Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Simple Lists

 I have all kinds of goals for the new year.

I always do.

Something I like more than mostly anything and that makes me feel more productive than mostly anything does is to make lists in nice, rectangular handwriting (which takes some concentration) on either long yellow post-it notes or clean pages of a notebook. These lists crop up around finals week, in doldrumous weeks of boringness, at the beginning of summer and at the end of the year. Sometimes I tape them to the wall next to my desk, where hangs a picture of a ladybug and my tag from running a 10K, and sometimes I leave them in my work shelf so both I and my shelf-sharer can see RUN EVERYDAY, READ YOUR SCRIPTURES, HAVE HOPE, BE NICER hanging next to his ties and my big white mug.
Very often three or four or five of these lists go by with no accomplishments, no lines through them, and then I bust out the big accomplishment guns and surprise myself by finishing an entire list. Does it really take two weeks to make a habit? I can never make it past day six or seven, heaven help me. What is it like to be one of those people who accomplishes things easily? Do you exist? Can I meet you?
Sometimes the gigantic dash of my Buick ends up peppered with my precious post-its, and that kind of works, too. At least as a sad cubist reproduction for the passerby, if not so much as a reminder to do things I'm not doing.
I've often wondered more than a little frustratedly how people seem to do all of the things they do.
At the advice of a friend, I tried making a simple goal of one word, wrote it landscape on a piece of printer paper in red marker, and tacked it to my ceiling right above where my head hits the pillow, hoping that it would stick better.
It did stick better. I took it down after a while, but even now that spot of sandpapery ceiling reminds me of the one word that reminds me that life is simply good and should for no reason be lived as though it's not. I went by one word for months, and it stuck. And now I always go by it.
That's one thing I've learned in 2010. That things stick better one at a time.

I'm still working on my list for the beginning of the new year. Ironically, by force of habit. Adding a few things every day, crossing others off when I realize they're entirely laughable.

Like vegetable consumption.
I have a multivitamin.
Tomorrow, the second half of the two most important things I've learned this year.


Lanee said...

what on earth does doldrumous mean?? I can't find it online. Lists are my ultimate fave, but I never put things like 'be nicer' on them, maybe that's the problem. How do you tic off 'be nicer'?? Mine say things like 'do laundry' and 'plan lesson.' I lurrrv you.

Brittany said...

aaaaa you make me want to love post-its! i'm working on my new goals and ideas right now too. 2011 is gonna be grrreat.