10 Things To Do Today

by Tess on June 7, 2010

365::127 - imagine
Creative Commons License photo credit: brdwatchr1

Our guest Alex Blackwell, blogger at the The Bridgemaker, lives in the heartland of the United States with his wife of 24 years, Mary Beth and their four wonderful children.

Alex: "I blog for one simple reason: To share my heart and to touch the heart of others. In keeping with this singular mission, I would welcome the opportunity to show you how my talents as an effective writerencourager and blog strategist can help your business or blog. 

Several years ago while visiting New York City, I had the opportunity to see the Broadway musical Rent. Jonathan Larson's Tony Award winning musical tells the story of one year in the life of a group young adults struggling with love, loss and AIDS in New York’s East Village.

The power and theme of the show still resonates with me today. The message in Rent tells us there is No day but today. This statement is a reminder that life is indeed temporary with no guarantees. But rather than living in fear, we should embrace and live each day to its fullest.

Larson’s musical tells us not to rent our lives, but to own them.

But how do we do this? No day but today does not have to be a cliché or a feel-good expression – it can be a choice. The following list of 10 things to say or do every day helps me remember that today is important and should not be overlooked. I hope it helps you, too.

1.      Say “Thank You” to anyone who has helped you or has made your day easier. This will show respect and acknowledge the efforts the others. Gratitude will be returned to you naturally and beautifully.

2.      Slow down and do nothing. Take 15 minutes each day and grab a cup of coffee or tea and give yourself time to think about whatever you want. You will be surprised at the inspiration that will come.

3.      Complete one item on your “to do” list. Return the overdue telephone call, clean-up your email inbox, or get an oil change for your car. By accomplishing just one thing that has been gnawing at you, will give you a much-needed sense of relief and accomplishment.

4.      Eat at least one good meal. Not to sound like your mother, but you are what you eat. Eat healthily every day. Give yourself the nourishment to be strong, bold and alive.

5.      Perform one act of random kindness. Hold the elevator door open for someone who is a few steps behind you or lift the bag and place it in the overhead bin for someone who can’t manage this task. Kindness breeds more kindness. The concept of “paying it forward” is real and effective.

6.      Listen, really listen to someone. Listen without judgments or criticism. Try to avoid any self-referencing and be fully present for whoever needs it.

7.      Focus on one thing at a time. You can’t be all things to all people, not even to yourself.

8.      Review your goals. If you have not put your goals in writing, do this today. There is a direct and proven correlation between people who have written, stated goals and their level of accomplishment compared to people who do not. Care to guess which group has the higher success rate with reaching their goals?

9.      Say “No” more often. This was sound counterproductive, but it’s all about setting realistic boundaries for you. Show honor for your personal beliefs and convictions by not compromising who you are. Save your energy for the people and tasks that are the most important to you.

10.  Say “I love you” to the people who you truly love and cherish. Do so with heartfelt sincerity. Love them as if this were their, and your, last day on earth. Don’t wait; tell them today because there is no day but today. 

Alex Blackwell (The BridgeMaker), owner of an honestly-written blog about faith, inspiration and personal change. To receive twice-weekly articles subscribe here.

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    { 22 comments… read them below or add one }

    Grampa Ken 06.07.10 at 7:17 am

    Alex, that’s a great list and reminder to ourselves to ‘Have a good day’! Such a simple set of steps or a similar personalized list should be printed out for the breakfast table or greet us on the monitor when we flip it on each morning. We really do need to remind ourselves to make the best of today, it can be too easily wasted.
    Grampa Ken´s last post…Materialism and Happiness My ComLuv Profile

    Eduard @ People Skills Decoded 06.07.10 at 7:24 am

    I seem to be stuck at number 2. Gotta breath and slow down :)

    I imagine that a person who does all these things every day, as a standard, not just today, would have a pretty inspiring lifestyle.
    Eduard @ People Skills Decoded´s last post…Are you a pain-in-the-ass person? My ComLuv Profile

