In every meaning of the word, I am a morning person. I haven’t set an alarm in three years. I wake up somewhere between 5:45 and 6:30, depending upon the season and how much light is glaring through my window.
Mornings are my absolute favorite time of the day, and here’s why: Every day you wake up, you’re given a fresh start. Some people wish they could change the past, but I love the fact that we can’t touch it. Not being able to change the day, week, or month before forces us to leave events behind (where they belong).
You cannot change yesterday, but you have full control over today.
This weekend, my friend Kovak visited me from New York. I survived off alcohol and bar food from Friday through Sunday, skipped my workouts, and by Sunday night was lying on my friend Keena’s couch making a decree I would never drink again.
There was a time (who am I kidding, I still struggle with it) when I would give anything to take back the calories or lack of sleep. What I’ve learned, is a poor yesterday has zero control over an awesome today. On Monday morning, did I wake up and dedicate my day to repenting for the weekend? No! I ate green stuff and sweated out toxins. Duh.
Do you realize how freeing that is? It does not matter how you messed up yesterday, there is no unwritten rule stating it has to affect today. If you skipped your workout, watched an entire season on Netflix, ate dessert for dinner, or lost your temper when you should have kept things together; it does not matter.
Each day you wake up, is your opportunity for a fresh start.
A few months ago, my aunt—who has her PhD in psychology—explained the basic premise of being present. At a 500-foot level, our brains and our bodies are often in two separate places. To bring our ever-wandering minds back to the present moment, we have to notice the psychical things happening us [How do my feet feel? Where’s my breath? How do my arms/neck/back feel?] Whatever is happening to us in that exact moment, that’s our present selves.
Here was my response to all of that: “I’m sorry, but that sounds exhausting.”
“But don’t you get?” she said, “That’s the beauty of it! If your mind drifts off for one moment, you get to start over the next second.”
And you get to start over, every morning you wake up.
If there is one thing I’m sure of, it’s this: There is no person who we hold more grudges against than ourselves. Somewhere, we got this idea that we need to make-up for yesterday’s mistakes, but let me tell you otherwise:
It does not matter how skinny/successful/focused/active you used to be, and it does not matter how far you have strayed from it. Today is your starting point—you are beginning from where you are right now, not from the highs or lows of your past.
Whatever happened yesterday, forget it. Today is where you start from.