On Christmas Day at my father-in-laws farm, I was thumbing through his copy of Reminisce magazine. I came across a short gem in a reader-contributed column, “Rules for a Perfect Day.” The contributor remembered that many restaurants printed these rules on menus in the 60s. The magazine highlighted three of these rules. These rules have stood the test of time and are just as pertinent to our lives today as they were forty years ago.

Just for today, I will have a program. I will write down just what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it as a pattern to follow. It will save me two pests hurry and indecision.

Just for today, I will have a quiet half-hour all by myself, and relax. In this half-hour, sometime I will think of God to get a little more perspective to my life.

Just for today, I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love and to believe that those I love love me.

I did some research on these rules and found out that twelve step programs used these rules extensively. The principles outlined in the rules are very applicable to all of us. I do have a program of sorts. I allocate my hours for work, leisure, exercise, and sleep. Early in my weight loss journey, I learned that I had to plan time of exercise of it would not happen. If you do not plan time for something then it will most likely not happen.

Leaving quiet time for me was something I had a problem with several years ago. In preparation for my weight loss surgery, I stepped down from leadership positions in several volunteer organizations. I wanted to concentrate my efforts on being a healthier person. Almost four years later, I can honestly tell you that this gave me the time I needed to be more active and involved in my weight loss. I initially struggled with this being selfish, but I soon realized that making time for me was not selfish at all.

There is a direct correlation of happiness to being healthy. Scientific research supports the fact that happy people are healthy people. A little over a year ago I went through an extensive effort to build my wellness vision. I uncovered that although I worked extensively on improving my diet, being a more active person, improving my health and understanding what wellness meant to me, the result was that I was a happier person. Never let anything keep you from being happy.

I did find the complete text of all ten rules for a perfect day. I was unable to find the origin of the rules. Motivational and spiritual web sites quote them as author unknown. I am including the full list below for your reference. The remaining seven are as thought provoking and applicable to our lives as the three highlighted in the magazine. Enjoy!

Ten Rules for a Perfect Day

  1. Just for today, I will try to live through this day only — and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do some things for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep them up for a lifetime.
  2. Just for today, I will be happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that. “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Happiness is from within — it is not a matter of externals.
  3. Just for today, I will adjust myself to what is and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come and fit myself to them.
  4. Just -for today, I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, and nourish it and not abuse it nor neglect it, so that it will be a perfect machine for my will.
  5. Just for today, I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer all day. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
  6. Just for today, I will exercise my soul in three ways, to wit: (1) I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. If anybody knows of it, it will not count. (2) I will do at least two things I do not want to do, just for exercise of will power. (3) I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt. They may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
  7. Just for today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with praise, and criticize not one bit nor find fault with anything, and not try to regulate nor improve anyone.
  8. Just for today, I will have a program. I will write down just what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it as a pattern to follow. It will save me from the two pests – HURRY and INDECISION.
  9. Just for today, I will have a quiet half-hour, all by myself, and relax. In this half-hour, some time, I will think of God, so as to get a little more perspective to my life.
  10. Just for today, I will be unafraid; especially I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love and to believe that those I love, love me.”
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