Begin with the end in mind: choose a state and work toward it
This is how I would like every day to wind down. It's a late afternoon on a beautiful summer day in PEI. It's one of my favourite times in one of my favourite places. I like the curve of the rocks, the movement of the water, and the peaceful fall of the light on the water.
To be able to experience this at the end of the day takes more than the drive to PEI or the wait for mid-summer. It takes showing up for the rest of the day knowing that whatever bumps I hit or waves I make will wind down by the end of the day. It takes remembering this as I am clobbered by an unusually big wave or turning my ankle on rocky ground.
The same movement around you can be unsettling or calming. The same light can be failing or falling as gently as a blanket. On a beautiful late summer afternoon it's easy to see the beauty in rocks and waves and fading light. It's not easy on a grey February day as yet more snow clogs the roads and tax time looms.
If you want your day to end peacefully, you have to spend it preparing for peace. Every bump, every wave, every shadow that flits across your day can blend into something calm and lovely. You don't have to figure out how it happens to clear space to notice it.
As you count your rocks tonight, arrange them like this and you'll find that the movements of your thought come in gentler waves.