How Often Do You Regret A Day Spent Working Hard?

I find that when I get to the end of a long work day, I rarely feel bad about it.

On the other hand, when I get to the end of a day where I haven’t worked (aside from the Sabbath or a Jewish holiday), I often feel a measure of disquiet that I haven’t used my time as well as I should have.

On Monday, Christmas, I set myself a goal of working on my Fourth and Fifth Step. In particular, I wanted to compile a harm inventory — a listing of ways I’ve needlessly hurt others. I ended up spending 10 minutes on this. I just got stuck. My back hurt me so I wanted to limit the time I spent sitting (I don’t yet have a standing desk at home because I typically work 50-60 hours a week and don’t spend much time sitting at home) so I went for a walk and ran into a friend and I ended up walking him home because I so enjoyed our conversation and it was the only significant human interaction I had all day. I managed to stave off the bad feeling by walking in the sun and listening to 12-Step lectures. I notice that listening to good 12-Step talks always changes my state in a positive direction. I literally get sober and I usually follow it up by taking some action such as cleaning my room or car or dusting off my book shelf or cleaning the bathroom or organizing my closet. I never feel bad after spending time cleaning and organizing.

What else did I do on Christmas? I watched the final four episodes of Season Two of El Chapo, the superb Univision production on Netflix. Early the next morning, I had an El Chapo inspired horrific nightmare and staggered into work hung over.

Aside from Monday, I’ve worked all week and spent my spare time, aside from listening to 12-Step meetings and talks, listening to the audio version of the novel War and Peace and listening to Youtube lectures on Clausewitz.

I love these Goals Pages:

Preparing to Define My Goals – What is my Vision?
Do I have a Vision for my life?
If yes, how will my goals emerge out of that vision?
If not, how will clarity of Vision help me to define my individual goals?
How will I define my vision?
Removing Obstacles:
Am I willing for life to be different? What does willingness look like, how do I
express willingness?
Am I willing to let go of all attachments I’ve had to suffering?
Am I willing to let go of any and all resistance I have had to being happy and
prospering? (if not, what is in my way?)
What would it look like (feel like, sound like) if I let go of all resistance to
happiness and good fortune?
Am I willing to let God (as I understand God) show me – or to see – a new way of
Am I willing to enjoy my life? What will enjoyment look like?
Am I willing to be different, to be the change I wish to see, literally?
What will that change look like?
What are my goals?
Defining My Goals:
I will have goals for the different areas of my life — as I define those areas.
Examples: Overall vision, Earning (immediate earning or B-job and vision-based earning); Service;
Spirituality/Recovery; Self-Care (including Home Care); Family & Friends; Recreation/Play; Learning.
What do I define as the major areas of my life?
How does each area relate to my underearning?
“We set goals to measure our progress and reward achievement”
I will write down my goals and I will be specific. I will separate each goal.
I will develop small action steps necessary to move toward, and achieve,
my goals.
Can I allow myself to go one step at a time?
Can I allow myself to take action in small time-frames (15, 20, 30 min.)?
Getting Ready for Action: Looking at all goals or one specific goal
Am I willing to accept help in achieving this goal from Source, God, Higher Power?
Am I willing to allow a spiritual solution, to transform my life around each issue or
goal? (if not, what is in my way?)
What other support will I need to follow through to completion?
What people do I know that can and will support my reaching my goals?
Who do I know that may not be able to support me in reaching my goals?
Who may actually be draining – and that perhaps I should avoid?
How will committing to take, and then taking, the action bless my life in positive
How will avoiding or not taking the action harm me?
What has been the payoff, I’ve been getting, for not taking or completing the
i.e. Getting to be right, to be a victim, to complain, addiction to familiarity with suffering,
fear of change, loss of identity who will I be without this condition, staying in the drama of
old communication and habit patterns that do not serve me, living in the problem instead of
living in the solution.
Am I willing to show up (do my part) and let go and let God?
Am I willing to let go of the need to know how it will happen (all the details)?
“We set goals to measure our progress and reward achievement”
Am I willing to let go of the need to know the outcome?
How do I let go?
Am I willing to take a leap of faith and trust that I am in the care of God (as I define
or understand God) – and that God is with me every step of the way?
Am I willing to ask my Higher Power to remove my blocks and for the willingness
and strength to take and complete the necessary actions? (if not, what is in my way?)
How do I ask for help and guidance?
Getting Into Action:
Am I willing to put one foot in front of the other and take the next indicated step?
How will I do this?
Am I willing to bookend the action with someone in Underearners Anonymous?
What are the steps necessary to complete the action?
What is a realistic timeframe for completion of the action?
On what date will the action be complete?
What kinds of things would I enjoy as a reward for reaching a goal?
How will I reward myself each time I reach a goal or complete a major action?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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