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Make More Lists

Refresh Your Energy by Making Lists

Lists serve several purposes. We make to-do lists. We make shopping lists. We make lists of what to pack before vacations. We make bucket lists, we make safety lists, we make lists to share tasks and directions. We use lists to help decide if something is right or wrong and make lists filled with miscellaneous and fun topics. Lists serve us. 

When Things Feel Heavy Make a List

Lists help us escape and feel refreshed. Sometimes the hours of the day feel heavy. Sometimes the mind feels scattered and is unsure of how to regain momentum. Writing that requires too much might energy may only add to the problem. When things feel overwhelming, writing in list form helps us to quickly start and then easily see patterns.The suggestion to make a list typically feels doable. Rather than zone out on technology, make a list. 

The Most Important Lists

Each day during my planning period, I make one of the most important lists of the day. The list I make is not necessarily specific to my job. I make a list that helps me reflect and grow thinking about who I am. There is something about a list that feels manageable. I do not necessarily have a lot of time for reflection, as I am preparing and grading work before the next class comes in, but what I do know is that I have five minutes to process what is important and remind myself of the things that matter. 

The book, 52 Lists for Happiness by Moorea Seal has given me a template to inspire and organize lists that I make. 

Try creating the following lists: 

*List the ways you enjoy investing in your mind

*List the things you want to do with each of your children

*List the things you want to create this week

*List the things you are proud of learning to do in the past five years

*List the things from your past that are blocking your happiness 

*List the things you prioritize 

*List foods you want to try

*List the elements of your life where you feel challenged positively

*List the things about yourself that you do not want to change

*List movies that make you laugh

*List things you are curious about

*List scents, spaces, and textures that bring you joy

*List places you want to vacation                                              

*List the times when you felt you made a difference

*List the things you want to say ¨no¨  to

*List things that you are curious about

*List the music you want to listen to 

*List the best compliments and encouragement you have been given. 

Take it a step Further:

*Make a list of things you are good at and then circle the ones that come naturally to you and underline the things that you have had to work at. 

*List the compliments you want to give this week. Make a point to give one a day. 

*Make a list of the best choices you have made in life, and then spend a few minutes each day looking at your to embrace the good decisions you have made.  

*List ways you can fake it until you make it regarding being happy.  Now, practice saying, “I’m two times a day, 7 days a week.”

*List the things that happened today that brought you joy.  Copy down a number of them on slips of paper to put in a jar so that you can reach in and read one when you are feeling down. 

Make a List of What You Know that was Not Asked on the Test

Sometimes a test does not cover everything that a student may have learned on a test. I have seen the suggestion to have students make a list of what they know about a topic that was not asked on the test. 

Start With a List

We usually have students start essay writing by brainstorming. Students make lists of what and how they can write about a topic. However, what if we had students make a list of what was not mentioned to determine if anything else needed to be added. What if at the beginning or end of a week, we had students make a list of things that they had done well. Maybe there are things to work on, but regardless of the current circumstances, there are always things to recognize and celebrate. 

Past Tense Goal Lists

My favorite way to write a list of goals is to use the past tense and visualize and train my mind to believe that these things have already happened. Past tense gives me the opportunity to look for a way to make the following list of goals possible. For example, rather than write a list that says, 1) Organize my desk, 2) Finish an article, 3) Run three times a week, 4) Limit technology to 1 hour, consider how different it looks to write the following: 1) I organized my desk, 2) My article was submitted by 3 pm, 3) 20 miles were logged, 4) 2 hours without my phone were amazing. 

Lists Help Us See Answers

Sometimes the list seems like an unlikely way to help us to see patterns and move forward. It is easy to lose sight of the micro miracles happening each hour. Lists filled with things we love doing, compliments and future aspirations take us out of the daily routine, and remind us of the big picture. Rather than scrolling through social media when the brain needs a break, make a list and feel more refreshed. 

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1 comment

  • Laura, I really like the point made about making a list
    “ When Things Feel Heavy”. That’s something I have done through the years and I never really thought about what it did for me. Very good insight Laura.
    Making a list helps get me started and guides me to where I am going. I really enjoyed your article.

    Jan on

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