The Power of a List

I must apologize.

I feel like I’ve done a terrible job of keeping everyone informed about what’s going on in my life.  Why?  When I write about my life, either I feel like I’m bragging or whining…neither of which I like doing.  And, as much as I try to fill every moment of my time with excitement, not every moment is exciting!  Actually, most days are pretty routine.  I put my pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of the world.

Where I feel like my life diverges from a large portion of people isn’t in how I live my daily life but how I plan for the future.  My eyes are always focused on accomplishing the goals I set for myself and making plans for world domination.  Creating my list of goals has helped me build a remarkable life, even if once in a while (or more often than not) I’m at home reading a book or doing homework.  But just having a list of goals isn’t what makes my life exceptional…lots of people have goals and some of their lists are longer than mine!  No, a list isn’t enough.  Making plans and taking action is what an amazing life is all about.

And I always have a plan.

As a matter of fact, I’m in the process of making plans for four rather significant trips: Japan, France (Spain, Morocco, Italy, Switzerland), Russia (Belarus), and Ethiopia.  Whether these trips come to fruition is not entirely certain but the point is that I’m making plans.  I’m doing what I can to make it all happen.  Making plans gives me something to look forward to and they give me the extra little push I need to make it through the less-than-extraordinary days with a smile.

Every once in a while I’ll read through my list looking for something I can scratch off.  Apparently Erin also looks at my list with the same intentions.  This weekend, thanks to an incredible birthday gift, I’ll be going on a hot-air balloon ride (weather permitting, of course).  And in November, if everything works out, I’ll be traveling to Taiji, Japan to spend a week doing volunteer work with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, #5 on the list, “Volunteer time with an environmental group”.

I’d like to think I have the ability to convince everyone to write a list of a hundred goals but I know not everyone will.  Some people are too cynical to believe in the power of such a list, minimizing it as just a stupid “Bucket List”.  This isn’t about creating a list of shit to do before you die, it’s about creating a list that’s meant to guide you and help create a meaningful life, not only for yourself but for others as well.

If writing a list of 100 goals seems daunting, don’t get discouraged.  You don’t need to write your list all at once.  Carry it around in your pocket for a week or two.  When something comes to mind, write it down.  I have no doubt that you’ll come up with a hundred goals quicker than you thought possible.  There are so many things in this world to see and experience that you might even have a hard time stopping at one hundred!

6 thoughts on “The Power of a List

  1. I feel the same way! I love looking forward to the next thing; I’m always making plans. And I have a lot of people that approach me the same way; that I’m just crazy for doing this list and they could never do it. I really don’t know how they could go through life without it!

  2. i need to begin writing some of mine down… i have some goals that float around in my head, but unless i can get them organized, chances are, i’ll let opportunities to achieve them pass me by. i guess my first goal should be to write down my other goals! :)

  3. I have an absolutely huge list (over 200 goals) that I am constantly working on. Writing them down & blogging about the results has held me more accountable for actually taking action. It makes my life so much more fun to work towards having new experiences!

  4. I love this post and glad so see I’m in good company. My younger sister teases me, saying I’m too structured – her preference is to wing it, go with the flow, and not have a plan but be ‘open’ to whatever comes her way.

    Yet, I’ve noticed over the years that she doesn’t get much done, rather, she just talks about doing things and figures ‘someday’ they will magically happen. She’s 42 and still doesn’t believe in the power of lists. Who says you can’t be open to possibilities and go with the flow AND have plans and lists?

    I’m sending her your post!

  5. I have a list of things I want to achieve, but I always make changes to this list. Like maybe having a list is not always enough?! I have things there which I want to do and have, but I am not sure that I will have them.

    • @ Rich Girl: Curious to find you on a blog like mine as your own seems to be the antithesis of Hundred Goals but welcome none the less! Making changes to a list is normal, I do it often. Either deleting goals or modifying them somehow. People change, goals change. It’s that simple. If something isn’t important to you any longer at this point in life, why try to force it upon yourself to do?

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