My Evening Routine
I'm a big believer in starting your day the right way.
Momentum is everything, by practising a few habits in the morning before you get started with your job, your studies or whatever commits that occupy the majority of your time you'll find yourself more energetic, more focused and with an unstoppable feeling behind you. When guys get involved in the whole self improvement phase one of the first things they often do after reading a Tony Robbins book or similar is to implement a morning routine.
A morning routine generally consists of a form of both mental and physical stimulation, for example - running and reading.
But what about an evening routine?
I've found that by bookending my day with successful habits has allowed me to wake up energized and ready to go. I wake up ready to start my morning routine and kick ass.
I don't hit the snooze button 5 times and find and eventually drag myself out of bed to decide what I'm doing today... my evening routine has already set me up for success.
Haven't got a morning routine? Check out mine here.
My 4 Step Evening Routine
Here's my 4 step evening routine (in order):
The first stage of my evening routine involves winding up the day's tasks.
I spend a couple of minutes reviewing my to-do list from the day that has just passed, ticking off everyone I accomplished and making any necessary notes.
Once I've confirmed the days' tasks have been conquered I put together tomorrow's to-do list in my diary.
You can check out my full article on how I write my to-do lists in a way that ensures things actually get done here, but in short I only record the 3 or 4 big, important tasks I need to do.
If it takes less than 5 minutes it doesn't make it onto the list (as I just do it instantly to avoid wasting time thinking about it again).
Planning my day before the day begins ensures I'm on track from the moment I wake up the following morning, no need to sit around and debate what my day might hold in store for me, I'm ready to race out the gates like a prized greyhound.
After my planning stage I spend 5 minutes working on both my upper and lower body mobility.
I've found by spending a mere 5 minutes before I go to bed I wake up feeling looser, I don't have as many niggling sore spots from training and I don't have to spend as long foam rolling and performing dynamic stretching in the morning before I hit the gym.
Breaking my mobility work up into two short phases in the morning and evening results in me feeling better and saving time overall.
My evening mobility routine is as follows:
Shoulder dislocations with a resistance band - 2 sets of 10 reps.
Rotator cuff resistance band side extension - 2 sets of 10 reps per side.
Ankle dorsiflexion wall stretch - 2 sets of 10 reps per leg.
Hold a deep squat position while rocking around to stretch for 1 minute.
It's simple, it's effective and it should only take you 5 minutes total. I don't use my SuperNova or foam roller as part of my evening routine as I find this can keep me awake while I'm trying to sleep.
This is a matter of personal preference, but I save the rolling and trigger point therapy for the AM.
For more details (in-depth instructions and videos on each exercise and the equipment I use check out my full guide in the article here).
No Patrick Bateman "American Psycho" style skin-care regime here.
After my mobility work, before I get into bed I perform a basic 2 step skin-care regime to ensure I wake up with healthy, glowing skin.
I apply a small drop of vitamin C serum on my face to tighten.
I moisturise with coconut oil after the vitamin C serum has dried (normally a minute or two).
Here's the serum I use and here's the coconut oil I use.
I recommend using coconut oil at night as when used in the morning you'll find your face remains incredibly shining for up to an hour, probably not the best look if you intend on leaving the house.
Once I've performed my basic skin-care routine I grab my Kindle paperwhite or physical book that I'm currently reading, a highlighter and set my essential oils diffuser to diffuse lavender oil (read more about why I do this here). Instead of reading with the lights on bright, which surpresses melatonin which makes falling asleep a longer, harder process I set my Philips Hue lights to a relatively dim shade of red (as red light does not supress your body's production of melatonin, the sleep hormone).
I'll read and highlight or underline any standout quotes or ideas in the book I'm reading for 15 - 20 minutes before I fall asleep.
I find myself often falling asleep while reading, which some may disagree with as being a good idea, however reading is beneficial and helps me sleep so I see it as a win-win.
My Philips Hue lighting is set to automatically turn off an hour after I begin reading, so no wasted power either.
Give my evening routine a try and modify it to suit your goals and situation.