By Brendan Barca
The Alcoholics Anonymous program has had a history of curing those with addictions. Throughout the world, it’s helped alcoholics, drug addicts, and compulsive gamblers turn their life around.
One of the program’s famous slogans is “just for today.” Members use this slogan to focus on conquering their addiction one day at a time rather than looking too far into the future.
The “just for today” slogan can be used by AA members in many useful contexts. Here are examples of some of the slogans I found from one of the UK chapter booklets:
- Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not try to tackle my whole life problem at once
- Just for today I will be happy
- Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires
- Just for today I will be agreeable
But it’s not just AA members who can benefit from the “just for today” slogan. Don’t we all struggle with something from one day to the next? Maybe we are frustrated with our career or can’t stick to our diet or find ourselves in constant fights with family.
We all have certain behaviors that have formed over time and become habits. Some of these habits are healthy. Some of these habits are unhealthy.
Over the last few years, I have been using the “Just for today” slogan in my own life to break an unhealthy habit. This has worked in business and personal life.
Here are a few of my favorite “Just for today” slogans:
- Just for today I’ll be calm, light, and carefree despite whatever comes my way
- Just for today I’ll be patient and understanding with my loved ones
- Just for today I’ll be kind to myself
- Just for today I won’t judge anything that happens
To apply these, I choose one slogan I want to work on each morning and write it at the top of my journal. That slogan then becomes my theme of the day and I try to keep it in mind as I work through the day’s events.
Just like in AA, we are reprogramming our brains (and our behavior) with these slogans. If there is one main area in your life you want to work on, create a “just for today” slogan around that and then use it every day until you’ve changed your habit.
By focusing on today only, you’ll shrink your larger challenge into an actionable and short term task. It’s these small ripples of new behavior that can lead to tidal waves of change in your life.