Today Matters. Nothing Else Does.

You might think that with such a goal-oriented perspective and a self-control perspective, I might not focus that much on the value of today.

Actually, I believe that today is the only day that really matters.

Today is the only day you have to be sure that you’re moving forward on your goals. Right now is the only moment you have to actually choose to spend less money or to get some exercise or to start writing that novel.

The moment you choose to say that your goal can wait until tomorrow is the moment you give up on your goal.

Right now, think of every significant goal you have in your life. Are you seeking debt freedom? Are you seeking financial independence? Maybe you’re trying to lose weight or finish a big creative work.

Whatever it is, ask yourself what you can do today to move forward on each of those goals.

Not tomorrow. Not next week. Today.

Some of those choices might be active, like sitting down to add 1,000 words to your novel. Other choices might be more passive, like choosing not to spend money on something frivolous and instead banking that money.

Personally, I use a checklist. I have a number of ongoing goals and projects and I make sure to add at least one action item from each of these goals and projects to today’s “to-do” checklist. (I use Remember the Milk to manage all of these projects and goals and extract daily tasks from them.)

I find that when I make forward progress on all of my projects and goals on a given day, I feel great at the end of the day. On days when I make little progress, I go to sleep feeling as though something has slipped through my hands.

Whenever I hear people talking about how they should essentially waste today because “you only live once,” I actually just hear people making excuses to avoid achieving anything. Using “you’ll only be young once” or “I can do it tomorrow” as a reason not to move forward on your goals means that you’re not committed to moving forward on them.

Every day you don’t work toward your goals is a day lost.

Today matters.

Trent Hamm
Trent Hamm
Founder of The Simple Dollar

Trent Hamm founded The Simple Dollar in 2006 after developing innovative financial strategies to get out of debt. Since then, he’s written three books (published by Simon & Schuster and Financial Times Press), contributed to Business Insider, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, and Lifehacker, and been featured in The New York Times, TIME, Forbes, The Guardian, and elsewhere.

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