post written by: Marc Chernoff

10 Powerful Things to Put on Your To-Do List Today


10 Powerful Things to Put on Your TO-DO List Today

Yesterday is a canceled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, and today is the only cash you have, so spend it wisely.

One of the secrets of getting to where you want to go in life is making a simple TO DO list every day, keeping it visible, and using it as a guide to action as you go through your day.

So here’s one you can use today and every day going forward:

  1. Give yourself some “me time.” – Yes, you had battles to fight, insecurities to overcome, loved ones to contend with, and goals to achieve.  But a break from it all is necessary.  It’s perfectly healthy to pause and let the world spin without you for awhile.  It’s good for you to spend time alone.  It gives you an opportunity to discover who you really are, and to figure out why you truly are always alone.  Read A New Earth.
  2. Meditate on your own inner voice. – Some people will kill you over time if you let them; and how they’ll kill you is with tiny, harmless phrases like, “be realistic.”  When this happens, close your ears and listen to your inner voice instead.  Remember that real success in life isn’t what others see, but how you feel.  It’s living your truth and doing what makes you feel alive.
  3. Celebrate your efforts, not your outcomes. – Failure keeps you humble, success keeps you glowing, but only faith and determination keeps you going.  So stay focused, and celebrate your efforts, not your outcomes.  Challenges are what make life interesting, overcoming them is what gives life meaning.  Remember that the opposite of failing is not succeeding; the opposite of failing is trying.
  4. Mind your reactions. – If you can change your mind, you can change your life.  You have a train of thought on which you ride when you are alone and quietly thinking.  The worth of your life to yourself and others, as well as the happiness it brings, depends upon the direction in which this train is moving, the baggage it carries, and the emotional space through which it travels.  Between life’s stimulus and your reaction is where this space exists; within it is your power to choose how you react, and in your reaction lies your growth, freedom, and happiness.
  5. Exercise your positivity. – You deserve a day in which worries don’t get in the way of your happiness.  A day where, even if some people are insensitive or unkind, you’re not going to mind because you realize that the blessings you received are far greater than the burdens you once experienced.  You can create a day like this for yourself.  There is power in positivity.  Read The How of Happiness.
  6. Focus on the next logical step forward. – There are no hopeless situations; there are only people who have grown hopeless about them.  So keep your hope alive.  Don’t dwell on what went wrong.  Instead, focus on what to do next.  Spend your energy moving forward toward a solution.  If you take full responsibility for yourself and your current situation, you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams, and you will discover a way to get there.
  7. Practice genuine kindness. – The best choice you can make is to be genuinely respectful and authentically kind.  Though your kindness will not always be returned, it will certainly be noticed.  And even when it’s not fully appreciated by others, your kindness will always inject more positive value into your own life.  What you give comes back to you in ways that are impossible to predict.  So give your kindness as often as you can, and enjoy the more positive world you are helping to create.
  8. Express your appreciation to those who have earned it. – You develop three kinds of friendships in life: friends for a reason, friends for a season, and friends for a lifetime.  Take note of who these ‘lifetime friends’ are and never overlook their worth.  Just because they are reliable and there when you need them, doesn’t mean you should fail to give thanks and appreciation on a regular basis.  To value someone too lightly is to risk missing their goodness before they’re gone.
  9. Be grateful for all the blessings you already have. – We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.  What if you gave someone a gift and they neglected to thank you for it?  Would you be likely to give them another one?  The daily events in your life respond the same way.  In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must be grateful for what you already have.  Read The Happiness Project.
  10. Enjoy yourself. – In between all your goals, priorities, obligations, and everything else that might appear on one of your upcoming to-do lists, there are moments called ‘life’ that still have to be lived and enjoyed.  The trick is to make the best of each moment, and value it for what it’s worth.  In other words, don’t wish all your time away by waiting for better times ahead.  Smile, right now, because you can.

Photo by: Courtney Dirks

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30 Comments

  • Thank you, I will check this list again, just before I formulate my goals (not resolutions) for the year ahead.

  • Good read! Lots of people spend a lot of time doing the wrong things, trying to be something they’re not.

    Try to concentrate on what works for you (and makes you feel good). It’s the first step to a productive life. This list provides a great starting point.

  • Absolutely magnificent!… This is really touching and practical.

  • Love it guys. Especially the part about celebrating your efforts and not your outcomes. There’s plenty of people who will celebrate or criticise your outcomes but you’re the only one who can truly appreciate your efforts. :)

  • Your words of inspiration continue to strengthen me and always seem so appropriately timed. Definitely needed right now. It’s often times hard to see the rainbow thru the rain.

  • This is amazing! Thank you!

  • It’s so important to practice gratitude. Together with some friends, we made a commitment to note what we’re grateful for as often as often as we can. I encourage others to do the same, it really helps put things in to perspective.

  • I especially like the phrases in number 3 and 6.

  • Thank you so much and I absolutely appreciate your inspirational writings that seem to always be want I need to get my day started.
    Namaste.

  • Another great article… Going to follow all 10 tips starting today and through the new year. Thanks.

