Winning the day starts with the morning. I’m pretty good with the morning now, but there are plenty of mornings where the evening gets in the way. Eat too much, stay up to late, have a few drinks and the morning routine is more challenging. So this ridiculously easy habit stack I have has bailed me out on a few mornings where I wasn’t feeling up to the challenge but did it anyway. If the morning is the angel on one shoulder, the evening can be the devil on the other; full of all kinds of triggers and temptations. Glass of wine? Why not? Bread with dinner? Why not? I’ve been good today… Slippery slope.
The morning represents a new hope for the day ahead. You’ve got your whole day ahead of you! So very much you can do today! The evening has its own pleasures of course, but ultimately you’re left with a feeling that I’ve accomplished all I can today or I haven’t done what I needed to do today. Either way it’s an end point. Last call. Give me beginnings.
“We should be blessed if we lived in the present always, and took advantage of every accident that befell us, like the grass that confesses the influence of the slightest dew that falls on it; and did not spend our time in atoning for the neglect of past opportunities, which we call doing our duty. We loiter in winter while it is already spring. In a pleasant morning all men’s sins are forgiven. Such a day is a truce to vice…. bless the new day, feel the spring influence with the innocence of infancy, and all… faults are forgotten.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Thoreau pleads with us to live in the moment, but also to bless the new day and forget the past. Sign me up…
Also on the morning habit stack is reading, and this morning’s Daily Stoic entry made me chuckle after writing the title of this post: Carpe Diem. It featured this gem of a quote:
“Let us therefore set out whole-heartedly, leaving aside our many distractions and exert ourselves in this single purpose, before we realize too late the swift and unstoppable flight of time and are left behind. As each day arises, welcome it as the very best day of all, and make it your own possession. We must seize what flees.” – Seneca, Moral Letters
Seize what flees. No matter the time. This day… this moment.