One difficulty I always had with self-improvement and having good habits was being able to get to sleep, I mean, you always hear about having a great morning routine, and starting every day with doing the right things, and these things are great.
One of the best ways to establish good habits and a good way of living is to focus on the morning routine, so that no matter what happens later in the day, we can always get off to a good start.
And yet, even before the morning routine is the sleep, and before the sleep is the evening routine.
It always seemed difficult for me to be able to get myself to go to sleep so that I could even begin this much-talked-about morning routine.
Because it seems like in the evening, I’m still so full of energy, bundle of energy, you know, my mind is full, everything that’s happened during the day.
I’m already warmed up throughout the whole day, and I don’t feel like going to sleep.
In fact, it’s usually more in the morning when I first wake up, that’s when I’m feeling the most sleepy, and oh, it would be nice to go to sleep.
But at night, I didn’t want to go to sleep.
So this seems to be, even before the morning routine, we have to get to the morning routine by being able to get to sleep at a time that lets us get a good night’s rest.
So how to do this? Well, one thing I found that helped for me, and continues to help me, is a shift in mentality.
We think about this balance between ideas of ambition and humility.
So we want to reach greatness and do great things and achieve things.
Then humility: we accept that we are all very small creatures in a vast universe, and our powers are limited, and that kind of thinking.
And of course, we need a balance of both.
If we go too far on the ambition side, then we lose touch with reality and end up inevitably crashing.
If we’re too far on the humility side, then we don’t allow ourselves enough room to grow and achieve things.
So always a balance, of course.
But it seems like there’s also a daily cycle with this, so that the morning is the time to be heavier on the ambition side, because this is the beginning of the day, and we can begin the day with ambition of “I am going to do good things today.
Somehow make my life better, make the world better.
Do things.” So ambition, being on that side of the spectrum, gives us more of that drive to actually go out and do things.
And that’s what we need a little bit more of in the morning.
But then in the evening, this is when it’s time to dial down the ambition and bring up the humility.
Because having intense, burning ambition right before bed is not particularly helpful.
It just leads to wanting to do more with the day.
“I don’t want to end the day.
I want to keep doing something.” So the evening is the time, it seems, and what’s been helpful for me, is to let myself feel a little bit more humble in the evening.
When it’s time to go to sleep, in a sense, it’s kind of like giving up.
It’s like surrender.
“I am no longer going to do anything.
I am going to stop trying to do anything.
I’m gonna stop trying it all.
Just let things be as they are.
I am what I am, the world is what it is, and there’s nothing I can do about it right now.
I am giving up.
I’m giving up the fight, and I’m simply going to lay down in a helpless sleeping position and just let myself lose consciousness.” Now, I guess when you phrase it like that it doesn’t sound all that positive, but relatively to the morning this seems like the way to do it.
I mean, it seems like there is kind of a reluctance to say things like that, that it seems like “Oh, you’re giving up.” And yet sleeping is like a little mini giving up.
We say “OK, I’m gonna stop trying now.” But there’s still a faith and a confidence that “OK, most likely I will be waking up tomorrow, and I will let myself pick the ambition back up tomorrow, pick up the challenges and all the work that I want to do.
I will go back to that in the morning.” But this is something that’s been helpful for me, to allow myself to have this kind of surrender and just simply accepting things as they are in the evening, letting everything be.
Of course, easier said than done, and it’s not easy often to let go of all these things that we become full of during the day.
But I’ve found that letting myself think this way has been helpful.
So I’d be curious to hear what works for you in terms of getting yourself ready to sleep.
#eveningroutine #sleeproutine #fallasleep