I've already written about my AM Routine and how it helps me get through my day. One of the key components of that routine is the set of declarations I use to put a positive mindset in my brain. I also have a PM Routine where I go through a set of five steps to help me wind down and not worry about what happened today or what's going to happen tomorrow.
Each night I take out my journal and determine what I want to record. Sometimes it's a situation that played out with one of the children. I can record successes I've experienced or release frustration. I record what I feel was relevant from the day which then removes that from my mind and allows me to not replay it over and over again.
My After Story
I have a story about where I want to end up. I read the story every night. This helps me to focus on what I need to do in order to get where I want to be. My story has eight sections:
- Personal - a brief paragraph of who I want to be
- Financial - a summary of what I want to do in life from a financial standpoint as well as a statement about what I need money for
- Relationships - three paragraphs describing the relationship I have with God, Cheryl and my children
- Physical Strength/Health - how I picture my body and the way it works
- Success/Travel - what success looks like for me and some travel goals I have
- Spiritual - my connection with God and what kind of example I am in living what I know to be true
- House/Location - the kind of house I live in and where it's located
- Mission - what my mission is in life and how I strive to find and live it
Reading these each night helps me to relax as I picture each one in my mind. I can see the progress I made during the current day and know that tomorrow will bring more progress.
In my religion there is a person who is given authority to give a blessing that discusses your life. It is called a Patriarchal Blessing. I received mine when I was 18 years old. In it is a description of what I can expect out of life if I follow God's plan. The blessing talks about talents I have as well as gifts I can receive. Reading the blessing helps me to align my spiritual self with my physical self and recognize where those two have interacted during the day.
I take anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour to read. I read all kinds of things. Right now, I'm reading "Make Today Count" by John C. Maxwell. I read various genres. Science fiction is definitely my favorite and currently am waiting for the next book in the "Dresden Files" by Jim Butcher, "The Stormlight Archive" by Brandon Sanderson and "Lightbringer" by Brent Weeks. Reading helps me to shift my focus away from the cares of the day and into a different world. This helps my mind to also change gears and allow it to be ready for sleep.
Finally, I pray. I give thanks to God for all the things (good and bad) that happened during the day. I converse with Him about things that happened. I ask for guidance. I pray for my wife and children. Prayer allows me to connect spiritually one last time before going to sleep and check-in with my Higher Power.
Grace's PM Routine
Once I got my PM routine in place, I started teaching my children about it. Grace has a PM routine and when it's time she makes sure we all know it. The first part of the routine is to go scorpion hunting. She and I gather our tools, torch, lighter, scraper and blacklight, and head out into the yard. She and I then look for the arachnids on the house and fence. When we see one, she usually tells me to "scrape it", even when torching it is a better option so it doesn't escape.
Last night as we were out hunting she asked me "Can scorpions crawl up your legs?". I responded they could and she started shaking her legs all the while exclaiming "ew, ew, ew". It's a fun way to end the day with her.
After hunting dangerous creatures it's time for bath, jammies, teeth brushing and tucking in. This can be an adventure in and of itself. Keeping her focused on the tasks can be challenging, but she eventually gets everything done.
At tuck in time we have one more routine. If you've seen Monsters Inc., you will get this. I get to look at Grace just before turning off the light and say "You... Go... To... Sleep... <snoring noises>". It's a fun way to get her to smile before dreaming of tomorrow.
Having a PM routine can help to alleviate replaying the day and worrying about tomorrow. What things do you do to make sure you get a good night's rest?