My Nightly Routine: Programming My Mind with Good Thoughts

I have talked a lot about the importance of having a morning routine. Getting your day off to a good start is so important! I have a routine I do almost every morning prepare me for the day. It includes things like exercising, stretching, journaling, meditating, coffee (from places like, and reviewing both my daily and life goals. My morning routine establishes the energy I want to bring into each day.

But I have never talked specifically about what you should do at the end of the day.

I think what you do at the end of the day, within twenty minutes of your head hitting the pillow, are arguably the most important minutes of your entire day. What you think and feel during those few minutes right before you go to bed are programming your mind for how you will wake up in the morning.

“At the end of the day you can focus on what’s tearing you apart or what’s holding you together” – Zig Ziglar

What do you do right before you go to bed? What is your nightly routine?

If you’re getting between 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night, it averages out that we spend 25% – 30% of our lives asleep. That cannot happen if you are stressed and dealing with sleeplessness. A silent bedroom and supporting mattress are important for a restful night. So, if you do not have the perfect bed, search for the Best Mattress Australia for you to sleep well. However, you should know that while our bodies are asleep, our minds are not. When we are sleeping, our subconscious mind is very much at work.

Scientists and doctors have discovered the thoughts we are thinking, the feelings we are feeling, the images that we put into our brain or conjure up in our conscious mind right before we go to sleep are predominantly what our brain processes when asleep.

Let’s suppose you’ve been out late and you know you have to get up early the next morning. If you go to sleep telling yourself you are going to be tired in the morning – guess how you will wake up? You have programmed yourself to wake up tired.

You might be thinking – no I really am tired because I didn’t get enough sleep. Here’s an experiment you can do: Tell yourself you’re going to feel great when you get up in the morning and see what happens!

If you go to bed thinking the next day will be bad – guess what it’s going to be? If you’ve gone to bed angry with your kids or spouse, you will wake up in the morning thinking about those things. Your conscious mind wants to pick up right where it left off. Your subconscious mind processed all those feelings or images while you were sleeping. If you go to bed beating yourself up over mistakes, or a failure that day, you will wake up feeling those things.

The thoughts you are thinking when you go to bed are programming yourself for how you will wake up.

Years ago I stopped watching the evening news because I realized I went to bed with images of war, a bad economy, murder or crime. Those are not the thoughts I want in my head any time of day, but especially not at night. It is not what I want my subconscious mind thinking about.

This is not a new idea. Even thousands of years ago, God and the writers of the Bible knew about the poison negativity puts in to your mind, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” (Ephesians 4:26).

Would you agree with me that negativity is toxic and poisonous to your soul? Why would you put any of those things into your mind at bedtime? Would you knowingly put some type of acid on your skin and go to bed without washing it off? Would you knowingly go to bed with something in your mouth that you knew would erode your teeth? Of course not. The psychological effects of going to bed with negative images in your mind is just as destructive.

Whenever possible, don’t let the sun go down on your anger. If you’ve been fighting with your kids or spouse, find some sort of resolution before bed. Tell them you love them, find some way to bring peace before bedtime. Maybe the issue isn’t resolved, but set it on the nightstand for the night and show one another some love. You need to replace the negative with positive.

What I do in the morning is important.

Part of my morning routine is journaling. The most important part of my journaling is my gratitude log. Every single morning, I make a list of things I am grateful for, things I would miss if they were taken away from me.

What I do at night is just as important.

I keep what I call a victory log. Even when I am exhausted, I still do a daily review. I think about my day. I think about the things I have done during my day that went well and I make a note of them. If I made a great presentation, if a podcast went well, if a coaching call went well – I will jot down a few lines about my victories and things that made me happy. I never ever write down my failures or mistakes. I only write my victories, the things I am proud of and want more of in my life. We get more of what we focus on.

Tonight, go to bed focused on the good things that happened today, the things you want more of in your life. That’s what I want more of for you, nothing but the best!

I’d like to know what works for you! What is your night-time routine?


You may also listen to me talk about this on my “Life Is A Marathon” podcast: LIAM 091 – My Nightly Routine: Programming My Mind with Good Thoughts

5 Responses to My Nightly Routine: Programming My Mind with Good Thoughts

  1. EJ May 11, 2015 at 8:15 AM #

    I stumbled across this website on twitter. Great article, and Thank you for sharing your knowledge to bless my life with hope. It’s so much positive in the world but we focus on the negative.

  2. Greg Davis June 29, 2015 at 7:03 AM #

    Thanks for the reminder. I tend to focus more on a positive start to the day, but hadn’t given as much thought to a positive end to each day. This is terrific advice, and I plan to put it into practice!

  3. Heidi February 3, 2016 at 7:13 AM #

    I used to leave the ID channel on. That soon stopped and I moved on to the Food Network. Guy’s voice is soothing to me. LOL. Maybe why I like food so much. Long time ago it was the channel with all the old programs, like I dream of Jeanie, I love Lucy. I miss that stuff. I seemed happier.

  4. debi February 29, 2016 at 8:29 AM #

    The last thing I do every night is write in my gratitude journal. It’s a great way to put everything in perspective and gives me good thoughts to ponder as I fall off to sleep.

  5. Anne April 10, 2021 at 11:17 AM #

    Absolutely profound, this has made my sleeping patterns better and great 👍

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