The first book I picked up this year was Make Today Count: The Secret of Your Success Is Determined by Your Daily Agenda written by my mentor and friend, John C. Maxwell. This phenomenal book has forever changed the way I treat the gift called today.
In Make Today Count, John Maxwell taught that you can build a better life if you learn to:
- making good decisions, and
- discipline yourself to manage the decision daily
To help you make today count, John dedicated the 12 chapters of the book to the “Daily Dozen:” 12 critical areas that can make your life a masterpiece if you can make good decisions in each of these areas and discipline yourself daily to manage your decisions. Here are the Daily Dozens for success, John Maxwell’s decision in each area, and how he managed the discipline of each decision.
To make today count, you have to make a decision to keep a positive attitude and use it to influence others. If you want today to be a good day, you need to take charge of the way you look at it. To benefit from your decision to keep a positive attitude, you need to determine that every day, you will make the adjustments necessary to keep your attitude right.
Another thing you need to do to make today count is to prioritize your life and give focus and energy to those things that gives the highest return. To benefit from your decision to prioritize your life, you need to determine that every day, you will live your life according to your priorities.
If you are serious about making today count, you will have to take good care of yourself by exercising and eating right. This is one area I personally need to work on. It’s a wise saying that health is wealth, if you are weak or sick in your body, it will greatly affect your productivity. To benefit from the decision to take good care of yourself, you need to determine that every day, you will eat low-fat foods and exercise for at least thirty-five minutes.
A lot of people count the day instead of making the day count
You can also make today count if those closest to you respect you the most. While you cannot demand respect from family members, you can earn it by determining that every day, you will will work hard on gaining the respect of those closest to you. John Maxwell admonish that “building a solid family doesn’t just happen on its own, you have to work at it. It’s okay to aspire to be successful but it should not be at the cost of your family. “Anyone who neglects or abandons his family for fame, status, or financial gain isn’t really successful.”
All that you will will achieve or fail to achieve is the direct result of your thoughts. So, to make today count, you have to decide that you will think on things that will add value to you and to others. Dr. Maxwell encourages that you find a thinking place to capture your thoughts and write down your ideas. Ideas have a short half-life, “the more time that passes after the idea strikes, the less heat it gives off. To benefit from your decision to think on things that will add value to you and to others, you need to determine that every day, you will set aside a time to think and think on the right things.
Another decision to make your today count is to decide that if something is worth doing, you will commit yourself to carrying it through. “Everything in life exacts a price, you have to decide whether the price is worth the prize.” Your commitment becomes stronger when you have already count the cost and determine to pay the price. To benefit from the decision to commit yourself to carry through, you must determine that every day I will renew my commitment and think about the benefits that come from it.
You already know how to count your days, right now is the time to make your days count. In John Maxwell’s words, “when you take care of today, tomorrow will take care of itself.”