A Daily Checklist
>> I've decided that I'm going to make only one resolution for the new year that's coming up, and it's a pretty simple one. I'm going to make a list of things that I want to do each day of the year, and I'm going to review that list every morning when I get up so that I can remind myself of the promise I've made to myself concerning the new year.
>> The first thing on the list will be a reminder to spread encouragement. It will read simply, "Encourage others." On any given day, then, it will be important for me to encourage other people in a sincere and realistic way. I won't encourage anyone to try out for an NFL team if they're not very good in football, but I might encourage someone to search out a job that will be more fulfilling and that will better utilize their skills and talents.
>> Item number two will be, "Compliment others." Just as with encouragement, my compliments will have to be sincere and realistic. I know that compliments for jobs well done or for particular achievements make people feel appreciated, and with sincere compliments I can add some positive energy to other people's lives.
>> My list also will include, "Do something to help the environment." I may go out of my way to recycle something that I normally would just throw away, or I may pick up some trash that I've found. I may take an extra-short shower one day, or I may walk somewhere that I had planned to drive. It will be important for me each day to do something, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, to help out the environment.
>> It also will have a negative command: "Don't insult or cut down anyone." I know that insulting other people diminishes me as a person, no matter what someone else might have said or done to "deserve" an insult. It's been said before that no one was built up with insults or sarcasm, and it seems important to me to contribute to the positive growth of others rather than trying to cut them down before they're able to grow. I may not be able to find positive things to say in certain situations, but in case I'm tempted to insult, I'll simply stay silent.
>> I'll also "Find some quiet time for myself" each day. I know the importance of finding some quiet time, even if it's only five or six minutes, to be able to focus on positive elements of my life. Quiet time helps me to develop my relationship with God and my own spirit, and it allows me to pull away from the hectic demands of daily life.
>> I want my list to be short enough that it never will overwhelm me, so the final thing on my list will be "Give thanks." For everything, that is. For my successes as well as my failures, for the obstacles I face and the problems that arise unexpectedly. For my food, my shelter, my clothing, and for the people in my life. If I can make gratitude an important element of my life, my life will grow richer every day that I live. Sometimes, though, I need to remind myself to be thankful, and I'll remind myself every day.
>> My list is quite simple:
>> 1. Encourage others.
>> 2. Compliment others.
>> 3. Do something to help the environment.
>> 4. Don't insult or cut down anyone.
>> 5. Find some quiet time for myself.
>> 6. Give thanks.
>> I'll also reserve the right to add to the list if I need to, but I think that if I constantly remind myself of these six positive actions each day, many other positive things will fall into place as time goes on. I'll put the list in several places so that I can see it at different times each day and remind myself once more of the importance of making the effort to fulfill these actions.
>> I truly do believe that it's good to remind myself consistently of the positive things that I hope to accomplish in life. If I don't remind myself of things, I tend to forget them, and it would be a shame for me to forget these things--a shame for me and for all the other people with whom I share each day on this planet.
>> One of the most important elements of living life fully is awareness-- awareness of our surroundings, of other people and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that affect us most in our lives, both positively and negative, not just the things that exist and that happen around us, but also our reactions to those things.