Answer the following three questions to find out how to be happier with your life:
1. Do you have a to do list?
2. Do you put off things that you want to do in your life because there are tasks on your to do list that are not complete?
3. Are the tasks on your to do list as important as you are allowing them to be?
You might be wondering what these questions have to do with an effective spring cleaning checklist for true happiness. The answer is: everything.
There are probably things on your to do list that you’ve had there week after week, month after month, perhaps even year after year. The problem is that some of the things we allow to stay on our to do list seem to be there permanently. They take up our emotional and mental energy. In the meantime, we don’t allow ourselves to do things we really want to do until we’ve completed what’s on our to do list. Or, we do things that are important to us but we do them feeling guilty, or not present in what we’re doing because we’re worrying about what’s on that darn list. Either way, it’s a catch 22.
I’m not saying you should throw away your to do list. That would be ridiculous. To do lists are useful, especially if they are prioritized and kept up to date. The way to keep your to do list up to date is to periodically clean it out.
To do list spring cleaning checklist:
Step 1 – Make a list of the things that you want to do in the next ten years of your life. Identify the things that are important to you that you want to give to yourself this year. Next ask yourself the following question: Have you wanted this for a long time but you don’t let yourself go for it, because of the uncompleted things on your to do list? While pondering this, set this list aside for a moment.
Step 2 – Complete your to do list. In addition to the things that are already on your list, write down all of the things that you think you should do but never make the time to do and you’ve gotten so discouraged you don’t even bother writing these down any more.
Step 3 – Go through your list and decide what’s important to you. If something has been on your list for six months, it’s time to get honest with yourself and either:
- decide it’s important and set aside the time to complete it
- decide it’s important and give yourself the help you need to complete it (this help might be physical, mental or emotional)
- decide it’s not important and take it off the list
The great thing about this process is that it creates movement. Taking things off your list whether you complete them or decide they aren’t important and remove them, releases energy, vitality and permission. You no longer spend your time and energy worrying about what’s not done on a list, but instead spend your energy and vitality on things important to you in your life that you previously didn’t give yourself permission to do.
Imagine mow much happier you’ll be at the end of this year, if you re-prioritze so that the things on your list get taken care of when it’s important that they do and, instead of obsessing about your list or attempting half-heartedly to do them so that they never get done, you spend that extra time doing something special with your kids or you making love to your spouse or you finally give yourself time for that really important project.
Let me know what changes you’re making as a result of this post. I’d love to hear and support you along the way!