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Blog Short #78: Keep Your Focus on Today

Welcome to Monday Blog Shorts – ideas to make even Monday a good day! Every Monday, I share a short article with you about a strategy you can use, or new facts or info that informs you, or a new idea that inspires you. My wish is to give you something to think about in the week ahead. Let’s dig in!

Photo by Nelosa, Courtesy of iStock Photos

I like to look forward to things. What about you?

During the week, I look forward to weekends – events I’ve planned like going out to eat, visiting my sisters, or working on a fun project. It’s all so energizing! I also like to set goals and imagine future scenarios.

The point is, I look to the future as a source of pleasure, hope, and happiness. I’m guessing you do that too.

So what about today? Is it something to get through or something you look forward to?

If we want to get philosophical about it, today is what is. The present is where we are. The future resides in our minds, and when we perpetually focus on it, we miss what’s happening right now. Today.

In response, you might say,

Well, that’s the whole point! I don’t love what’s going on right now, so I gain some solace in knowing I have something better to look forward to.

There’s truth in that at times. No doubt.

But, if you aren’t making the most of right now, what does that say for the future? And, let me ask you this:

When you get to that big event in the future, are you satisfied?

You might say yes, but when it’s over, you shift your mind to the next thing you can look forward to. Our whole culture works this way! We go from holiday to holiday, vacation to vacation, event to event!

The future is important, and to ignore it would be disastrous. We do need to keep in mind that our current actions impact our futures, just as we need to learn from our mistakes in the past to avoid repeating them.

But, back to our question, “What about today?”

Bring your focus in on each day.

Here’s what I suggest:

See each day as a single slice of your life with a beginning and endpoint.

You make goals for the future, yes? Make goals for the day. Plan it out, appreciate your time, and make the most of it.

What you plan will be part of a continuum of many days, and it’s good to keep that in mind, but give special attention to this day and focus your attention on it.

Even if things intrude on your plans such as problems that crop up or unexpected interruptions, you have the opportunity to make the most of how you handle these situations and complete your day with a sense of satisfaction.

To get in the right mindset, ask these questions:

  1. How aware am I of my daily interaction with my life and myself?
  2. Do I have a sense of watching it unfold?
  3. Do I take a leadership role to engage in it consciously and with an appreciation for my time?

To effectively make use of each day, it’s helpful to segment your attention and focus. Here are some categories you might use to do that.

Values and Principles

How can you express your values through your behavior throughout this day? What will you do if an interruption comes, a problem crops up, or you have an interaction with someone that upsets you? How will you stay true to yourself and comport yourself according to what you think is right and who you want to be?

Let your values and principles guide your behavior in all circumstances.


What self-care activities are a must, and when can you perform them? Are there regular daily routines you can instill and schedule? These might include morning routines, nightly routines, sleep, diet, exercise, meditation – whatever you do to take care of yourself. Where can you fit them into your day?

Regular self-care increases self-awareness and positively impacts how you feel in the future.


What will you do today to make the most of your important relationships? How can you nurture them? Each day you have an opportunity to work on your relationships, but it’s easy to put this on the back burner because everything else demands attention. By keeping a daily focus, it’s easier to prioritize your relationships and give time to them.

Relationships that last and flourish need constant attention and nurturing.


Work can include anything employed to operate your life, do your job, run your household, or participate in projects. Take one day at a time, focus on the tasks you’re doing today with full attention, and do them the best you can. Systematize your activities to take advantage of your time.

Take pride and pleasure in being able to do something with full engagement and fulfillment. Even the most mundane chores can be approached this way and leave you feeling good about your accomplishments.

Stay positive. Resistance and resentment kill your joy. Think of your work’s benefits and service and take pleasure in that. Every kind of work has value.

Make work something you do for yourself as well as for someone else.

Internal Thoughts

What’s the primary color of your thought processes today?

Negative, positive, anxious, uplifting, depressive, irritable, optimistic, pessimistic, compassionate, critical?

We tend to think of our internal state as being determined by our external circumstances. To an extent, that’s true, but to a large extent, it’s not. You always have choices about how you react to outside events and where your mind goes.

It may not always feel that way, but awareness of your mind and thought trains gives you some control. Watch what you’re thinking and feeling.

If you’re a chronic complainer, you’re going to be unhappy. Try focusing on what goes right as much as you can. The more you do that, the better you feel.

Shoot for a 3 to 1 ratio for positive versus negative thoughts.

Accept that some days deviate from your plans.

There are those days when all plans go by the wayside because of unexpected events. On those days, your comportment is more important than completing planned goals.

Make the most of handling the changes and feel good about how you did that. Don’t lament that you didn’t check off your to-do list.

Then there are other days when you feel the need to take a break. These are respite days or “red-light days.” When they occur, give into them and take advantage of them. Let yourself rest. Turn off. Hunker down.

Depending on your situation, you may not be able to take these days often. However, taking even a half-day off, or one day at home while the kids are in school, or several hours off on your own on the weekend, can have the needed effect. You might need to get creative to make it happen but do your best.

Find your quiet spots and solitude so you can recharge.

The present is your future.

Bringing your focus in more toward your daily life will help to ensure that your future is something to look forward to. Living in the future keeps you in a fantasy state, so much so that when you get to those future points, you’re often disappointed in where you are because you forgot that what you do daily determines to a large degree where you will be when you get to the future.

You’ve heard the phrase “Be here now”? That’s the motto to keep in mind.

That’s all for today!

Have a great week!

All my best,


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