There’s a phrase I never thought I’d hear myself utter!

Truth be told, this is really a new love in my life. It began just shy of a year ago when I left the rat race and no longer had a fixed routine. Suddenly, I found myself needing structure, not only because it got me motivated, but because it gave me a sense of accomplishment to check a task off of one of my lists. I have several now, but one main list on which I keep track of daily and weekly chores as well as things I’m trying to accomplish over the course of time, and things I want to make part of my regular routine. For the most part, it works very well. However, one thing I didn’t count on was how much I like being away from people…a LOT! This makes things like regular gym visits very challenging, and forces me to look for alternative activities that I might actually stick to for more than two or three months.  So far, cleaning house, something I used to despise, seems to be filling some of that void.

I’m also learning, by following my lists, that it does me good to get out in the world more, as I seem to get things done better when I’m not a complete hermit. Take today for example. I had to be out of the house early to take one of my cats to the vet for a check up. By noon, I had not only been to the vet and returned, but I had emptied, cleaned and refilled both sand boxes, vacuumed the entire house (minus the ant room which I am still hesitant to enter) and scrubbed the kitchen and bathroom floors! All that, just because I got moving!

Lists: They’re not just for tasking any more!

Using lists isn’t just to keep track of what you have to do, though (and I’ll include packing lists in that category). They can also motivate in other ways. Take, for example, the gratitude list I always close my posts with. Can you really be unmotivated and miserable while counting your blessings? Lists are also good when you’re trying to make a decision. You can lists pros and cons, or things that inspire you…the possibilities, and lists, are endless!

Lists and graphics and charts, Oh, my!

Spending over 30 years playing with numbers, charts and spreadsheets does leave a mark on a person. Being no exception, my lists have evolved so that they are no longer simply checklists, but spreadsheets on which I can not only check things off, but quantify my actions. Once I have compiled enough data, I’ll be able to do some trend analysis as well. (OK, so maybe that is a bit over the top, but did I mention I love my lists?)

Something else I’ve discovered by keeping my lists, I sleep better at night! No, really! Think about it, especially the women out there. How many hours of sleep do you lose in a month because you’re making lists in your head instead of falling into a peaceful slumber? If you committed those lists to paper or computer screen, wouldn’t you rest easier? If a small amount of effort could cure your insomnia, wouldn’t you try it? C’mon! Be honest now! I challenge you to try listing for just a week or two, then report back to me via the comment section of this blog. I want to hear from you, whether or not keeping lists works for you, and if it does, I want to hear about your lists. What where they for? What did you keep track of? How did it make you feel to check things off or count your blessings or list the pros and cons of a decision you were trying to make?

But before I go off into a list bliss, I’ll close with my favorite list, my nightly gratitude list:
1. I am grateful for lists. They keep me focused and they remind me of what’s truly important.
2. I am grateful for the people who read my blog, especially when I hear that something I said inspired them.
3. I am grateful for all that I accomplished today, and the things I plan to do tomorrow.
4. I am grateful for forward progress on my copywriting class. Sometimes, it just takes a little motivation.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, harmony, motivation, inspiration, imagination, gratitude, faith, hope, health and prosperity…and of course, LISTS!!!