An important part of any focusing regimen is to set aside time at the end of the day—just before going to sleep—to acknowledge your successes, review your goals, focus on your successful future, and make specific plans for what you want to accomplish the next day.
Why do I suggest the end of the day? Because whatever you read, see, listen to, talk about and experience during the last 45 minutes of the day has a huge influence on your sleep and your next day. During the night, your unconscious mind replays and processes this late-night input up to six times more often than anything else you experienced during the day. This is why cramming for school exams late at night can work and why watching a scary movie before bed will give you nightmares. This is also why reading good bedtime stories is so important for children—not just to get them to fall asleep, but because the repeated messages, lessons and morals of the story become part of the fabric of the child’s consciousness.
As you drift off to sleep, you enter into the alpha brainwave state of consciousness—a state in which you are very suggestible. If you drift off to sleep while watching the 11 p.m. news, that is what you’ll be imprinting into your consciousness—war, crime, automobile accidents, rape, murder, executions, gang wars, drive-by shootings, kidnappings, and scandals in the boardroom and on Wall Street.
Think how much better it would be to read an inspirational autobiography or a self-improvement book instead. Imagine the power of meditating, listening to a self-help audio program, or taking the time to plan the next day right before you go to sleep. In addition, here are a few exercises that will keep you focused and moving forward at the end of the day.
The Evening Review
Sit with your eyes closed, breathe deeply, and give yourself one of the following directions:
• Show me where I could have been more effective today.
• Show me where I could have been more conscious today.
• Show me where I could have been a better (fill in your profession—manager, teacher, etc.) today.
• Show me where I could have been more loving today.
• Show me where I could have been more assertive today.
• Show me where I could have been more (fill in any characteristic) today.
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