hits the pillow?  What you go to sleep focusing on will expand in your mind, influencing how you feel when you wake up in the morning.  A small notebook is all you need. Take two minutes and write down two things that went well in your day and why.  This wind-down practice helps shed the day and renew for the next.   It’s an opportunity to evaluate life, celebrate wins from the day and focus on what is working.  Ending your day with gratitude and a focus on what went well can greatly influence your mindset for the morning ahead.

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