The One Word That Makes Everything Easier

There’s one word that makes most things easier for me.  It is the word Today.

I’m not going to spend money on things I don’t need . . . Today

I’m going to take my lunch to work . . . Today

I’m not going to buy coffee out . . . Today

I’m not going to eat sugar . . . Today

I’m doing my healthy morning routine . . . Today

I’m not going to watch TV, get on facebook, or troll twitter . . . Today

What a great word!

It makes things more manageable.  I don’t know about you, but I can refrain from almost anything for a day.

I was going to say I could do almost anything for a day but then I thought about running.  Nope, I couldn’t run for a day or an hour or probably for a minute (without looking like a complete spaz).

When we are struggling with an area of our life-be it money, diet, time management etc. gaining control over that area often requires some small changes.  Identifying those small changes can be pretty easy.  Changing our behavior can feel impossible.

But if you only commit to changing your behavior for a day does it feel easier? I think it does.  Then tomorrow is a new today and you can choose to commit again.

Turning a behavior change into a habit is the secret sauce of success.  And I can start forming a new habit . . . Today.

Here’s something I learned about habits from Gretchen Rubin–if you haven’t read her books yet, you should start . . . Today–seriously, they’re at your library or AmazonThere are two different types of people in the world–abstainers and moderators.

Abstainers are the all or nothing people.  We (yes, I’m an abstainer) find it easier to give things up completely than to indulge moderately.  I learned I’m an abstainer when I was trying to lose weight.  It was much easier to not have any sweets than to only have one.  I found I was constantly negotiating with myself when I was trying to moderate–and whatever sweet was on the office counter was constantly on my mind, it was exhausting.  And if I have one cookie, I’m going to have five cookies . . . I cannot stop.

Abstainers do well with a set of rigid rules.  The Uber Frugal Challenge going on right now by the fine folks at the Frugalwoods is a great example of a challenge with rigid rules.  They’re not spending any unnecessary money for a month–perfect abstainer behavior.  Not some but none.  None is easy . . . for me.

Moderators (Mr. Ms. Liz is one) are frightened by the idea of having none.  An occasional indulgence helps to strengthen their resolve.  Moderators can have one piece of fudge and allow the plate to sit right in front of them for hours without taking another.  And they don’t understand why an Abstainer can’t do the same.

But this fine little word . . . Today works well for both abstainers and moderators.

I’m not going to spend money . . . Today.

This meets all of the needs for abstainers – no money will be spent, no wiggle room.

This meets the needs for moderators too–it’s just today!  Tomorrow is a new today.

So think about what you are struggling with–can you make a rule or two and follow it . . . today?

I’m not going to eat sugar . . . today.  How about you???

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Author: Ms. Liz

A CPA, I retired at 51 and I am helping people create their fantastic futures!

4 thoughts on “The One Word That Makes Everything Easier”

  1. Too bad I didn’t read this article before I had my after lunch treat (ok maybe it was treats but who is counting). I suppose I won’t eat any more sugar today! I like this idea that you should be able to abstain from anything for at least a day, if not you may have some serious self control problems. Putting your goals into manageable pieces really helps if you actually want to achieve them. If I want to have 25K saved by the end of the year that seems like a huge task that I for sure won’t have done by the end of the day but TODAY I can decide to not spend any money on unnecessary items and I will be one day closer to my ultimate goal. Thanks Ms. Liz.

    1. Yeah, I had to make an exception when something was homemade by a friend–who can say no to that? Unfortunately (or fortunately!) I’ve had lovely apple cake and chocolate chip cookies fitting that criteria in the past two days 🙂 Oh well, back on the hiking trail to work it off. Meeting our financial goals is often a series of small, daily decisions. Having a daily affirmation on how I intend to behave helps keep my eye on the prize. I’m glad this made sense to you too!

    1. Oh my gosh, no need to excuse yourself. I love when a reader sees an article and comes back for more!

      That’s amazing that you tattooed “today” on your wrist! If you send me a picture of it mslizmm at gmail dot com, I’ll make it the image in my post 🙂

      Now that you’ve done some binging, let me know if there are topics you’d like to see me cover and happy reading! Keep your comments coming.

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