I’M THE HUMAN DORY…
I don’t know about you, but my overactive A.D.D. mind needs lists. Anything from to-do, daily/weekly goals, or what to get at the grocery store. Without it I will probably start 10 different projects and trust me, my house does not look pretty after that. When I was young my mom would call me her little “elf” because when I couldn’t sleep at night, I’d start “cleaning” my room. I’d take out all my books and then decide my dolls weren’t in order, and go organize that. She could see my trail of “projects” with the 10 unfinished piles around the room. What’s worse is I wouldn’t let my mom clean it up because I was always going to “get to it soon” or “finish it this week,” and then a month would go by. I’m still like that, just with more adult things like bills, taxes, appointments, deadlines, the stuff that has real consequences. Needless to say, ya girl needs some sort of direction.
I didn’t start to realize the importance of lists until I got older and reluctantly admitted I needed them. The more times I tried to “do it on my own” or “have it in my head” the more like Dory I felt. In this post I’ve laid out some of my tips & tricks to creating a list of goals and actually how to get them done.
FIND A HOME
First it’s important where you choose to keep them. I keep everything in one place for one less thing that is scattered. I have a three part notebook that houses my personal, business, and a “messy” notebook. The only reason I like to separate my personal and business is because if I physically separate the two, it helps me mentally separate them too. I try hard to be 100% in one or the other. If I’m doing life stuff or with my friends, I don’t want to be mentally crowded with the image of my to-do list for work too. If I dive into my work day, I want to be fully there and present, not what time I’m getting drinks on Thursday (although it’s very important). They all three are in a leather folio so it’s easy to go back and forth and find what I need.
HOW TO START
The first thing I do is an audit of the previous week. You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. Figure out (and celebrate!) what you did to get closer to your goals the past week. NO MATTER HOW SMALL! Do NOT downplay what you’ve done, even if it’s just decide to make this list right now. You’re dong it. Allow yourself to be human. Cliche and cheesy, yes, but still do it.
After you have figured out what you’ve done, you can see what needs to be done. One of the most important lessons I have taken years (truly) to learn, and still struggle with is being realistic. I let my expectations take over and expect so much from myself that there’s just no way I could complete the list. Then yet again, I’m discouraged. But I’m the one that set myself up for failure. I try to give myself room to have “unproductive” moments, “creative blocks,” and “unmotivated” moments. Because I know I have them… So I might as well schedule them in!
Real Talk: If you don’t have moments where you are stumped, what you’re doing is too easy. Try harder, think bigger, get smarter. Step out of your box!
My to-do’s are separated by weekly and daily. For the week, I have overall goals that I write down three realistic and do-able goals. For daily I have around two-three. It may seem small, but what if I complete those three goals and I’m able to do more? I’m impressed with myself and finish the day as a serious girl boss, ready to kick tomorrow’s ass. It doesn’t have to be a limit, but a minimum for you to feel like you have had a productive day. The point is to complete the list.
*Below I outlined just a few examples of my weekly/daily to do lists. I added a few work, but tried to add more ideas outside of work to share! I promise my to-dos are more work centric!
During the week I might have something like:
- Get fresh flowers
- Fill 1 box minimum of items to sell or give away
- Organize my desk
- Try a new recipe
- Make my bed every morning before breakfast
- Communicate with 3 different companies for possible campaigns
- Organize content to post
- Shoot 4 looks for next week
- Go to the gym 3 times during the week
- Contact a friend I haven’t talked to in awhile
For the daily goals I might have something like:
- Return items to X store
- “See the floor” in my closet (I call lots of my cleaning projects see the floors because that’s usually what I cannot see after I’ve used it)
- 1 load of laundry + fold
- Silent creative brainstorm (I try to set time aside to unplug and write down what comes to mind that I can write about or create. Sometimes it comes to fruition and sometimes it doesn’t!)
- Complete newsletter, blog post, social media promotion, etc.
- Set up desk/notes for tomorrow
- Obviously the fun stuff like pay bills, pay off credit card, etc. when the day comes
GOAL MAKING TIPS & TRICKS
What I have found to be successful is being very specific in your goals for yourself. You may know what you mean, but putting “1 load of laundry + fold” helps me understand exactly what I’m expecting from myself. If I put “do laundry,” I could probably do 6 loads and be there all day. No. Numbers help me be accountable and not over/under expect from myself.
Another tip that has helped me keep my sanity is carving out time for self care. You hear it all the time, right? I know. I hear you. I said the same thing. But when I started utilizing one of my daily goals to focus on my mind, I was happier, more creative, motivated, and excited. You may be a hard ass and can kill a full day of work, but for me I’ve learned I need to set aside a moment to get back to a creative mindset. Running myself to the ground in expectations and pressure to complete the most I can in a day is so hard on my self-confidence. I ultimately come out of the day drained and uninspired to wake up the next day. I’ve made it a priority to use one of my goals everyday for this. If everyday is too much time to carve out, try every other day! That’s fantastic too! You create what you need and what is best for you. Some of my self care goals are:
- Create a new outfit
- Find new music or artist
- Go on Pinterest and pick a dream room to decorate
- Online shop and don’t check out
- Listen to a podcast
- Find 5 new quotes that encourage what quality you want to embody
- Read a book on my favorite designer or learn something new about them
- Go to a new store and try on your dream outfit if you were going to X
- Do a face mask and turn the music all the way up when no ones home
- Go to a new restaurant with your friend and unload your mind and listen when they unload theirs
- Rearrange or change up the decor in a corner in your house
- Go to the thrift store and try to make a outfit head to toe under $10
It can be how small, big, or time consuming as you want it to be. That’s the beauty of it, YOU get to make it. I know it could sound cheesy or “why the hell do I have time for that?” but I promise it changes how you complete the rest of your list.
IT’S YOUR CHOICE TO FAIL OR SUCEED AT YOUR GOALS
A to-do list is basically a self expectation list and if uncompleted we are disappointment in our [lack of] abilities. Well I hate to break it to you, but you created it. If you set yourself up to fail, you will. At least give yourself a chance to impress yourself. The most important thing I have had to learn in my adulthood is to accept myself as human. I’m allowed to forget, make mistakes, not complete something, have a creative block, etc. Your to-do list and goals should reflect the same. You are not a robot and need to enjoy the moments you are in, instead of trying to complete tomorrows to do list. If you have a bad day (we all do) and aren’t feeling yourself, tomorrow is a new day where you get to start over. Can’t change yesterday so might as well be present where you are now.
You can say one day or make this day one.
I hope this helps you reach more of your small goals to ultimately be closer to your big goals! If you try any of these tips & tricks or found something that has worked for you, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you 🙂