here's a nerdy but mildly awesome thing i did recently:
i wrote a list of 18 things to do everyday.
does that sound like a lot? i'll be honest, most of them are little things, like pray and remember to take my pills.
the thing is, because they are small, i was forgetting to do them or even just letting them slide. but putting them on the list now means i'm making them a priority. because we all know that small is not the same as unimportant. small can be impactful, even life-changing.
we all know this, but do we really live this way?
i was/am determined to do the small but important things everyday, so i made a list. i started by writing down 7 categories/areas of my life that i consider important and in need of daily attention:
5) health and fitness
then i listed 1 to 4 daily goals or tasks within each of those categories.
the items on the list are small--most of them take hardly any time at all, there's really only one thing (mow the lawn on tuesday, ugh) that takes more than an hour--but they are significant. they are the little things that reflect the important things and therefore make a big difference in my happiness level at the end of the day. (and during the day too.)
i won't bore you with the details of the whole list, but here are a few of the game-changers:
empty the dishwasher before bed.
this makes the biggest difference in the morning! i haven't always done this, but at some point i realized that when the last night's dinner dishes are still in the dishwasher the next morning, i am starting out my day already behind! i've since reformed myself and mornings are so much nicer and more relaxed now.
pray to know who needs you and reach out to that person today.
here's a totally unscientific observation based on my own life experience: nice people are happy people. i mean, generally speaking, don't you think? and nice people get that way by doing something. not just having good intentions. i'm trying--in small ways--to reach out to someone every single day.
get out of the house for an hour.
i'm embarrassed to admit this one can be a challenge for me. i tend to be a bit of a homebody and pajamas are my favorite outfits, but getting out of the house--and especially outdoors--is good for the soul.
do one dreaded deep-cleaning chore a day.
i used to do everything on fridays, but then i was cleaning ALL DAY. and that's a drag. now i spend and an hour (or less) on one chore a day--wednesdays i declutter + organize, thursdays i clean the bathroom, etc. i find i have more energy to take care of my home when i do a little bit everyday. the house also tends to stay cleaner this way, i think, which is nice.
so here's where i out myself as not just an average nerd but a nerd of epic proportions by telling you how i keep track of my daily habits list. (sounds better than to-do list, don't you think?) you'll not be surprised when i tell you there are somewhere around a bazillion goal-setting/tracking apps for the iphone. i downloaded and installed a few of them, but ack! they were all waaaaay too intense for my purposes. all i really needed was a checklist that would reset itself every 24 hours. Goal Master does that, and it's free.
one final note…i'm not perfect. which is news to exactly nobody, i know. still, in the interest of total honesty, i feel like i should tell you that i made this list maybe a month ago? and not once in that time have i ever completed everything on it in a single day. surprisingly, given my perfectionist tendencies, i'm actually okay with that. i think it's because they're little things, not big things, and the beauty of the list is that there's always tomorrow? whatever the reason, it just doesn't stress me out, like at all. i can tell i'm on to something (big) for that reason alone.
one final, final note: i've never been very good at setting long-term goals. and despite how trendy they seem to be, i've never been inspired to create a bucket list. i do have dreams. mainly they include things like becoming a good person, raising good kids, and being happy. i feel like i'm on the right track with this list.