Just Do the Next Right Thing


I’ve heard this phrase from different people and in different phases of my life. 

Just do the next right thing. 

The book I’m currently reading, Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelly, makes the same point clear early on in chapter two. 

Majority of the time, when we are faced with a decision, whether it be as simple as What should I do with these five minutes that I have? or when faced with bigger life decisions like choosing a job, following the advice of doing the next right thing will basically always land you in a good place. 

Personally I really like the advice because it is so much easier to focus on the moment, goal, or decision that’s right in front of you than it is to focus on your ultimate goal or something that seems a bit distant. 

You might want to lose 10 pounds by the end of this year, and sometimes the actions that we need to take to get there can be overwhelming. 

I can’t eat carbs. I have to move. I can’t enjoy the Halloween candy. I have to get up early and exercise.

But what gets us to our ultimate goal, our outcome, are all of the tiny moment-by-moment decisions we make. 

Okay, I’ll have water for lunch. That’s it. It’s just at this moment. You’re not worried about later. You’re only concerned with the moment that is right in front of you. 

All of these little actions, all of these little decisions, all of these little behaviors are, indeed, what get us to our ultimate goal. 

Apply it to any scenario: healthy living, your marriage, interacting with your coworkers, parenting your children, socializing with neighbors. 

Just do the next right thing. 

In terms of the parent coaching that I do, I like this advice because it’s simple, it’s to the point, it stays in the moment, and most of the time, our gut knows what the next right thing to do is. 

Remain calm. Take a deep breath. Remember that he’s only a toddler and he didn’t realize what he was really doing when he was coloring on your new chair with a marker. First, connect and teach. 

Add all of your life’s moments up and that is, indeed, what makes up your life. 

Whatever moment you’re facing, whatever is going on in your life, just try doing the next right thing for the next ten seconds and see how it feels. 

I think you’ll find that making changes in your life is more doable than you think when you only take it one moment at a time. 

I’m on this journey with you. Let’s do it together.