The obvious reaction? Make the list shorter!! But that wasn't obvious to her. And it's not obvious to a lot of us. We have so many "shoulds" in our minds that to make the list shorter defeats the purpose of having a list to begin with: The list is supposed to be something to strive to complete, not something that's easy to do. But the problem with this is that we set ourselves up for failure again and again and again, and over time that message engraves itself deeply in our psyche and reflects itself outward in every area of our lives. Our productivity suffers, and our self esteem with it.
Here's a new idea: Make a short list of things you know you're going to complete. Then, at the end of the day, you have something to feel good about, a positive message for your subconscious as you slip into slumber. Then, if you really want to make it about stretching yourself, you can slowly add things to the list, one by one.
Here's an even better idea: Make a different type of list - you could add it to the first one or replace the first one altogether. How about a gratitude list? How about a list at the end of the day of five things you're grateful for? Okay, let's make it hard, since we like to strive for things: How about a list at the end of the day of five NEW things you're grateful for? Seems like a much nicer way to end the day...
We love to make ourselves miserable. We do. We set ourselves up for it over and over again. And then we wonder why we're not living the life of our dreams. We wonder why our professional life is unsatisfying and our relationships far from healthy. It's because we see ourselves as failures. Our endless lists set us up for that. The secret? Don't make them endless!
Today, I challenge you to shorten your list and add a new one: Five new things you're grateful for at the end of each day. Just five. A new kind of challenge with a much better message...Life is good.