I make lists for everything. Sometimes for the day, usually for the week, and always for the year. I make lists of ways I want to grow. I make lists of priorities for different areas of my life like relationships, fitness, and finances. I make lists for projects to finish and things to work on.
I spent the first half of my summer making lists and crossing things off. As I prepared for my mid-June wedding, it seemed like my life was a constant battle of lists that were essential for the big day and lists of projects that I wanted to finish on the side.
I think that I sometimes subconsciously let my day-to-day motivation and attitude depend on the completion of certain items on these lists.
I didn’t get my kayak out this week, again, and summer is slipping by.
I didn’t finish that project I wanted to finish by now.
I really should have researched X-Topic that I wanted to look into after reading that article / watching that movie / having that conversation.
And I kinda lose my motivation and I’m tempted to make longer lists.
Yesterday during work I was going over my ‘mental list’ for the day and I decided forget that. I am just going to run after work and then I’m going to do whatever I need to do. Throwing away my list for the day led to one of my longest runs in a while as well as one of the most relaxing evenings. It changed my focus from completing items to taking care of myself. It led to a good night’s sleep and bonding time with the husband that wasn’t forced or on a time schedule between other items to check off for the day.
While I was running the words of my high school track coach came back to me. High school was 10 years ago and these words still return to me when I’m on longer runs. When I started running longer distances, my coach told me to pick one body part and focus on it. Focus on making that movement smooth and regular. This focus will help focus your breathing and lead to a smoother run. If you have pain in your left knee, focus on your right hand and the motion it makes while you run.
I think this advice can be applied to the bigger picture of life as well. When you’re in the daily grind and feel like your time is short, focusing on one small thing and making it regular adds a flow. It makes a difference between being carried to and fro by being so busy and living intentionally in the moment.
While I’ll always be a lover of lists, may all my lists be disposable and light!