    Karl Staib - Work Happy Now 06.07.10 at 8:12 am

    The busier I get the more I try to do too many things at once. I need to focus, relax and enjoy the activity that I’m in without worrying about what else I need to do. I know it will improve the quality of my work. Just need to practice this every single day.
    Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last post…19 Reasons to Buy Zappos’ Delivering Happiness Book My ComLuv Profile

    Julie 06.07.10 at 9:26 am

    I am guilty of not doing #3, 7, and 9. =( Thanks for the reminder.
    Julie´s last post…Connie’s Babyshower With Family/Friends My ComLuv Profile

    Phil - Less Ordinary Llving 06.07.10 at 10:05 am

    Alex -

    A lovely simple guide to daily living. Thank you so much!

    Phil – Less Ordinary Llving´s last post…The Power of Promises – How to Never Let Yourself Down Again My ComLuv Profile

    Marko -- Calm Growth 06.07.10 at 10:16 am

    If we follow and act on these tips, it should multiple growth and increase our quality of life.
    Clear & brief, I like it. :)
    Marko — Calm Growth ´s last post…The Future of Personal Development Scene — Part 4 My ComLuv Profile

    Alex Blackwell 06.07.10 at 2:36 pm

    @ Grandpa Ken: Each day is indeed precious. A breakfast table reminder is a great day way to start the day!

    @ Eduard, Karl and James: Absolutely! By slowing down, I give myself the time and space to think and consider what’s next. Glad to hear I’m not alone with this.

    @ Julie: You are welcome for the reminder. The reason why I wrote this is because I have to remember to do these things , too – every day.

    @ Phil: Thanks for reading and for the encouragement – sincerely appreciated.

    @ Marko: I’m with you. My hope is these things will keep leading me to the life I desire.

    Wilma Ham 06.07.10 at 3:48 pm

    Hi Tess and Alex.
    It still astounds me that we are so not doing all those 10 things on a daily basis.
    As I go through them I keep nodding my head and keep thinking “of course”.
    Ha, but the acid test is, do I do them. Yes and no.
    It takes me to really pay attention to what I am thinking and doing, when I am on automatic I slide back into bad habits, not listening, not being kind, saying ‘yes’ when I mean ‘no’ to just get on with things etc.
    I find it takes commitment, being intentional, however I wholeheartedly agree that the effort pays off very handsomely.
    It takes practice and practice and more practice and I am willing because as I say it makes so much sense and the pay off is huge.
    And being reminded is good too, love to both of you, Wilma
    Wilma Ham´s last post…Do you pay attention? My ComLuv Profile

    Lance 06.07.10 at 4:13 pm

    Great to see you here!

    Today really is all we have, for sure. Living it to the fullest, to what has meaning for us, individually, is such a great place to operate from. As I read your list – the idea of saying “no” more often is one really hits home. I recently attended a self awareness workshop, and one of the big take aways for me was this idea that I say YES too often…thus keeping NO as the answer for those things in my heart. A great wake up call for sure! And it surely doesn’t hurt to have that reinforced here…
    Lance´s last post…Smile…And Brighten The World! My ComLuv Profile

    Keith 06.07.10 at 6:02 pm

    Hello Alex (and you too Tess!),

    Learning to appreciate the “now” is perhaps the best thing I have ever done for myself. It changed my life, literally. I used to be so into my goal, that I would postpone joy, living in anticipation of the future and missing out on “today”.

    I greatly appreciate this post as it really helps to refresh my mind to really be alive each day I live.

