As a new day, week or month approaches, you’re likely reflecting on how to live a better life. “Better” can be a subjective word, but let’s agree that “better” means you’re moving away from something that does NOT serve you or feed your goals and dreams, and toward something that helps you to love who and what you see in the mirror every single day, and the activities you’re involved in.
Whether you seek convenience, effectiveness, success with goals, or strategically defined self-improvement, consider using To-Do lists. Even if you have a great memory, your mind can always use a little help holding onto everything you need to do, and keeping your major goals in focus.
If you use To-Do lists, you’ll feel more confident that nothing will fall through the cracks. Also, not trying to recall every single detail of your plan to achieve your goals will help reduce your stress.
Putting things down on paper or in electronic form means you don’t have to expend your precious energy trying to recall tons of small details and tasks to do. Instead, you can confidently work your plan to accomplish projects and daily goals with minimal effort on recordkeeping and more emphasis on action! This way, you save your energy for the big things, the ones that really matter.
Over time, as you use To-Do lists for daily accomplishments, you’ll notice a boost in your confidence. It makes sense that if you achieve more in a day, you’ll feel better about yourself, and taking care of the short-term goals will make completing your long-term goals a foregone conclusion.
Try this simple, effective system:
1. Buy a spiral notebook or use your favorite electronic program. Write “To-Do List” on the front of of your notebook in big letters if you choose to use one. Utilize this notebook only for this purpose. If you prefer electronics, create a folder or document that you can return to periodically to update. Keep it in a place where it’s easily accessible – perhaps your smartphone or tablet.
Get the size and format of notebook that will be most convenient for you. If you like a full size 8 ½ x 11 inch notebook, go for it! I love the M by Staples line for it’s ease in configuration and the ability to add accessories if needed. If you prefer one that fits in a purse, that’s good, too – the Moleskine line of notebooks has beautiful smooth paper that makes writing very easy.
If you’re working with an electronic version of your notebook, consider using a program like Evernote, that’s compatible with many different devices. I have the program on my iPhone and my iPad so that I can transfer files back and forth easily.
2. Make a commitment to yourself. Always use your notebook or application as your To-Do list. Avoid writing your lists on scraps of paper here and there. Put your name on the notebook, create an easy-to-find link to your application, or put an icon on your device screen so it’s always up front and easy to find.
Your To-Do list is your key to experiencing more success in everything you do. Nothing builds confidence like knowing you’ll eventually achieve every single goal. All you’ve got to do is write down tasks to be completed and goals to be met. Then do them!
3. Start using your To-Do list today. Open the notebook or application and on the first page, start listing all the tasks you want to complete. Don’t worry about big projects versus small tasks initially – get them all written down, then organize them. It doesn’t matter how many pages it takes to think of every project/task/errand you want to finish – but if you don’t write them down somehow, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything.
4. Celebrate completing tasks. When you finish a task, cross it off the list.
As you learn to depend on your To-Do list, you’ll find you worry less about whether you’ll complete tasks. Your confidence will grow as you learn that when it’s on the list, it’ll get done. Plus, putting a line through completed tasks will build feelings of success.
5. Tear out old pages or file them into a folder so they’re not cluttering up your screen. Eventually, you’ll start to have pages where every task has been completed and crossed out – or where you’ve got notes in the ‘Completed’ folder that help you see your progress.
It’s an amazing feeling to realize you’re getting things done every single day, and making positive progress toward your goals. Sure, some days you’ll get more done than other days, but still, you’re doing something to be proud of. Who would’ve thought you’d feel so confident, just tearing out a page from a spiral notebook or crossing a task off of a To-Do list?
A simple to-do list will bolster your confidence in many different ways. You’ll be proud that you planned ahead and followed through with your tasks. Plus, finishing each job and getting rid of a whole page of completed tasks will boost your confidence enormously.
Writing down what you want to accomplish in a day can be an integral part of an organized, effective and self-assured life. Start living today and every day with more optimism and confidence by making use of To-Do lists.