Monday, March 7, 2011

To Do Lists

I have a love/hate relationship with lists. I use them every day. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm the unofficial Queen of Making Lists, a title that holds no prestige, I can assure you. Most of the people I know use lists. Some are incredibly detailed (can you say anal retentive?), while others are spartan or shorthand. I fall somewhere in between. I wouldn't say that lists rule my life, but I would say they help keep me focused and on track. My typical list includes scheduling appointments, household chores, business tasks and everything in between. On the days where I get to cross items off, I'm pretty happy. On the days where I don't? Not so much.

While these daily lists certainly keep my schedule running smoothly, they're not a big deal in the long run. My life lists, however, are another story. You might also know these as "bucket lists." I think everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, should have one. It's a never-ending list--you can add to it whenever the whim strikes you. There are no parameters to what you might put on this list. My motto is, the more impossible or crazy, the better. When I say crazy, I'm not referring to the adrenaline junkies who cliff jump for fun (but if that floats your boat, by all means, add it). I'm talking about the items that have no relevant, practical value to your current life. These are items that, upon completion, will make you deliriously happy.

Sounds simple, right? I wish. For some reason, people are afraid to put their Life To Do List together. The simple act of putting the words on paper makes them...real. That nasty little voice in the back of your head whispers, "How dare you dream so big?" Or "Why would you ever want to do that?" So we never write it down.

If you fall in that category, I recommend that you ignore that voice, gird your loins (I've always wanted to use that phrase) and do it anyway. Right now. What do you have to lose? It's a list! Of your Life Dreams! The beauty of this list is there's nothing that says you have to accomplish a single thing on it. No pressure. But...the genius of this list is once you put it on paper, you'll want to. Devious, right? <insert evil laugh here>

I'll help you out. In no particular order, here's a portion of my list:
1) Learn to speak Gaelic (I have no useful reason for this)
2) Visit Scotland (OK, maybe that's a useful reason)
3) Own a Friesian horse (so if I'm ever a knight, I could have the right horse, duh)
4) Meet Nora Roberts (and try not to kiss her feet and embarrass myself)
5) Buy a Kick Bike (look them up, how could you not want one?)

See? Easy enough. Now it's your turn. Go make your Life To Do List. If you have one started, add three things to it. Put the wildest ideas and dreams you have on that paper. Hang it somewhere you'll see it every single day. Then let it simmer in the back of your mind when it's not in front of you. And when you get to cross the first thing off that list, I hope you're suitably motivated to move to the next, then the next in a cascade of wild, crazy events.

It's the one list I have that I purposefully add to every week with joy. Here's hoping you never run out of ideas for yours.

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