Everyday we have a fresh start and we seem to have endless beginnings ahead. As we plan for the things that will occupy our daily lives, setting goals is such a useful tool. It may sound cliche but whatever you call it – planning, pondering, making checklists – it can help you start your day off right.
As we pen down our things-to-do or map out our activities, let us consider these 3 Rs as a guide for better days ahead.
Looking back, were there things we did that made us say, “Why did I do that?” Or were there things we wanted to accomplish that we failed to do? Regrets or feelings of remorse over the could-have-beens can motivate us in setting goals so we can step up a rung or two in our ladder of progress. We can finally do that diet and exercise program we always wanted to engage in. Reach out to an estranged family or friend. Stop a bad habit. The things that made us feel frustrated can increase our desire to do better. Instead of being a stumbling block, let us make our regrets a driving force and strive to be better versions of ourselves.
The process of repentance starts with a feeling of regret but it doesn’t stop there. In setting goals, let us assess how we can apply the teachings of Jesus Christ and heed his invitations to be more like Him. Let us look at the process as a holistic approach to increase “in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Completing the process means to correct the wrongs we did and do the things we omitted. We may have started the process but have not really finished it. Setting goals to really go through the whole process can give us a better perspective as to what limited our desire to fully repent and overcome those things.
It can help to ask ourselves, “Have I returned what I took?” May it be a thing or a compliment or gratitude withheld from someone who deserves it. “Have I confessed to what I did wrong or failed to do? Or am I still delaying or justifying?”
Readiness to Show Appreciation
Let us learn to look around and recognize how blessed we are. We have a lot to be grateful for! In his October 2012 General Conference address, President Deiter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “Brothers and sisters, no matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we see and appreciate it.”
Setting goals based on an attitude of gratitude will go a long way. It will help us cherish the things that matter most like family, friends, values, faith, and love for our fellowmen. It will give more meaning to our daily to-do list. We can make sure that we do something to show our love and appreciation for the things that are most important to us. It will serve as an inner compass to put first things first. If our goal is to be happy then being grateful is a good starting point. This is a jumpstart to a life of positivity!
As we look forward to what is in store for us, let us exercise our God-given agency to make better choices. Let us consider the regrets we had and learn from them. May we fully repent of our wrongdoings and resolve to be better. Increase our ability to appreciate the blessings that are ours and spend more time and effort on the most important things. With these in mind, we can always have a bright hope for better tomorrows.