    Thank you Alex
    Keith´s last post…Pessimist or Passionate? My ComLuv Profile

    Hulbert Lee 06.07.10 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Alex and Tess, thanks for sharing this post with us. I like these ten tips you shared especially the one on really listening to someone. Currently, I’m conducting interviews with people and I realize that in order to be a better speaker to people, which is something I have feared, I need to be a better listener and be fully present for them whey they’re talking. This helps me so I know what to say next and also help relate to them in a way. Thanks again Alex and good job on this guest post!
    Hulbert Lee´s last post…Angela Artemis – Financial Salesperson, Spiritual Medium, and Blogger of Mystic Musings (Interview) My ComLuv Profile

    Tony Single 06.07.10 at 6:36 pm

    Glad to meet you, Alex, and thanks for a wonderful, uplifting guest post! :)

    I’m happy to say that I do most of those things on your list most days, except for #8. I need to work on that one. Reviewing goals can be scary making, you know what I mean? :P

    Hilary 06.08.10 at 12:25 am

    Hi Alex and Tess .. if we can learn to focus and put our energies into that period of time makes so much sense. Smile and the world smiles with you – paying it forward. Saying no .. I’ve learnt to do that .. and definitely saying I love you .. all your points are so essential .. and things we need to do everyday .. great to read this – thank you -Hilary
    Hilary´s last post…Food, Food, Glorious Food … What could possibly go wrong …? My ComLuv Profile

    Cheryl Paris 06.08.10 at 3:01 am

    Hiya Tess,

    I am glad to have read the action item list today. Already ate an Apple – so eat healthy is done. :)

    Cheryl Paris´s last post…Using The Extreme Power of Failure For Success My ComLuv Profile

    Topi 06.08.10 at 3:56 am

    Well, I probably only rate a 5 out of 10 today, but that just means I have something to aim for tomorrow!
    Topi´s last post…How will you be defined? My ComLuv Profile

    Kate 06.08.10 at 4:11 am

    Lovely list and a great reminder.
    I think sometimes, a few of these things seem quite small and we put them off without too much thought – but it is the small things everyday which add up to a purposeful, happy and ‘in the now’ life.
    I think I will go and call my mum:)
    Have a lovely day,

    Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord 06.08.10 at 4:26 am

    Awesome! I love that you included proper nutrition as one of the must do’s on this list. For me, in particular, eating well is paramount to how good I feel in a day. When I eat lots of sugar and fat, my vibration lowers and I end up feeling blahhhhhhhhhhhh. On the other hand, when I make sure to eat well — lots of fresh foods, vegetables, fruit, and high-fiber items — my energy remains high and I feel clear, focused, and good.

    Great post from a great guest blogger — thanks, Tess and thanks, Alex!

    Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point 06.08.10 at 3:27 pm

    What a delightful guest post, Tess and Alex. Each item is so simple and yet can have a profoundly positive effect on our well being.

    For me, I’m working on saying Yes more often. I know how to say No really well. Yes is what my heart wants more of. These days, at least.

    Alex Blackwell 06.08.10 at 5:11 pm

    @ All: Thanks so much for your wonderful support and encouragement. Your words have really touched me.

    @ Tess: You are awesome! I appreciate the opportunity you gave me to share my post with your readers.

    Take care everyone,


    Peggy 06.09.10 at 7:30 am

    Hi Tess and Alex,

    Great list to remind everyone to MAKE it a great day – because we are the creators of our reality.

    Who is now going to do nothing for 15 minutes :-)
    Peggy´s last post…Relinquishing Hostility Revisited My ComLuv Profile

    Joy 06.09.10 at 11:14 am

    Hi Tess,
    Awe-some guest!

    Hi Alex,
    I love this list. Because it is do-able, and requires no extra resources. Just open your heart to love and gratitude…simple, and life changing. I would like to add though, love and gratitude to others and all in the world always, and don’t forget yourself in that. Too many people forget to say “I love you” and “thank you” to their own reflection in the mirror…..
    Joy´s last post…Monday Blessing: Days Like This… My ComLuv Profile

    Farnoosh ~ Prolific Living 06.09.10 at 6:13 pm

    I have not seen Rent but I love your list…and I fared rather well on the list! So thank you for reaffirming the way I like to live and I just need to remind myself to continue to live that way! The challenge with living in the moment alone is the lack of planning (not worry but planning) for the future. Sometimes it’s easy to relax too much….I think balance is key!

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