Posted by Annette on July 5, 2013
Big projects lose their way, dragged off track by details; the body suffers as its needs are constantly put off "until tomorrow;" family and friends are sidelined for the immediate demands of an insistently busy life. But is it all that busy, this life? It's possible to get a lot done--and keep everything on track--if you start each day mindfully. "Mindfulness" might seem like a vague, overtly granola-hippie word, but a little of it in the right place is the most practical tool for keeping a one-person show from becoming a one-person shitshow.
This little evening exercise usually takes me about ten minutes--time I'd probably otherwise be staring into my phone. Without fail, it increases my next day's productivity (and peacefulness) by a large margin. It'll help you, too.
Right before you hop into bed, take a seat with a notepad and pen close at hand. (This doesn't have to be a full-on-capital-m Meditation, but the space does need to be comfortable and quiet.) Close your eyes. "Fast-forward" through your memories of the day that just passed, with as much detail as possible. What worked well? What didn't? What negativity can you let go, and what must you address in the coming days?
This is a good opportunity to breathe through the resistance that we all feel when we know we have to deal with something unpleasant. Let yourself come to terms with what must be done, and see that it'll be quicker and easier than your imagination is making it out to be. (It always is.) If inspiration strikes, grab your notepad and get it down.
What needs to be done? When and how will you exercise? What and when will you eat? How will you keep your ongoing commitments to your body, your heart, your mind, your work, your sports and your family? Visualize yourself checking off the list--including how good it feels to do so.
Don't overpack your day with to-dos, or you'll be overwhelmed and give it up; as you build this as a habit, you'll discover how long a list you're able to successfully execute. Try to balance the list evenly.
Try to make it as specific as possible. Set it to play as your wake-up alarm.
Preferably, the first time it goes off. Go go go.