  • Good post. Most of these are already a part of my natural way of living, but a couple were good reminders. I liked how you separated the different types of friends, and that we need to remember to appreciate our friends for a lifetime. Made me think of my own lifetime friend and that there’s a call I need to make later tonight. :-)

  • “Meditate on your own inner voice”…

    Research shows that people who seem to be lucky think outside of logic, they listen to that intuition.

    Too many people think meditation is weird or they don’t know how to do it. I like to tell people to just stop, breath and become conscious of your senses. What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel? What do you taste? What do you see? Then ask, is your intuition speaking?

  • Great article Marc. I especially like #4. To use ways to change your mind, so you you can change your life.
    Changing our thoughts is about the easiest and least expensive thing that we can do first. Some people (esp. those in sales) intuitively know that changing thoughts affects our beliefs, and ultimately our actions.
    What’s great about it is that it’s easy to do.

  • A to-do list for a positive future! I love it guys! Keep rocking into the new year!

  • I love this one… I always get your emails when I need it the most. These are the most inspiring blogs & a great morning read. Talking about gratitude… Thank you!

  • Loved reading it.
    Posts like these light up everyday life.
    Give hope and benefit everyone who has read and implemented it.
    May the joy keep spreading.
    Thank you Marc and Angel.

  • This is an awesome list. One thing most definitely struck me is that “celebrate your efforts, not your outcomes.” We recently lost a soccer tournament, and I didn’t know what to feel about it. I do now.

    Thanks for this post!

  • Hey everyone!

    As always, thank you so much for the feedback and positive reinforcement. Angel and I just caught up on all your comments from the last few articles. Inspiring to say the least. :)

    And keep an eye out for our digital book (ebook). We’ll be soft launching it here on our website in the near future (instantly downloadable and readable on a laptop, iPad, Kindle, etc.). Exciting stuff!

  • Hello Marc & Angel!

    I Cannot Thank You enough for the inspiration and wisdom you give. It’s all very timely, I am very encouraged on a daily basis. You give me a sense of inner peace that is so much needed right now.

  • Thank you guys….

    I enjoyed reading this one. I couldn’t help but smile when I came across #9… sometimes I take things for granted and I forget to say my gratitude for all the blessings that I have. I tend to overlook at small details in my life, and even the problems that taught me great lessons.

    Nowadays, at any given opportunity, I always say my prayers silently if I think about how lucky I am to have what I currently have.

    Bless you Marc&Angel! XoXo with lots of love from Brunei!

  • Thank you so much Marc and Angel. It’s been more then a year that I have been checking your websites and I have learned a lot. Every morning with fresh mind I use to check your websites and every evening with stretch mind i use to gain different wisdom from it. Here I find a different kind of knowledge from what I learn in school, and it helps.

  • Asking the right question : Do I love you Marc and Angel ? YES YES YES is the answer.. because I feel I have a friend who understands and offers genuine advice without being judgmental… who thinks on the same wavelength as me, and helps me get up and walk again when I lose my vision of positivity sometimes.

  • This is a wonderful list. These items are definitely things that we should consider doing each and every day of our lives. I especially like item number 10, to enjoy yourself. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, all your efforts will be for nothing. We do things to become happy, so if we don’t enjoy it, you must be on the wrong page and you must rethink your life.

  • The best thing that happened to me this year was to come across your website. I feel so incomplete any day I don’t check and read the latest article. Always an inspiring moment. Thank you Marc & Angel… U have successfully become my friends for lifetime. I owe you a medal and it shall be called Meritorious Service Star MSS!!!…

  • Wow,

    Looking back at this list a few months from now, it still rings true.

    Stuff written here, I tried to follow and with great success! :)
    Being thankful for all the blessings that I have now has become kind of a habit. And I am LOVING IT!

    Haha. :)

    Bookmarked this for reading again.
    Thanks for the wonderful post!

  • Really a great post to read, especially the third point about celebrating the efforts not the outcome as we always look for the outcome while making efforts instead we should have good feeling about the efforts made.
    Thanks,
    Siddhant

  • Love this one! Thank you! :)

  • I really love everything this article states. You guys are simply inspiring.

  • Your site is so rich, so comforting, and so challenging. I’m a teacher, and I sometimes extract one of your points, write it on a card, and pass it along to one of my students who is living a difficult home life. (I credit your names and your site, of course!) In a future column–if you haven’t already done so–I wonder if you could make a list of skills for children who may be living a difficult life until they can safely leave home (i.e., not run away from home). I am thinking not only of kids who are clearly abused, as we usually understand that term, but also of kids who must cope with more subtle abuse–routine humiliation and/or harsh criticism from their parents or from others who care for them, kids who live with unrealistic and unfair expectations (get the grades your brother gets, become a lawyer like me, don’t embarrass the family, etc.) . . . and especially kids who don’t even have anyone caring for them, because those people are too busy, too damaged, too distracted. I’d love a “Marc and Angel list” for kids who need some help to hang on.

    Keep on keeping on. You are splendid. ~ S

  • Wow that’s all so true. Thanks you for these positive reminders.

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