Achieving great accomplishments on a regular basis requires that you build a set of habits around the things that make you successful. When you distill the success of elite entrepreneurs, or any elite performer for that matter, you realize just how much they rely on their habits for their success.
The evening is one of the best times to create habits that yield sustainable success. More specifically, the things you do before bed will have a direct impact on your next day. If you want to win the day, you need to win the night before.
Here are five big evening rituals that I use on a regular basis to optimize my performance, improve my sleep and build a healthy mindset.
1. Plan your day
This is obvious, yet crucial. You should have a good idea of what your next day looks like before you turn off the lights. Take the time to schedule and optimize your day, isolating the most important objectives so you can ensure they get done.
2. Visualize your success
The evening is a perfect time to close your eyes and meditate on your goals and intentions. This is something I've done with great success.
Before going to bed, I do a quick meditation in which I visualize my goals coming true. I tap into the feeling I would have in that moment, and I feel it in the present moment. The things I focus on continue to show up in my life. I'm a big believer in this habit.
3. Keep a gratitude journal
It's easy to crawl into bed with negative energy from the day. The truth is that negative thinking leads to the worry and anxiety that keeps you from falling asleep.
The antidote is to write in a gratitude journal every night before you go to bed. Write down three things for which you are grateful - either from the day or in general. Soon you'll see that you feel more at peace before bed, and during the day, you'll start to see the world through a lens of positivity.
A gratitude journal has been one of the most powerful habits I've ever adopted.
4. Pick out your clothes
There's a reason successful people wear the same things every day. The goal is to reduce the cognitive energy required to make a decision about your clothes. While you may not want to wear a hoodie every day, it still helps to set aside your wardrobe the night before.
5. Go to bed at the same time
Make a point of going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day. This helps you set a rhythm your body will naturally follow that helps you get to sleep more quickly and feel more rested when you wake up.
Routines and habits are useful mental tools that help us create sustainable success. Pay attention to the things you're doing at night and question whether or not they are conducive to your success. If they aren't, replace them with one of the habits on this list. The more you maximize your evenings, the more you'll find your days to be successful.