So I really like lists. I also love budget books and menu plans and long-range goal sheets. I like master birthday charts and homeschool scope & sequence worksheets and oh, how I adore my paper agenda. I do get annoyed by some lists I see online; those that make grandiose promises such as “5 steps to heal cancer” or “3 simple ways to get rich quick.” Lists like that. I guess I feel if it were that simple we’d all be cancer-free and rolling in the dough.
But otherwise, a good list can help me live with greater purpose, health, and JOY.
I am going to share with you a handful of lists that support me in WHO and HOW I want to be. And my hope is that you will use them as an idea springboard to create some encouraging little lists of your own.
My List of Core Desired Feelings
I could have created a more attractive version of the picture above but this is the real-life sticky note that lives inside the front cover of my beloved agenda. My Core Desired Feelings reflect how I want to FEEL and move through life each day. I check in with this list most days and sometimes several times a day if I am walking through a rough season or doubting myself. I remind myself of who I CHOOSE to be. I revisit the list each year during my Life Visioning, in case it is time for a change, but this precise list of words has served me well for the past couple years. I want to feel/be: unshackled, authentic, purposeful, strong, and connected.
My List of 10 ‘S’ Doing Words
This poor list really needs a strong, sassy title (see pic above). One day, a couple years ago, in a rough moment, I think, this list just downloaded itself onto paper. I love those experiences. These ‘S’ words reflect the things I DO in my life that help me FEEL calm and happy. It is like my Core Desired Feelings list are ‘BEING’ descriptors while this 10 ‘S’ List is comprised of DOING words. They work really well together. In order to stay aligned to my Core Desired Feelings, I make space for: sleep, sex (too personal?), smiling, going slow, savoring, study, sweat, simplifying, saving and surrender. Questions, anyone?
My Morning Routine
I think everyone can benefit from a simple, consistent, purposeful morning routine. It helps set the tone for the day. When we build simple habits into our day we no longer have to expend mental energy deciding to do these tasks which can prevent decision fatigue later on. My morning routine is comprised of quick and easy tasks – none of them take more than a few minutes. This way, even if I have to run out early, I can still manage to walk through my basic morning routine. It looks like this: express gratitude for 3 things in my life before I leave my bed; check my agenda and choose my top 3 priorities for the day; fill my 32 oz water jar (an old canning jar) and drink at least half of it before I eat or drink anything else; do some simple stretching, twists, and squats as I brew my coffee or tea (this is a great time to remind myself of my Core Desired Feelings or speak a word of truth or encouragement to myself); check my menu plan and do a little kitchen tidy-up (fill water filter, put away drip-dried pots, maybe start some rice soaking). Voilà.
My Evening Routine
I start my evening routine by dimming lights in the darker months and ideally getting off all screens an hour and a half before bed (this often doesn’t happen); we also use FLUX on our laptops to reduce blue light exposure. I check my menu plan, looking ahead to the next couple days, and maybe get something soaking, pull something out of the freezer or pull out my crockpot for the morning; I also do a quick kitchen tidy up. The third step in my evening routine is to do a 5-minute mediation with deep belly breathing to calm body and mind. Then I climb into bed to read by the light of my salt lamp before sleep. This is my favorite time of day. Sometimes I put a couple drops of lavender oil on my lamp and if I haven’t yet attained 10 cups of liquid intake I will bring a steamy mug of herbal tea with me to bed. And then, finally, I express gratitude for three things to close out my day on a positive note.
And finally, the “One List to Rule Them All”, My Get Back to Basics List
I get off track easily. And stress follows me around like a mangy but faithful puppy. So I need a trusty list to pull out and fall back on when I begin to feel unsettled or anything less than purposeful, healthy and downright joyful. I won’t rewrite the list for you because you can read all about it here. This healthy list isn’t magical or a quick fix, but encourages me to slow down a bit and care for myself well- body, mind & spirit.
So, how about you? Are you a list person? Any sticky notes in your life that you want to share? I am a huge fan of personality testing and I suspect my love of lists probably stems in part from being ISFJ.