Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Dreaded Check List

I fantasize about being perfectly organized.  Since my memory is selective at the best of times, that requires a check list.

Unfortunately, my Inner Teen detests check lists.  If it's on the list, she immediately finds something else to do, or engages in an argument with my Inner Parent that lasts until it is too late to do anything.

I've tried the "sit on the couch until I feel like doing something" approach.  That works fairly well, unless I happen to be angry, exhausted, sick, frightened or depressed.  In that case, the only thing I will feel like doing is going to the bathroom.

Most days, I use the "one to three things" approach.  I pick at least one thing that is really bugging me and make it my project for the day.  If I manage to accomplish that, I am often so jubilant that I leap into another task in order to experience that sense of triumph again.

This morning, in a moment of madness, I composed a check list called MY DAILY GOALS.  These are things which I am doing some of the time, but would like to do every day.  There are a LOT of those.  Failure to accomplish any one of these provides me with a perfect opportunity to beat myself up.  The whole thing is self-defeating, because if I do everything on the list, I won't have any time to do anything else, and life will be incredibly boring.

I was clever enough to use a small piece of paper, which forced me to stop at 8 items.   That's probably too many, but I'm going to keep track of my progress for a week.  Not so I can beat myself up about what's missing, but so I can prove to myself that I am accomplishing SOMETHING.

So -- in case you want to cheer me on, here's my latest list of daily goals:
1. Be dressed by 9AM (which is an upgrade from "be dressed by 10AM")
2. Eat breakfast by 10AM (after that, it's brunch).  
3. Exercise for at least 20 minutes . (I can survive 20 minutes most days, and often continue after the time is up, provided I remember to START.)
4. Sing for at least 10 minutes.  (I listen to a lot of music, but making it has gone by the wayside.  I'm losing my voice to age and disuse, and I am sad about that.)
5. Throw something out, or put it in the give-away box. (Getting rid of something always boosts my mood.)
6. Write something longer than a grocery list.  Poem, story, letter, blog, whatever.
(Writing is a proven anti-depressant for me.)
7. Walk outdoors, weather permitting. (Another proven anti-depressant.)
8. Pray for my family. (I often forget to do that while I am praying for everyone else in the world.)

I have accumulated five check-marks today.  As soon as I post this, I can add another one.  

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