I don't know about you, but most of my good decisions do not happen over night.
They've happened in the morning.
The majority of the big choices that I have made have happened in the morning when I first wake- it's that moment when my dreams spit me out into real life, when my sub-concious let's my body and mind reconnect. Somehow, something greater than just waking happens... as my body begins to rise, my mind spins on a clear overdrive. It's in those first moments that I realize what must be done- I don't have time to over think it or decide if I will like the repercussions of these certainties. I just know that I have managed to resolve whatever issue is going on in my mind.
It may seem crazy, but I still remember many choices that I have made at the very beginning of my day. Sometimes I wake up and know that I have to change the way that I relate to someone, or the relationship that I have built with them. Other times, I feel refreshed and ready to follow through on a commitment that I haven't been sure I wanted to make. Once in a while, I even feel committed to quitting a bad habit, or stopping something in my life that is making me unhappy. Maybe it's the idea of a new day that I haven't messed up yet that gives me the courage to make a solid answer in my mind. Maybe it's those first streams of sun, or drops of rain, or even flakes of snow that make me realize I am alive and I need to be decisive. Maybe it's just my inability to comprehend doubt so early- whatever it is, decisions I make in the morning are generally much better than the ones I make at night.
At night, I tend to make decisions that are driven more by my emotional side, and my emotional side is often wrong. By the time darkness has fallen over me, I am weak from the stress of the day. My mind is tired from all that I have done and all that I am thinking about that still needs to be done. My body falls into a state of urgency- the end of my day is when I pile on the things I still ant to do. And making decisions at that point often sacrifices the intelligence that I seem to have in the morning. It's a quick thinking kind of thing- and quick thinking does not make for good decisions.
But it does make for good epiphanies.
See, what I'm learning about myself, and about a lot of other people in my life as well, is that the good decisions are not instant. They are usually prompted by big realizations- those moments of clarity when suddenly you know what needs to be done. It's usually not in those moments that you commit to the idea- it's still too new, still too fresh, still to impossible to conceive. But it's there. Often it's been lurking in the shadows for quite some time, but then again there are times when it's fallen like a Jenga Tower- the pieces are scattered, but the whole is realistically reachable. These realizations are my first step of processing- I know what I need to know. The realization part usually comes at night for me, whether in the shower, while stalking my friends on Facebook, or even laying myself down to finally get some rest.
I don't know if you've figured out what your process is. I'm only starting to figure out that this is mine. And I'm not even sure it's important, because it could change at any time.
Except it is important, because knowing who I am helps me to know when to make certain choices- for instance, shopping after work is usually a bad idea, because I won't look for the best price, I won't think about when I need it for, and in reality, I may not even need it. But if I realize that I need something the night before, and give myself a day to figure out how to execute it, I'm going to be in better shape.
The shopping is a small example, but the concept has big implications. If I know when I make the best choices, and I let myself process, I will be more inclined to make stronger resolutions. The kind of resolutions that I will be happiest with in the end. It's all about knowing myself and learning who I am, so that I can be prepared to take life with the best odds. A little night before prayer never hurt, of course, and there are always other factors that will influence me. But I know the best time to be honest with myself, and to get what I need, even if it doesn't always seem like what I want.
It's just one more step towards knowing myself.