So you love and swear by To-Do lists, but for some reason, you never seem to make progress on your goals. Hmmmm. Interesting! Well I’m here to explain why….
First off, let me guess... You are a go-getter. You describe yourself as Type A and an overachiever. And you wear those labels probably because it implies you get a lot of s#!$ done.
And you get butterflies in your stomach (the excited kind) when you go by the journal section at Home Goods! You just have to have that cute notebook for your To-Do lists! It even has check boxes built in!!!
Well just because you love to-do lists and checkboxes, doesn't mean you are effective at putting the RIGHT THINGS on them! Take it from me, who's been a master at checking off checkboxes - just because you are madly checking off boxes, don't fool yourself into thinking you are on your way to making your dreams come true.
Yeah, checking off boxes feels good in the moment but it's like that bowl of ice cream you ate an hour ago… That feeling is fleeting. It doesn't last. Once that item is checked off, you have to create another meaningless To-Do list to feel good again. All of those actions have no real “oomph,” no long-lasting “good feels.”
So how do you create a To-Do list that is filled with all the oomphs?
I finally figured it out so I'm going to share my secret with you!
Your To-Do list MUST have actions on it that are a part of your life project plan! Actions that are stepping stones to your dreams.
Sounds easy, eh? Especially for me, someone who has built project plans for Fortune 500 companies, right?! WRONG!!!
As a project manager, the project plans and To-Do lists I created for work were driven by the company's annual and quarterly objectives which were fueled by its mission statement.
But when it came to my personal life, I was winging it. My To-Do lists were filled with activities that were oomphless, which means they had no substance. None were a part of a bigger objective or mission. They were single stones that led nowhere.
So here I was, an overachiever, checking off boxes brilliantly. I was so good at getting all of the activities checked off that I could have represented the USA at the Checkbox Olympics. But I was not moving forward on my dreams.
Heck, I never even knew how to dream. Because I never stopped to listen to my inner voice. I was too busy with my head down in my Type A, workaholic world that made me feel dead inside. ugh. In fact, when I heard an occasional whisper, I excelled at giving it the cold shoulder. (Sorry Oprah!)
So, if you lack a To-Do list with oomph, like the old me, here's what you need to do:
Stop doing and start dreaming!
Take 10 minutes a day to stop and do nothing, except close your eyes and count your breaths. If you are Type A, this will be extremely difficult. But since you are an overachiever, I know you can do it!
Block out one to two hours as soon as possible to journal your deepest desires.
Use that cute journal you bought for your To-Do lists and write. And if you just use sticky notes for your list, go and splurge on a new cute notebook that will be put to GREAT use. Don't put any structure around your writing, just let your thoughts come out on paper. Don't stop for at least an hour! Keep writing!!!
Turn one of those deep desires into a goal.
Decide on ONE BIG THING you want to commit to—something that makes you smile & feel excited—and then get to making it happen. Break down that “thing” into a logical set of activities you need to complete, each with a due date. Make sure these activities are on your To-Do list. Now you have your To-Dos with oomph! Yay!
Three super simple steps that will give you on-going “good feels,” even better than ice cream, because each of those To-Dos is a stepping stone leading to that goal. Those To-Dos are not short-lived, one-offs. They are different. They have substance.
The result of following these steps is that you will begin to feel more motivated & energized as these activities are checked off. You may even find yourself breaking out in happy dances in the most unexpected places. People may want to know what meds you are on when they see you!!! LOL!
So stop reading and get to work on your To-Dos that have "oomph" so you can make your deepest desires come true!