In my work as an Executive Leadership Coach, I use proven tools from a variety of sources to support my client’s growth. Author Daniel Pink has written several scientifically-researched books (Drive and When) with hacks to improve the quality of your life. He recently introduced a bedtime ritual, a form of journaling/note-taking, that leads to powerful benefits. Here’s what you do:
- Each night before you go to bed - write down 1 line (it can be any of the following):
- A really good sentence or quote you read that day.
- An observation you made or heard.
- A question you would like to ponder
- What are the benefits?
- It’s a marker that you are at the end of your day. It helps you release stress, shift and prepare to sleep.
- It offers reflection.
- If it’s funny - you may laugh and relax.
- If you sleep on it, you may wake up with the answer.
- It’s an amazing way to compile notes (think research).
I’ve taken Daniel’s idea one step further by developing daily reflection questions for my clients to use. There is great value in making even small commitments a regular practice. This simple inquiry has helped move my clients closer to their goal and provides motivation to continue. Here’s how it works:
- I have them reflect a few minutes each night on their energy, where they were All In, where they held back, what patterns they notice, what commitments they want to make - to challenge themselves and face what is in their way.
- We check in every two weeks on what they have written and noticed.
The feedback has been positive in being more focused and committed to the change they want. A CEO started gaining awareness of how much time he spent in meetings that were attended out of obligation and areas that were draining his energy. He began to notice where his energy was higher (product development) and that is where he committed to spending more time. Within a few months, his days were energizing and his team noticed that he had greater focus and clarity.
If you’d like to notice your own habits and commit to the change you want, see the attached documents.