How many times have you thought you should eat better, should make time for close friendships and date nights, should teach your kids more about community service, should finally make that commitment to forge ahead in your career? All those "shoulds" can add up to one big headache — often making me think I should just forget it and try to get through the day.
I recently read about a fellow who decided to live by Benjamin Franklin's daily schedule, written out and set forth in Franklin's Autobiography and surprisingly applicable more than 200 years later. The most revealing aspect for the writer was the Franklin's twice-daily plan to take a little time to reflect, be grateful and even give himself a pat on the back for the things on his schedule that he had accomplished. Too often my days pass by in a whirlwind of activity, with little time to reflect on what went right — more often, the focus is on all the things that didn't get done as I drift off to sleep.
Whether you'd like to take on a physical challenge like a marathon or Ironman, as Linda Hagen Miller explores in "The Start of Something Big" (page 27), or you'd like to write a book, learn to play an instrument or take up painting, or especially if you have health issues that you need to address, writing down daily and long-term goals can help keep your feet pointed in the right direction. Eventually, all those little steps really do add up.
To your health!