If you’re anything like me, your purse is filled with loose post-it notes and good intentions. I’m currently sitting here, looking down at four different lists taped to the front of my Day Planner (and yes, I still use a pen and paper.) You might call this the epitome of disorganization. Well, no more. It’s time to give myself—and yourself—a list-making lifestyle makeover.
Now, I’m not suggesting we stop making lists—that would be uncivilized. However, I believe it’s time to finish one task before moving onto the next. For my birthday last year, I was given sushi-making lessons. My knives have yet to touch a fish. However, the task sits somewhere at the top of one of my lists: Call to schedule a lesson. Stress levels seem to correlate directly with the growth and shrinkage of lists. This has to stop.
To-do lists do not need to make or break our lives. In fact, I dare you to include relaxation on your to-do list and see what happens. Now, there are some tasks that we can’t omit. Exercise, for example, is one vital task that cannot be crossed off. I find nothing wrong with pouring ourselves into our Lululemon wardrobe and following the hottest new fitness trends.
However, do your workout without criticism. Accept yourself (add this to your to-do list as well). I won’t wake up tomorrow and be asked to walk in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show—and that’s okay. As a matter of fact, it’s better than okay. I’m still going to enjoy a donut every once in a while, a glass of wine with dinner, but I am done with criticizing myself for it.
Try new things. Add this to your to-do list. It took me 39 years before I finally tried a yoga class—but I did it. A mix of social anxiety and self-consciousness seemed to keep me away for years. However, after a couple of awkward poses and odd noises, I loved it. So much so, I soon joined pilates. Now, I’m on my MindBodyConnect app daily, signing up and exploring new routes to physical health. These days, I feel stronger, happier—and just a little bit wiser.
A lot of my year is based on the sports calendar. My free days ebb and flow with the individual sport seasons. Over time, that’s caused a bit of a detachment from the enjoyment I once felt as a sports fan, and had a bit of a “it’s-my-job” effect on things. We try to love what we do, but there will be days when checking that item off the list is difficult, so ride that out.
Bad days happen to everyone. Striving for perfection gives people headaches. Let’s take it a little easier on ourselves. We know when we’re giving it everything and at times, that will have to be enough. So let’s make some old-fashioned memories and maybe even indulge in a little quiet. Now, I’ve got some sushi to make.