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Up and At ‘Em

The good news is, if you’re awake, you’re alive. The bad news is, you have to get out of that comfy bed, find something to wear, and at least try to be someone who is pleasant to be around.

The good news is, if you’re awake, you’re alive. The bad news is, you have to get out of that comfy bed, find something to wear, and at least try to be someone who is pleasant to be around.

This has traditionally been the time when Christians are called to arise from slumber, open their Bibles and read and pray during this first part of our day. The thinking behind encouraging such a discipline is that it sets the tone for one’s day. And, if you can begin the day “with God,” surely your day will be “better”or at least more God-filled than one that doesn’t begin with such devotion.

It that’s true, then it should also hold true that if we start our day making a positive difference in our lives and in the lives of others, we can also set the tone for a day that is filled with caring.

The sunrise, the snooze button, and the shower can illicit fear or excitement as a new day dawns. But, how we spend the first part of our days can have a lasting impact on not just us, but on folks everywhere the sun shines.

But no matter when we get up, there comes a time when we all open our eyes and hop, crawl, or zombie ourselves out of the sack. We may stumble into the shower, the kitchen, or the study to face the first hour of our day. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as some suggest, then the first hour of our day must be equally as important. How we begin our day sets the tone for the other 23 hours. At some point in time, we’ve all had something happen early in the day that managed to wreck the rest of it, leaving us begging for bedtime so that things could improve by the time we wake up the next day.

Annie Dillard wrote, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” If that’s the case, then how we spend our mornings may very well be how we spend our days. Getting things off on the right foot, starting the day off right, and waking up on the right side of the bed are crucial if we’re going to get this revolution off the ground.

Shower Quicker
Who doesn’t love the stream of warm droplets hitting their back each morning? But enjoying such a simple pleasure can get us in hot water (literally). Instead of your normal allotment of shower time today, try to shave one minute off of your time in there. By shortening your bathing ritual by as little as 60 seconds, you’ll save about five gallons of water. Sure, you’ll miss that extra time where you’re lost in thought while your super-duper massaging showerhead does its thing, but the environment will thank you. If you do this every day this year, you’ll save more than 1,825 gallons of water and $11 in utility costs.

Organic Toothpaste
You may have heard the buzz about organic foods and, believe it or not, it’s made its way to the bathroom as well (but not like that). Organic toothpaste is available, and it’s good for both your teeth and the planet. Not only have these dental pastes not harmed the environment or been tested on animals, but they also can be less abrasive while whitening your chompers after all that coffee and tea you enjoy. Visit your local drugstore to see what’s in stock near you.

Wear Something
For some of us, what to wear is the hardest decision we’ll face in a day. Does our belt match our shoes? And does no white after Labor Day include socks? Who decides what’s “hot”? As you get dressed today, throw on a bracelet, shirt, or pin that means something. Even though the risk of oversaturation is imminent, those rubber bracelets actually do make people stop and ask questions. Make a statement of both fashion and awareness today.

We’ve all heard of these things called “New Year’s Resolutions.” And we all know that our best-laid plans of January 1 all too often become our easiest failures less than a week later. What if, instead of trying to do something for an entire year, we just tried to do something for one day? When we look at it like that, the grandiose goal becomes manageable, which means we just might be able to pull it off. In other words, what if, instead of having New Year’s resolutions, we made new day’s resolutions?

What if, instead of saying, “I’m going to lose weight this year,” we said, “Today I will eat a salad for lunch.” And what if we did it? And then we tried it again the next day and the one after that? Then, before we knew it, we’d strung together a month of healthy lunches?

What if, instead of saying, “I’m going to get organized this year,” we said, “Today I will clean out that drawer in the kitchen that holds everything I’m looking for at any given moment?”

“I’m going to budget this year,” becomes “Today I will spend no more than $25.”

“I’m going to go ‘green’ this year,” becomes “Today I will recycle all of the paper I use.”

“I’m going to help people this year,” becomes “Today I will give $5 to a worthy cause.”

We do those small things, keep our New Day’s Resolution, and before we know it, we’ve got a revolution on our hands.

That’s the potential power of one day. You can do one good thing today that makes a difference. Add that to a long string of days, and you’ll have a week, month, year, or decade of saving the world.

Today, wake up, and make a promise to yourself. Attempt to do something great and small. Try something new. Dare yourself to be spectacular. Change the world. Take that first step.

New Day Revolution: How to Save the World in 24 Hours is co-authored by Sam Davidson and Stephen Moseley, founders of CoolPeopleCare. The book has over 100 practical ideas on ways you can make a difference as part of your daily routine, and also comes with a beginner’s glossary for those new to the world of social change.