Sunday, January 1, 2017

Reflect Every Night Before You Sleep

Semester's over, a year has past and gone. In the last week of my 'Drafting Against The Dark Arts' class, I talked about the importance of reflection.

(Don't miss lessons from Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Week Five, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Eight, Week Nine and Week Ten!)

And no SELFIES allowed!

* * *

Each time you wake up in the morning, how do you feel? Great? Can’t wait to start the day? Excited about the new experiences you’ll encounter?

Most of us have a morning routine: make our beds, wash up in the bathroom, put on our #ootd, and maybe grab a quick brekkie on the way out.

We glance at our reflection – in the bathroom window, car window, the shop windows as we walk through the streets – and we smile and wink to ourselves.

Even for days that fill us with dread – exams, deadlines, hangovers – eventually, we’ll drag ourselves out of bed and jump up on our feet, ready to take on the world.

That’s how we start out most days – feeling excited and hopeful.

So how do we end the day? Not with so much fanfare and feeling. Our energy tank dip towards empty. Our train of thoughts slow to a tick.

But no, that shouldn’t happen. We should end the day as high as we started – if not higher. So try this simple exercise.

Do this...

Reflect, every night before you sleep. Spend a good 5-10 minutes thinking about how your day went. Did you manage to achieve what you set out to achieve? Was it a good or bad day? What were the highs and lows?

Reflect, but don’t regret. Be honest, but not harsh. In all that we do, be it success or failure, there is always a lesson to be learnt. If something went wrong, figure out why. If something went well, figure out what else you could have done better. We live and learn.

Reflect about your work, your relationships, your health, and everything that matters to you. Reflect on your day as a whole. Don’t let one bad experience overshadow the bright spots. Don’t let a single spark of achievement blind you from the 101 problems in queue.

Reflect on the little joys of life. Helped a lost stranger with directions? That’s nice, give yourself a pat. Got up at 6 in the morning for an early run? Good job, keep it up!

Reflect every day, and build from there. Reflect a little longer at the end of the week, then at the end of the month. Get into the habit of regular reflection. It’s a good way to keep stock of your life – what’s growing, what’s missing.


As Plato once said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Without reflection, you will not find meaning. Without reflection, you will not find joy.

So reflect, every night before you sleep. It’ll make you feel more excited and hopeful when you wake up the next morning.

1 comment :