Somethings in life are nonnegotiables: brushing teeth, paying taxes, drinking water. For me it's my Sunday evening ritual.
I host a podcast and run an e-commerce business, along with professional consulting, coaching and speaking. To say I have staked my life with responsibilities would be an understatement. Juggling everything I want to explore means that managing time has become more important than ever. One of the days that I have the most control over managing is Sunday.
Whether you are long on your journey of creating a successful life or looking to make new habits to pivot towards positive living, establishing a Sunday ritual is key. It offers the largest capacity to find moments of silence and sets the tone leading into the new week.
Here are the three things I sit down and do each Sunday evening, and why this practice has shifted my life from mediocre to great.
1. Bake in the habit of self-reflection.
Many people love the idea of reflecting back at the end of each year to see what they accomplished and learned, but this is limiting. When you build into your life moments of micro-reflection, lessons are learned faster and are an opportunity to catch yourself and recalibrate.
If you gave a poor presentation at work or forgot to call your friend on their birthday, you won't remember these small details at the end of the year. Instead, sit down at the close of the week and reflect on the biggest wins and lowest points of the past seven days. You can turn those lowest points into your greatest learning lessons, but this only happens if you take the time to focus on them.
I review each area of my life (health, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, work, love, family) and grade myself on how well I showed up. It's okay to fall short in some areas each week. I believe balance as an entrepreneur isn't attainable. But, if week after week you are scoring really low in the same area -- say, family -- something needs to change. Ask yourself: why is this area not a priority and what can I do to adjust that?
2. Plan ahead to save yourself from losing out.
Break down the week ahead and determine what is the one thing you must do in each area of your life to move it to the next level. When you walk into the week or the next day already knowing what lies ahead your emotions will be more stable, and you will feel more prepared to tackle any hurdles that come your way.
I do this every night, but looking at the week as a whole gives me the birds-eye view to know what the ultimate priorities are and where I have time that is more malleable to allow for personal or creative time.
Things are constantly shifting and schedules rarely remain stable. When requested or required adjustments arise you will know if it's manageable right away if you have a strong understanding of what your week will look like. You won't be wasting time. In fact, you will be saving it.
3. Practice gratitude with emotions.
Build a habit of gratitude so that it isn't a clanky request - it is a way of life. Gratitude is what will open your creative mind and lift your emotions when you need it most. This is why I spend time every Sunday evening listing out the things for which I am most grateful.
This practice has become ingrained in me. It is something that not only lowers my stress levels but helps me remain balanced during high stakes conversations and decisions. This isn't just my personal experience. Research has begun to flood in around the correlation between success and gratitude.
Set out to list three things you are most grateful for in the past week. Stay away from simply listing tangible objects or people's names. Sure, you can be grateful for that giant Land Rover SUV in the garage. But that isn't the same level of gratitude you feel when it is tied to an emotion. Instead, consider what experiences, lessons, people or things in your life bring an emotional response. You could stick with the car and say you are grateful for the vehicle you have which provides safety and comfort when you drive on the crazy freeway. You are grateful for feeling safe. This level of gratitude will be much deeper and more rewarding.
No matter how tough the week was, at the end of your Sunday ritual, you will feel more prepared, grateful and grounded. A great way to head into a new week.