Lists help us find our next steps, ground us, and keep us focused on what is most important. But they also can expand far beyond a daunting index of tasks we need to complete. Lists can be a creative outlet, a way to express and recognize gratitude, or a documentation of your most magical moments.
Let’s start with the basics – a to-do list. There’s something so powerful and concrete about putting a pen to paper, and tactfully and deliberately outlining what you wish to complete. Simply writing down that you intend to complete a task makes you 33 percent more likely to actually achieve it, according to a study from Dominican University of California. Is it the act of writing it down that makes you more likely to do it and remember, or is it the joyful feeling of crossing something off your list when it’s complete? Maybe it’s the perfect combination of both.
Now let’s get bigger. Creating a list that outlines your goals and dreams is the first step of propelling them into action. It’s an incredibly impactful exercise when completed with intention – first by thinking about where you currently are, then by dreaming of where you want to go. From there, sketch out what you can do to achieve it, breaking it down into small, actionable steps that become your to-do list.
Lists can also provide a moment of reflection, shifting the lens from looking ahead to looking back. Retrospection and journaling come in many forms – including through lists. Journaling in list form, though less common, feels much more approachable. You’re not bound to complete sentences and proper grammar, and therefore can let yourself focus completely on introspection.
The list of lists you can create goes on and on: birthday wish lists, bucket lists, much-watch lists, lists of local restaurants you intend to support.
And as your hand dances across the page, words flying out of the tip of your pen, we hope you find calmness in the frenzied act of creating your list.