Ah, New Year. All those resolutions! Every year we all resolve to be nicer, healthier, funnier, cleverer, prettier, more sociable and all round even more wonderful than the previous year, and every year we all succeed. Oh, wait. Your good intentions usually go astray on about the 2nd January? Well it’s OK – so do mine, and – want to know a secret? – so do almost everyone else’s.
The bad news is that I don’t have a magic wand and I can’t sprinkle you with fairy dust and make all those resolutions work. But there is good news – and it’s this: there’s a flaw in the way most of us make resolutions, and it’s easy peasy to fix. The problem with the New Year resolution concept is that we all decide to change “it” for ever, suddenly, drastically, for good. I will never eat chocolate again. I will exercise every day. I will do my accounts on a daily basis, every single day without fail. I will always get up one hour earlier so that I can be fabulous for the day ahead. There’s not a lot of wriggle room there, and that’s why so many of us give up. We can’t meet our own unrealistic expectations.
The Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu once said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” That’s a very powerful statement, and it means that everything you want to do in life – from your wildest ambitions to your simplest choices – everything begins with a first, tiny action. You don’t have to think about giving up chocolate forever (and, by the way, chocolate is good for you. Proven. Fact. Honest). You don’t have to exercise every single day of your life. You just need to make healthy eating choices *today*, and get yourself moving *today*. Just for today. That’s all.
Changes which are too daunting to imagine ourselves doing every single day from now on become a piece of cake if we decide to do it “just for today”. Don’t think about tomorrow, or the day afterwards, just make that change for today. And tomorrow – well, tomorrow, can take care of itself, but once you get into the habit you’ll find that your “just for today” thoughts become habits and the changes you wanted to make start happening on a long term basis.
Whatever it is you want to change about yourself, your health or your habits, try out the just for today method and see what you think. There’s a “just for today” for everyone, everywhere. For instance:
“Just for today, I won’t get fries during my lunch break.” – if you’re trying to make healthier eating choices.
“Just for today, I’ll eat a chocolate bar and enjoy it.” – if you’ve been far too worried about what you eat.
“Just for today, I’ll wear less makeup.” – if you’re trying to boost your inner confidence.
“Just for today, I’ll try some lip gloss and mascara and see how I feel about it.” – if you want to change your personal image.
“Just for today, I’ll start a conversation with someone new.” – if you’re hoping to make new friends.
“Just for today, I’ll listen instead of talk.” – if you’re trying to let others get a word in edgeways!
“Just for today, I’ll handle all of the paperwork on my desk.” – if you have a lot of work to get under control.
“Just for today, I’ll relax when I get home from work.” – if you’re bringing too much work home with you and neglecting yourself and your family.
“Just for today, I’ll make my opinions known.”
“Just for today, I’ll appreciate the nature around me.”
“Just for today, I’ll be the first to say sorry.”
What’s your just for today? Let us know!