"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, let me do it now; for I shall not pass this way again." S. Grellet
I always get excited this time of year to be on top of my life again. I make all kinds of goals and plans: To have an effective schedule for homework, chores, family fun time, bedtime, etc. To eat healthier, eat smaller portions, and exercise harder. To meet my writing goals. To serve others more effectively and more often. To clean my house (no, not really, that's still way down the priority list).
Even though I get really excited about my goals, it's always easier to plan for tomorrow rather than today. Tomorrow I'll study and ponder my scriptures instead of just reading them. Tomorrow I'll be fun and play with my boys for longer than five minutes. Tomorrow I won't eat a bowl of ice cream (but I really need one tonight). Tomorrow I won't sleep in (but the baby was up a lot last night and right now I really need to snuggle my pillow). Tomorrow I'll make the boys clean their rooms (then I'll redo them while they're at school).
"Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today." Thomas Jefferson
"When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no, I'll start tomorrow. Tomorrow is disease." V.L. Allineare
It's great to make goals and to plan for tomorrow, but we need to live for today. I love having many lofty goals but to be effective in accomplishing those goals I try to break them into easier, daily goals. I also like to write them on the calendar so I know what I need to accomplish today.
Today I will make a healthy dinner for my family and resist chocolate (oh, the torture). Today I will revise five pages of my manuscript instead of check out Facebook posts during computer time. Today I will get out of bed when my alarm goes off, drive to the gym, and not come home until I sweat. Today I will go visit my adopted grandma. Today I will respond with patience and love when my four-year old is flailing on the ground screaming for a donut (that only happened twice so far).
It's easy to get overwhelmed if we think we have to do everything perfectly for the rest of our lives, but if we can take it one day at a time it seems more manageable. If anyone told me I could never have a bowl of chocolate ice cream covered with chocolate fudge again I'd probably eat ten bowls to stock up on the sensation, but if I just tell myself that I'm not having a bowl today but on Friday I can have a treat, I don't go quite so crazy.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave a wonderful call to action in the May Ensign: "Now is the time to adjust your lives to be able to have a temple recommend and use it. Now is the time to have meaningful family home evenings, to read the word of God, and speak to our Heavenly Father in earnest prayer. Now is the time to fill our hearts with gratitude for the Restoration of His Church, for living prophets, the Book of Mormon, and the priesthood power that blesses our lives. Now is the time to embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, become His disciples, and walk in His way." (i)
Now is the time to accomplish our goals, improve ourselves, and love and enjoy our family and friends.
The other day in the grocery store, the young man at the deli counter handed me my meat. I mumbled, "Thanks. Have a nice day." He grinned and said, "No. You make it a great day." We each have a choice. We can choose to make it a great day or we can choose to become bogged down with frustrations, offenses, and a to-do list that we can't accomplish.
"There is no tomorrow to remember if we don't do something today. Let us not procrastinate those things which matter most." Thomas S. Monson (ii)
Today is the gift we have been given. Make it a great day and let tomorrow take care of itself.
Cami Checketts is a wife, mother of four boys, exercise scientist, and author. http://camicheckettsbooks.blogspot.com - http://fitnessformom.blogspot.com
(i) Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Way of the Disciple," Ensign, May 2009, 75-78.
(ii) President Thomas S. Monson, "Don't procrastinate what matters most," LDS Women's Conference, May 2, 2008.