We’ve all been there—at the end of a long, tiring day where nothing seemed to go right.
The truth is that days don’t always go as planned, and sometimes we get far less done than we’d like to, but this doesn’t mean that you should despair. Tomorrow always means a fresh start—a chance for new beginnings.
Unfortunately, though, all too often we start the new day out with the previous one in mind. We begin our day by recalling all of our mistakes, things that we didn’t get done, or challenges that we faced, and instead of getting our morning off to the best start possible, we end up discouraged, and with the previous day weighing heavy on our mind.
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Dwelling on the past can leave room for doubts to linger and grow. It can also take a dent out of your confidence, leaving you feeling less-than-capable. Instead of allowing self-doubt and negativity to sabotage your day, it’s important to leave yesterday’s events in the past, and embrace today as a new opportunity to start again. After all, as media mental health expert Judith Belmont MS. says, “The past is a great place to visit, but you don’t want to live there!”
Giving yourself a fresh start every day is the best way to fully concentrate and do your best. Here’s a look at how you can leave yesterday in the past, and start each day anew—with no regrets!
1. Give Yourself a Head Start
Starting your day fresh doesn’t always begin on the day itself. In fact, it usually starts the night before. Even simple things, such as cleaning up the kitchen before bed, can help you get your morning off to a better start. Do what you can the night before to help yourself out the next day. This might mean taking a few minutes to tidy, so you won’t have to greet the morning with a dirty pile of dishes, or making your lunch the night before to save you from having to do this first thing. Finally, don’t forget to go to bed on time to get enough sleep for the next day!
2. Review Your Day
If you’ve had an especially difficult day, it’s important to be able to reconcile everything that happened in your mind, so that you can close the day out, and leave it in the past.
Instead of waking up and immediately picking up where you left off with yesterday’s stressful day, take a few moments the night before to contemplate your day. Asking a few questions can help you to come to terms with your day. Ientify areas where you did your best and pinpoint areas where you feel that perhaps you could have done things differently. Which things did you handle well? Which ones do you wish you’d handled differently? What could you have done instead? This doesn’t mean that you should lecture yourself on all of the things that you could have done better. Instead, the point of this exercise is to simply learn from your mistakes or oversights, in order to be better equipped to overcome similar challenges in the future.
3. Make a List the Night Before
You’ll also want to take the time to map out your day the night before. Jot down the tasks that you need to finish, and take stock of any appointments the following day. This will help you rest easy knowing exactly what’s in store the next day, no surprises! The Flagship Daily Planner by Day Designer was created for this very purpose.
In order to be truly productive, you’ll want to maintain an element of flexibility when it comes to your to-do list. This means that priorities sometimes change depending on different circumstances, and your to-do list should make room for these allowances. Still, having a to-do list is valuable, allowing you to jot down the most important things that need to get done, helping to ensure they’re not forgotten or pushed aside. Writing things down will also save you from having to use up valuable “brain space” trying to keep track of everything in your head. Just make sure your list is doable and not overwhelming. The point of a to-do list is not to frustrate you, but to help, so write down your important tasks to help your day go more smoothly.
4. Get Off to the Best Possible Start
It’s important to do everything that you can to get yourself off to the best possible start in the morning. For most people, this means having a set routine—one that they’ve found works well for them. This could include eating a healthy breakfast, going for a walk or jog, working out, or spending a few minutes reflecting and mentally preparing themselves for the day. Try to discover for yourself what helps you to get your day off to the best start, and look to make that a part of your morning routine.
Finally, keep in mind that you shouldn’t bring anything from the previous day into the new one—except for the lessons that you’ve learned. Taking this approach will allow you to go into the next day with confidence and start your day out fresh. Without any unnecessary burdens from the past, you’ll be ready and capable of taking on anything that might arise!