To Do List

I’m sitting in the quiet of the early morning, sipping coffee, waking up, thinking of the day ahead. Every morning for thirty years. It is a habit. A list written on the pages of time, etched in my mind: Wake up. Drink coffee. Read ten pages. Write ten minutes. Get dressed. Go to work.

This daily routine is automatic and key for having a good day. This mental list is ingrained and has contributed to my success in my career. What about goals? Do they just happen by accident? Is it luck? Often people have success and don’t know how it was achieved except that they worked hard. There’s a little more. There was a formula, a list. It may have been written down. Most successful people tell us to write our goals down. I do.

There is something that is incredibly motivating about writing a list of things to do and then putting a check mark next to it when complete. It could be a simple and mundane as taking out the trash, but when there are ten simple items checked off the list, suddenly the house is clean.

What if this is applied to goal of being a successful published author? Write ten minutes, check. Set up publishing company, check. Have book cover designed, check. You get the picture. There are hundreds of seemingly insignificant tasks that need to be done in order for me to enjoy the success I’m looking for and each one is important

Looking at a hundred tasks that need to be completed can seem overwhelming, so often we avoid doing anything at all, which leads to not accomplishing goals, which leads to frustration. seeing a list with several items crossed off gives a sense of accomplishment even though the future results are not yet seen. It becomes motivating and creates enthusiasm for putting in the effort.

Write another list, cross it off and feel more motivation. Soon you can look back and see all of the seemingly unimportant tasks have come together and become progress toward a goal. Now, there is something tangible to look at instead of just a vision. Seeing this evidence of progress creates more motivation to continue and you proceed with renewed energy. The pump has been primed and the water flows. Don’t stop pumping. Keep writing the lists. Keep checking off the tasks. Do the little things. Move forward.

Look back when your goal is met and bask in the glory, but not too long. Create another list for the new goal. Now that you’ve experienced the power of making a list, there’s no stopping you. It all starts with the list.

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