3 Questions to Ponder Before SleepingAsking ourself three purposeful questions before retiring each night can help us rest content knowing that although we may not have lived our day perfectly, we did live it well.
1What are three things I am grateful for?It’s possible to live with eyes and heart wide open to the amazing beauty of each day, to receive it as a gift, rather than a guarantee. By looking, we can find gifts even amid uncertainty, struggle, pain or loss. In those times when we find ourselves fighting for gratitude, know that the grace found in thankfulness for even tiny blessings sustains us and builds resilience to walk through the storm and emerge intact.
Reading One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp, or A Simple Act of Gratitude, by John Kralik, may help inspire us to get started. With practice, expressing gratitude will come easily, like breathing or laughing with children.
2What are two things I did well today?Speaking words of life about ourselves, noticing what we do well and where we shine, may meet internal resistance. It seems second nature, especially for women, to see our own struggles or shortcomings, but not our beauty or all the ways we show up to serve others and use our strengths.
Deepening the roots of self-awareness and self-compassion that permit us to accept that we are good enough enables us to step out in calm confidence.
3What is one thing I would do differently?Some nights we may find that given the chance, we wouldn’t have done one thing differently that day. More often we can identify something: a word spoken in impatience, spending too much time on the phone, being distracted from what’s important to us, procrastinating out of fear, or even forgetting to properly nourish ourselves. Instead of criticizing, the goal is to notice how we could better live fully aligned to our bigger goals and established values.
Moment by moment, we can choose a growth mindset. We can learn to be as gentle with ourselves, as compassionate and forgiving, as we are with our children or spouse. We become aware that we get to choose who and how we want to be and that tomorrow is a new gift, a brand-new opportunity to more fully be our best self.
Asking and answering these three purposeful questions may take five to 20 minutes. If we’re tempted to rush through it, remember that the resulting clarity and peace is worth the time invested.