I enjoy early morning rounds of golf. The world is still quiet. The course is still calm. The rising sun makes for some beautiful photos. I snap a photo each morning to include in my journal for the day. Sometimes it will be my only good shot of the day.
Some time ago, I scored 84 in a round of golf for the first time in a couple decades. It was exciting. Kind of. I had thought back to the round and remembered some gimme putts that were probably not sure things. I also had a couple mulligan shots.
When those shots are sitting in the back of your mind, the scorecard is a lot harder to celebrate.
On that day I made a commitment. If I am going score a golf round, I would always keep a completely accurate score. I don’t require it of playing partners. It’s not for the sake of competition. I just wanted to have an accurate measuring stick from that point on. That way, accomplishments really are something to be celebrated. I know that they are true.
I also started playing better because I knew that every shot actually does count.
I have enjoyed watching the actual progress. I never have to think back to whether or not I gave myself some freebies in a round because I never do. I can compare round to round. Total commitment is easier than sometimes commitment.
This principle applies well in other parts of life.
It is helpful to create a simple budget for your personal finances. (Budgets aren’t just for those who need to save money.)
Sometimes people will convince themselves that they spend less than they actually do so they don’t feel guilty. What is the point? If you are going to budget your money, it’s important to be completely accurate in order to celebrate the progress.
If your goal is to become healthy then the calories and activity should be tracked precisely. It’s ok to slip a little with some dessert but mark it down. That way, when you do make the best fitness decision you can see the actual progress and celebrate.
My favorite passage of scripture is found in the Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
And again, I say unto you, I give unto you a new commandment, that you may understand my will concerning you;
Or, in other words, I give unto you directions how you may act before me, that it may turn to you for your salvation.
I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.D&C 82:8-10
For me this is the perfect definition of a commandment. It’s God’s gift for me to “know how (I) may act before (Him), that it may turn to (me) for (my) salvation.” If I do it, He is “bound.”
We should seek every clarification of commandment. If truth is truth (and it is) then knowing exactly what is expected should be the ultimate goal. It gives us the scorecard. Even if we can’t “score well” constantly, the times that we do well can be celebrated.
There is a scripture in the New Testament that, for me, gives the honest scorecard in keeping the commandments.
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.Hebrews 11:5
You and I can know that we “please God.” It is an ultimate goal.
In order to get there, we need to know the commandments and keep them. We can not “kind of” keep them or do it only when it’s convenient and then expect to have the same testimony as Enoch.
When we make a poor choice or fall into an old habit, we must be honest with ourselves and then be 100 percent responsible on getting right again. Each time we know that we improve, it is cause for celebration.
We can’t fool the Spirit into testimony. We should be honest with ourselves on where we are at on the “scorecard” and then do the work to get where we want to be. To do otherwise is only fooling ourself.
Commit to truth. Time is always on the side of truth.