The Daily Reflection Session: Toss Your Expectations
By Leo Babauta
The Daily Reflection is the anchor habit of this month’s module, Toss Your Expectations Into the Ocean.
Because we’re focusing on a thinking habit that occurs all day long, we’re going to need an anchor habit that we do every day, that’s easier to remember than “all day long”. This session is a practice zone where we can focus on this thinking habit and carry what we learn to the rest of the day.
But how do you do it?
Let’s first talk about the logistics of the session, then get into what you actually do during the session.
When, Where, How
The details of the Daily Reflection:
- When: I suggest doing it at the end of the day, just as you’re going to bed. You can pick another time, like first thing in the morning, if you prefer.
- Trigger: If you do it before sleep, make your trigger “getting into bed”, or something you already do just before bed. When this trigger happens, try to do the Daily Reflection right after, and not “right after checking your phone” or “right after answering this last email”, and so on.
- How long: No longer than 5 minutes, but even just a couple minutes is fine. Don’t make it long.
- Reminders: Put some kind of physical reminder next to your bed, or on your pillow, like a note. I also suggest a reminder on your phone or something similar. One of the hardest things in the beginning of a habit is remembering to do it, so very consciously set up your reminders.
- Accountability: Commit to this daily habit to other people — an accountability group in the forum, for example.
What to Do
Sit still, with no distractions, and simply reflect on your day. What were the difficulties you had? Were there frustrations, anger, sadness, irritations, fear, procrastination?
What expectations did you have in each of these situations? Did reality match up with your expectations in these cases? What effect these expectations had on you. Were they helpful? Did they cause frustration or stress or procrastination?
Now picture yourself gathering these expectations together into a bundle, and tossing them into the ocean, watching them float away.
Thatâ€™s it. A simple practice for a few minutes each evening (or morning), which will help when we expand this practice into the rest of your day.