This blog post is going to reveal my exact process for going to sleep every night with a big smile on your face, allowing you to really feel happy and fulfilled after your days activities. This is sort of a follow-up to my popular morning ritual video blog that has now gotten over 200,000+ views on YouTube and is by far my most popular video.
While having a morning ritual is important to starting off the day and really getting the most out of it, an evening ritual is almost equally as important as it really allows you to absorb everything that happened that day and celebrate it. You can be constantly achieving your goals and making progress in your life, but unless you take the time to really celebrate that progress, then you're missing out on a lot of meaning and fulfillment you can be experiencing right now.
I'm hoping that this video inspires you to take a few minutes for yourself each night and really give yourself that sense of joy and happiness that we need for a fulfilling life. As Tony Robbins says, the two skills in life are 1) The Science of Achievement, and 2) The Art of Fulfillment. While most of us are focused on achievement, we often forget about fulfillment.
If you're successful but not fulfilled, then you're a failure.
This evening ritual will give you that sense of happiness and fulfillment each day that you are missing. It will help you pull the most from that day and allow you to make everyday more incredible than you ever thought possible.
Watch the video of my Evening Ritual below:
My Evening Ritual
I'm going to break down what I do specifically below.
1. Evening Questions
The first thing that I do is make sure that I'm in a quiet environment where I can really take the time to reflect on the day. The first thing that I do is what are called “Evening Questions”, which are similar to the Morning Questions outlined in my morning ritual.
I learned about the power of questions through Tony Robbins, who talks about how questions control what you focus on. Whatever you focus on you feel. For example, what determines whether or not you would label today as GOOD or BAD is based on what choose to focus on.
Let me ask you, were there things that happened today that you could feel happy about?
Of course there is! Even if you think today has been horrible, there is always good if you find it. Perhaps you could be happy about the fact that you're alive, or that you have your health, or you were able to get certain things done, or you went for a walk. Whatever it is, you can ALWAYS find something to be happy about each day.
Let me ask you again, were there things that happened today that you could feel upset about?
The answer is again, of course! Today could have been a great day, but if you focus on how you didn't get a certain task done, you were late for a meeting, you didn't close that sale, you procrastinated, you ate junk food, etc… then you will most likely feel upset.
The truth is, there is GOOD and BAD in each day, and what you decide to focus on each night before going to sleep will determine how you feel about that day. Doesn't it make sense then to take the time to recognize and acknowledge the GOOD that happened that day? It is there, you just have to look for it.
If you did this, then guess what happens? Every day becomes GOOD! Imagine how you would feel about your life if every day was amazing. The truth is, IT IS! Every day is amazing – there is no such thing as a bad day. But it starts with your focus, and these Evening Questions will help you to be able to do that.
Here is a list of Evening Questions that I ask myself:
What was great about today? What did I love?
What have I given today? In what ways have I been a giver?
What did I learn today?
How have I grown today? In what ways has my life improved?
It's important to make sure that you really FEEL the emotions of your answers. Do this with a smile on your face and actually feel happy, proud, excited, loved, etc… this will give you that juice and fulfillment that will make you appreciate the day. You can't just intellectually know that it was a good day, you must feel it.
I also usually answer these questions OUT LOUD, not just in my head. I find it's more powerful for me and really internalizes things.
Next I take out my journal and begin writing down all of the successes, accomplishments and magic moments for that day. I usually make a list and really go back through the day and remember each thing that I got done and the most powerful moments that I want to remember.
Most of our lives go by so fast that we forget to really take in and appreciate the little things. At the end of your life, you aren't going to remember everything, you will remember certain moments. Unless you capture these moments and successes, you will forget about them fast. I like to make sure that I suck the most juice out of them so that I can really celebrate my life.
A life worth living is worth recording.
If you make a list of all the accomplishments and magic moments for that day, then add up these lists each week, then each month, you will have a massive list that summarizes that month that you will always be able to look back upon and remember. You will be able to recognize what you were doing with your time and celebrate that.
Worked out today.
Read for 10 minutes.
Had a great talk with my girlfriend.
Had a great business meeting with Nick.
Watched an entertaining movie.
Received a nice compliment.
And so fourth.
Sometimes I also write a letter to myself and talk about the day in detail. I find this useful if I had a challenging day or am going through a difficult time, as writing everything out allows me to collect my thoughts and changes my perspective on the event.
Again, find what works for you and do it!
Really taking the time to celebrate each day and what you've gone through is a powerful way to give yourself some positive reinforcement. Most people beat themselves up way too much. Each day, they didn't get enough done that they wanted to or procrastinated or were lazy, which prompts them to feel guilty and bad about themselves.
This is a horrible thing to do to yourself each day and sets yourself up for MORE failure. What happens is, you end up giving yourself PAIN for not being enough, instead of recognizing and celebrating the GOOD that actually happened that day.
What gets rewarded, gets repeated.
The more that you celebrate each day and everything that happened, the more you will do those things and the more fulfilled you will be. This is called CONDITIONING, and eventually you will develop new, empowering habits.
How do you celebrate?
Celebrating is simply giving yourself pleasure. It could be as simple as acknowledging yourself, patting yourself on the back and saying “Good job!”, or meditating and feeling grateful for the day, praying and giving thanks to your creator, or putting on some music and jumping up and down.
The goal is to give yourself a REWARD. Give yourself PLEASURE.
Often, as a reward I also allow myself to watch a movie or go out or mess around. This way I've EARNED that free-time to just chill and enjoy myself, instead of reactively distracting myself and not getting anything done. You want to be PROACTIVE about rewarding yourself and celebrating.
4. Accountability Call
I mention in my morning ritual that I have an accountability call that I do each morning with a friend to briefly talk about what we're going to get done that day. I've found this works wonders with holding myself accountable and following through. Well, I also do a call with that same person in the evening too. The evening call will be us talking about the days events, what we got done, what challenges we had, what we learned, etc…
I even sometimes incorporate some of the above pieces in the phone call, as we often celebrate together and coach each other to ensure that each day was amazing.
I highly recommend finding someone that you can do this with, but it's not necessary.
Create Your Own Evening Ritual And Commit To It
That's it! Now it's time for you to create your own evening ritual.
Also, I will note that there are many additional things that you could add to your evening ritual that may not be listed above. For example, the evening can be a great time for you to exercise, or read a book, or go out and socialize with friends. You can even do your planning in advance for the following day. Maybe you prefer to simply just relax in the evening, which can be important too as you allow yourself to recharge.
This is just what works for me, which may be different for you. My advice is to find what works for you and is going to help you really enjoy each day and be fulfilled.
And finally, make sure that you fully COMMIT to doing your evening ritual everyday. Perhaps start with a 30 day challenge and use a whiteboard or calendar like I use in my video. If you do it consistently for 30 days, I can guarantee you it will become a habit and be something that won't require any thought or discipline. You will just be doing it automatically, and your life will further transform.
Have an OUTSTANDING night!