Sometimes we look at our life and get overwhelmed with all the things that we would love to improve and accomplish. We promise ourselves that we’ll get more organized, we’ll start planning more, we’ll go to the gym a few times a week, we will make better choices. And we do! But then somethings happens, we get distracted, life gets in the way and we fall of the wagon. We feel defeated. As we look at the big picture – a week, a month or a year, once again we get discouraged. Getting back to those goals that we have set for ourselves becomes harder and harder. We often tell ourselves “what’s the point? I’ll fail again.”
What if we took those goals and dreams and promised ourselves NOT to look at the week, or the month, or the year? What if we decided to concentrate on TODAY? And promised ourselves to do our best just for today?
Just for Today…
In his book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie quotes Sybil F. Partridge’s ten ‘rules’ to a happier and healthier life. Even though Partridge wrote them in 1916, we can most certainly benefit from applying them to our lives today.
I will be happy…
Just for today I will be happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Happiness is from within; it is not a matter of externals.
Waking up with the intention of being happy and promising yourself to make an effort to seek joy is a great first step to having a wonderful day.
You can start it with a simple exercise of appreciation. As you are waking up, before you even open your eyes, think of the tings in your life that you appreciate and people you are grateful to have in your life.
Proclaiming your intention to look for things that will brighten your day is the first step to having a great day.
I will try to adjust myself to what is…
Just for today I will try to adjust myself to what is, and try not to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come and fit myself to them.
Often times we get angry at the circumstance we are presented with or annoyed and mad at people who seem to ‘get on our nerves’. Instead of reacting, take a breath and remember not to take things personally.
So today ask yourself: will this problem matter in a week, a month, or a year? If the answer is ‘no’, then take a deep breath and relax.
Consider that the disagreeable person may be in a bad mood due to their personal circumstances. Decide not to take their comments or actions personally and I guarantee you’ll have a much better day.
I will take care of my body.
Just for today I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, nourish it, not abuse or neglect it, so that it will be a perfect machine for my bidding.
Little things can go a long way. No time to go to the gym? Take a walk around the block at lunch or after dinner. Dance with your kids in the living room. Park further away from the store and walk a bit farther.
There are many ways to make ourselves feel better. Start with simple things. Take a few minutes extra to do your hair in a more elegant way. Wear that cute blouse or dress that you leave for special occasion. Put on a little makeup when you’re feeling down. These may be little things, but they can have a big impact on how you feel about yourself. So why not use those tools to make yourself feel better today?
If mornings are hectic in your household, make your lunch the night before. Take a few minutes to plan dinner for the next day. At work, take a moment to leave your workspace, even for a few minutes and eat your lunch. When you come back, you will be more focused and productive. And your stomach will be grateful to you too :).
I will try to strengthen my mind.
Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
Listen to a podcast or an audiobook on your commute to work. Instead of scrolling mindlessly through social media, search your favourite topic and learn something about it. Instead of watching a sitcom or a reality show, put on an interesting documentary. There are a ton of simple, easy to access and fun ways to learn something new each day.
I will exercise my soul…
Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out; and I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William James suggests, just for exercise.
There are plenty of opportunities throughout a day to do good deeds and to help others. Open a door for someone. Lend a hand to a coworker. Let that guy who seems to be in a hurry go before you in the line. I’m sure if you start paying attention, you’ll catch yourself doing random acts of kindness unintentionally. Since you’ll be aware of your kindness towards others, you’ll be able to count them towards the three things that exercise your soul.
Most of us have tasks that we dread doing. Putting two of those on your to-do list and getting to them first will not only exercise your soul today, but will bring you much satisfaction that they are already done and you won’t have to do them later.
I will be agreeable.
Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with praise, criticize not at all, nor find fault with anything and not try to regulate nor improve anyone.
It isn’t always easy not to react negatively when we don’t agree with something. But keep in mind what your mother taught you: If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything.
Challenge yourself to stop complaining for one day. See if you can find a silver lining in that unfortunate situation you are facing. Looking at the bright side of things is much more beneficial to your wellbeing than magnifying the issue.
If you have a reason to complement someone, don’t hold back. The best complements are sometimes those given to us by strangers. Just make sure that they are honest and genuine. We all love getting complements, especially when they are least expected.
I will give my life problems a rest.
Just for today I will try to live through this day only, not to tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do things for twelve hours that would appall me if I had to keep them up for a lifetime.
Someone once said that those who live in the past are depressed, those who live in the future are anxious and those who live in the present are at peace.
So just for today, look at the problems you are facing right now. Look for solutions to the immediate problems that you are in front of you today. You can’t change what happened yesterday. Nor can you influence what happens tomorrow. So tackle today’s problems only and you will have a much more peaceful day.
If you’re facing a life problem that is constantly on your mind, make a plan to tackle it one task at a time. Today focus on ‘eating just one bite’ of the proverbial elephant and you will be that much closer to your goal. Worrying about the problem as a whole will not solve it. On the other hand, concentrating on one little part of it will bring you one step closer to getting there in a more relaxed and manageable way.
I will have a program.
Just for today I will have a program. I will write down what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. It will eliminate two pests: hurrying and indecision.
Having a to-do list or a checklist for daily goals will allow you to focus on the things you need to do. And when completed, even partially, will gives you a sense of accomplishment. The trick is to make it realistic and achievable.
Many productivity professionals suggest having one main goal for the day and up to three smaller goals. Everything else on our list should be entitled “if there is time” and should not be taken too seriously. In addition, it is very satisfying to cross of the completed tasks.
So tonight, make a list of what you’d like to accomplish tomorrow. It will help you get focused first thing in the morning and it will give you a more peaceful sleep as your subconscious won’t be trying to remember what you need to get done tomorrow. Trust me, it works!
I will take time to relax.
Just for today I will have a quiet half-hour all by myself and relax.
Self-care is very important in today’s day and age. With our busy lives, crazy work and family schedules, taking time for yourself on daily basis is very important.
I’m sure you’ve seen those one-minute self-care lists. Sometimes that’s all you need. Sometimes that’s all the time you have. So take that minute, close your eyes, and take ten deep breaths. Go for a walk around the block. Take a moment to drink your tea in peace. All these little things will have a positive impact on your wellbeing. Here is a list of the things I love do to ‘fill up my bucket’.
I will have the courage to be happy.
Just for today I will be unafraid, especially I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love and to believe that those I love, love me.
Give yourself permission to be happy today without caring about what others think. It surely takes courage to that, but I know you can do it!
This is particularly hard when you find yourself in a situation when you think people expect you to me sad or pensive. But trust me, your nature is to be happy. I am sure that those who love you the most want to see the smile on your face and the twinkle in your eye.
So just for today, stop caring about what others will think when they see you happy. Give yourself permission to have a joyous day!
Set Yourself Up for a Wonderful Tomorrow
Finishing the day with an attitude of gratitude sets you up for a better tomorrow. I challenge you to try The Three Good Things exercise before you go to sleep. It is bound to make you look back at your day and magnify at least a few of the wonderful things in your life.