The Daily List
I wrote a blog post the other day about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, because I think having goals is very important for us as individuals.
However, looking at those goals each and every day can be a bit daunting, and it can make us focus more on the outcome rather than the process to get there. This is something that we want to avoid… because as great as the outcomes most certainly are, the real joy of reaching those outcomes is learning the process on how we’re going to get there.
While I still stand by that I think everyone should have goals, I think having a daily “must do” task list is one of the best ways to help you reach those goals. That’s right. A list of things you must do each and every day… kind of like brushing your teeth, feeding your pets, or bringing your CrossFit coaches coffee.
Let me explain.
Whenever we’re looking at goals or milestones we’re trying to accomplish, it’s very easy just to get fixated on that one endpoint without thinking about the daily journey we’re going to take to get there. Because, let’s face it… accomplishing a goal is an amazing feeling. Just living each day before we get there? Well, that can be kind of boring.
“I want to lose 20 pounds by May 1st” is a great goal… but what are you going to do each day to get there? Are you going to steadily try and improve each and every day so that by the time May 1st comes around, you’re well past your goal? Or are you going to wait until April 21st and go on a hell-bent crash diet just for the sake of making that goal?
The magic is in the process. The long lasting sustainability is in the habits we create throughout the process.
Like I shared in my previous post, the main goal is to send out 2 emails a week (this is number 1 for this week! BOOM!). Instead of waiting until the day of to write, edit, publish, copy, and send, I’m going to build a habit of writing at least 750 words every single day utilizing a website called 750words.com (if you’re wanting to start writing a bit, I’d highly recommend this).
I mean, I *could* wait until the day of to make it happen, but I’ve done that plenty of times before and I know how that plays out for me…
The writing is boring and jumbled.
The editing is sloppy.
The words fail to deliver their needed weight.
It’s poor quality.
It’s not a sustainable way to continue towards my goals.
After a few goes at blog posts and emails in this fashion, I start to lose a ton of confidence in my writing, and in myself. I talk myself out of writing. I talk myself out of sharing content. I talk myself out of even sitting down at the computer to write something.
It sucks. I’m totally defeated.
It’s a really horrible feeling knowing that you *should* be doing something each day, but you just can’t get yourself to do it because of all of the seemingly negative experiences you’ve recently had (there’s a pretty big parallel with your fitness goals as well… but I think you can already connect the dots there).
But the thing is, we can totally nip this in the bud and prevent it from even happening in the first place. It just takes a little planning, a little practice, and a little bit of commitment.
My friends, I challenge you to come up with a list of daily activities or tasks that you must do. These things are going to help you build positive habits that will structure your life just a touch more, and keep you in the right headspace to continue to reach your goal.
At first, this will be difficult. But after a few days, it’s going to be second nature. I’ve already been practicing the following list since January 1st, and I can tell you that my day to day life has greatly improved. Less stress. Less craziness. More productivity. More positivity.
It’s pretty wonderful.
Here’s my daily list for 2019. Yours can be shorter, longer, look very different, or look very similar. Doesn’t really matter. Let’s just make a list.
- Have distraction free time with my wife
- Get “ready” for work (Monday – Friday. wear something a little nicer than gym clothes… fix my hair, look more professional, all that jazz)
- Write out my day in my planner
- Ship the list (create a task list for the day, and get it done)
- Tell a friend I care about them
- Write Something
- Get in some form of exercise (even if it’s a walk)
- Play with our flooferbutts, Dexter and Luna.
- 10 minutes of meditation practice
- Take care of the little things (5 minute rule)
- Eat vegetables at least once in the day
- Read a bit of a book
- Talk to one of my family members
I’m going to do my best to do these things everyday. Am I going to check off every item every day? No. Somedays I’ll struggle to get any of these things done… but I’m going to practice each day until these things become a part of who I am. I’m going to work hard to build in these positive habits so that I can have meaningful, productive, and enjoyable days each and every day. I’ll find peace in the chaos, and I’ll experience a lot of growth trying to get there.
I’d love to see what list you come up with. If you feel comfortable sharing with me, shoot me an email at email@example.com. I’d love to hear them.
Here’s to meaningful and productive days by practicing our must do lists each and every day!\