If you want to get things done, make a list

Writing things down is a powerful tool that can turn dreams into goals. You may never really get to the end of a to do list (because that would be way too organised), but I do believe that list making is a great way to inspire us all to be a bit more accountable.

By lists, I don't just mean work tasks or 'lifemin' (as important as it is to pay those energy bills and prep for meetings).
I mean lists that remind you to achieve your ambitions, book that trip, develop a habit, pick up the phone or help you
reflect on just how grateful you were for the events of a day.

The present can be a beautiful and productive place, if we stop thinking that tomorrow will be that little bit better. 

I will discuss lists in detail on my Thoughtful blog, but the below categories should give you some insight into why
I think lists are vital if we are to enjoy life, not just work through it. After all, it takes a record maker to be a record breaker.


MAkE it happens lists

This category is certainly where you should be expending most of your list-making energy. For example, when I was diagnosed with cancer, I started a 'brighter life list' ('bucket lists' sound a bit like you're running out of time, whereas using 'brighter' shifts the focus). Keeping lists of all the things you want to get out of life gives you a route map for life. How can you ever reflect on what you have achieved if you don't first work out what you want to achieve? Write it down and suddenly the priorities present themselves. We only have 168 hours a week and it's up to you how you use them..



We're great generalisers and catastrophisers, which means we're more likely to define a day based on the stuff that didn't go well rather than the stuff that did. Recording the little details, however, is the perfect way to build gratitude into your day, reflect on your meaning and purpose and help you identify what it is that really makes you happy. The path to real happiness (not just short-lived pleasure) is not always happy, so acknowledging small steps
and achievements on the long road to success, is a great way to keep your ultimate goals in focus..


never happening lists

I will never dry the dishes again (that was what draining boards were created for). There, I've said it and, just declaring that fact lifts a weight from my mind and gives me more space to focus on what I will do. 'Never' doesn't always mean banned. I put 'if..., then...' lists into this category. 'If it's not Friday, then the Latte has to be skinny.' 'If I think about something more than three times (and can afford it) then I should buy it.' 'If I'm on an escalator, then I must walk'. Willpower, for me, is like energy. Take the effort out of simple decision making, and you'll have more energy left for the tasks that matter. 

In the end, it’s not the years in the life that count but the life in your years
— Abraham Lincoln