Thursday, 17 June 2010

5 To-Do Lists That Could Change Your Life

Image thanks to yvette

I’m a list maker. My life revolves around the humble list. I could measure out my life to you in lists if I had saved all the dog-eared notebooks and scrappy post-it notes of times gone by. It recently occurred to me, however, that I don’t really make the most of my list-making tendencies; although my lists have helped me to achieve small daily tasks, I’ve never taken it any further. But if the list works so well in my daily life, couldn’t it work just as well to remind and encourage me to achieve my bigger, long-term aims? By Jove, I think it could.

1. Write a To-Learn List. We’ve all wondered what it would be like to speak a different language, play an instrument, build websites, master public speaking etc., but with the distraction of our academic study, our jobs and our everyday lives, these desires can be vague and unclear and therefore often unattainable. Why not try compiling a list of all the things you’d like to learn, either a list for life, or just in the next five years.

2. Write a To-Go-To List. Travel isn’t on all of our agendas, but it’s pretty high on most. Why not compile a list of the next five places you would love to travel, perhaps adding how long you would like to go for, who you would like to go with, and what you’ll do there. This doesn’t have to be reserved for epic overseas adventures; weekends away or daytrips to places nearer by are perhaps even more important to list as they are the excursions we often take for granted and overlook.

3. Write a To-Read List. Many of us wish we could read more, and books can be such a fantastic way to learn, gain experience, and make decisions about the lives we want to lead. I’m always finding new books I want to read and listing them all in one place helps to synthesize an otherwise unrealisable book-appetite! Make sure you write down both the title and author to make the book easier to get hold of when you do get around to it. It might even be worth asking your local library if they can get hold of some of the titles for you if you’re unsure whether they are worth the investment.

4. Write a To-Acquire List. This doesn’t have to be wholly materialistic; it can be items that will really make a wider impact on your life, like a great place to live, a cute allotment, a high-spec camera, or even a soul mate! If you spend a little time thinking about it, what initially seems a rather frivolous list could quickly become a catalyst for understanding and envisaging where you want your life, love-life, and career to go.

5. Write a To-Achieve List. This one is for those big things you’ve always known you wanted to do, and any new smaller challenges you might be considering. This might include getting your degree or masters, writing a novel, drinking wheatgrass for breakfast, running a marathon, realising your dream job, or even overhauling your style.

And a bonus…

6. Write a To-Do Hot List. Select one item from each of the five lists above, making it the one that feels the most exciting, and compile an ultimate wishlist of wonders you’re itching to experience, acquire and achieve. You might be surprised how quickly some of these things will come to fruition now that you’ve identified and committed yourself to them.

Of course, writing a list doesn’t guarantee you’ll achieve the individual aims – you still have to put in the hard work necessary to achieve them. However, it’s amazing just how powerful it can be simply telling yourself that you want to do these things; there is true magic in marking a page with your desires. Trust me, your subconscious, and the universe, will take note.

Do you live by lists? Is writing down your larger aims something you’ve ever considered or tried? Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

12 comments:

Destiny said...

I used to be a listomaniac and have since fallen off the wagon. I try to get back on with the iphone Things app (which is really amazing for productivity). But for lists like the ones you mentioned I stick to 43 Things.com. However, I can't deny the power of pen to paper, so maybe I'll take some time today and map out a Hot List. Mmmm....goals.

Rosie Unknown said...

I don't live by lists, but after reading this I think I might start :)

Euforilla said...

I love lists!
And these ones are amazing, thank you for posting! I will try out some of them very soon ;)

Christina Marie said...

Oh, I love lists! I probably do live by them & I think I might already one of all of those. They are fantastic, though. They help me accomplish so much, plus you get the satisfaction of crossing it out when it´s done. :)

Ella said...

I love lists its how I organize my mind.

Marthe said...

Great post! I think I'm going to write a few lists right now. I need a little push to get out there and do something. Right now, I'm spending waaaay too much time browsing and surfing and not at all doing what I want to be doing...

Katy said...

I really like this post! I'm in the process of re-organizing my life through lists.. I may follow-up with this on my blog! =D

jjaci said...

I adore making lists of everything and anything...especially since getting a full time job, my mind is like a sifter and everything just falls out of it, so I need to keep track of everything!

Anonymous said...

If anyone needs a place to make lists online, there's a site called Listography. I've been on it for about 2 years and love it!

Canadian Twentysomething said...

I am in the midst of writing up these lists right now (I've been a list junkie since I learned to write), but I was struck with another idea while reading your MYLA posts. Why not write these same 6 to-do lists but for things you've already completed. Think back five years. Where were you? What were your goals then? Write down 5 in each category that you completed. It's quite the easy way to see how far you've come AND give you a mood boost. :)

Anonymous said...

HA! A list of lists!! I love it! Then when I finsh one of the lists, I get to cross it off the list!! :)

Jillian said...

Thank you...
I never knew something so simple could be so liberating!

thank you thank you thank you

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