Making My Lists
I started writing about getting organized in my last post What a long strange trip it’s been. This is my year to get stuff done.
When I was closing out 2013, I noticed the small number of things that made it to the completed and let’s-cross-that-one-off list. And when my personal life plan asked me the question – “What dreams came true in 2013?” – I only came up with 2 things. I couldn’t believe it.
I searched in all of my blog notebooks, calendars and even the mini one I keep to track my exercises and our plans for the weekend. Just two things … and neither one of those things were written down. I just happened to stumble across the opportunity to do both of these dream activities. Neither one were actually written out somewhere like a statement that says, “this year I will do this.”
I was amazed when I discovered this. I mean, I’m the Queen of Lists. I still use an old Daytimer that I got from my days of working in radio. I write down everything I need to do for the week and if the action items need a sublist , then you’ll find sticky notes stuck to random pages. I have a binder setup for my product launches. I’m so organized that I created a binder system for all of my work that I do for my business.
And yet, when I looked at the personal goals I set for myself, it looks sad. Very sad. As I worked through my personal life plan, I kept coming back to this question, “Why didn’t I get more done?”
Maybe that’s not the right question
I did get a lot done. Doing that business planning workbook showed me how much I really did accomplish in 2013. I learned to trust my inner strength and discovered how much I could really do when I focused. I launched a new workbook at the same time that I taught 6 workshops and still handled my client workload.
I did it with all the stress that comes with a huge project. I did it without yelling at my son just because I was in that pressured freaked-out place you get in when you have 100 things on your list and 5 minutes to get them done.
I think we can all admit that I rocked my business in 2013. But what about my personal life? Let’s take a look back at what I proclaimed I would do for the year – remember this post: For change to happen.
I read that post like 5 times before I wrote this one. The only thing I kept up in 2013 was the financial part but that was because my checking accounts were automatically connected to mint.com. I didn’t have to do anything but sign in about twice a month for 30 minutes to categorize some of things that would fall into the un-categorized sections.
This site is genius. With very little work on my part, I learned how much I was overspending on groceries. I was able to track where my money was going so now I have a clear picture of my spending habits and how little I actually saved last year.
But what did I do with all this information I learned? Nothing. And what happened with everything else on the list? Nothing.
The right questions to ask
So what did happen? Why didn’t I do the things I wanted to get done in 2013? I thought about these questions as I worked through the personal life plan until I had a light bulb moment.
I didn’t want to deal with it so I ignored it. Somewhere in my brain, I came up with this reasoning – if I don’t see it then I don’t have to deal with it. So then, if I don’t deal with it, then nothing gets done.
OK, that was a big one to admit and say out loud. I can point my finger all day long at the stress or at the increase in my workload or even the whole, ‘I’m a single parent’ thing. But that would be just shifting the blame. Truth is, the problem is me.
So what can I do in 2014? Something different … ladies and gentlemen … let me introduce you to my new Book of Magnificent Possibilities:
The personal life plan workbook explained in great detail how and why we should create a to-do book. I thought about making another binder or buying a spiral notebook that kids use for school but I knew neither one of those would do. It had be something special. Something I could use over and over and just add pages to it or remove the ones for the projects I completed.
I searched all over until I found this Levenger on Amazon. Oh, be still my organizational heart! I loved it the minute I took it out of the mailing package. It was like Christmas and my birthday all wrapped up in one present.
It didn’t take me long to start writing in it. And just last week, I was able to cross the first thing off my list! You see, this book is more than just a list of things that need to be fixed around my house. It’s the place where I can write down those dreams I thought were impossible last year. It’s a place to keep me on track for those big goals I wrote out in my personal life plan. That’s why I named it my Book of Magnificent Possibilities.
I actually think that Albert Einstein said it best:
Photo credit: June Writing Goals