The Power of the List

The Power of the List

The Power of the List | brokeGIRLrich

After hitting rock bottom motivation wise this week, you guys have provided me with some great advice – the key piece being “make a list.”

Funny thing is – I had a list for the summer. On my phone that crashed a few weeks ago. When it was replaced, all the info on it was gone, so my list went with it.

And thus, my motivation, which was already hanging on by a perilous thread, disappeared. And I learned more about clones than anyone ever needs to know. And government conspiracies.

BUT now that I’m out of Orphan Black episodes to watch, I’m trying to claw my way out of the bottomless hole of boredom and lethargy.

Orphan Black

I started out by cleaning my room… a little… and raiding my bookshelf for books to sell. After that burst of energy, I realized that I really did need to redo my summer goals list.

Know why?

Because I know the power of a list.

I have 23,308 reasons why lists work – that’s the change in my net worth since I started making a list of it and my financial goals in September 2013.

To be honest, I just looked that sucker up now to write this and even I didn’t expect that. Can we go over how insane that is? That number covers starting out with some student loans still hanging over my head and a year of living in New York City.

Lists work. At the end of every accountability update, I’ve listed goals. Even that first one noted that the goal was to max out my IRA and save up $5,000 in my emergency fund by the end of the year.

And you know what?

Sometimes you achieve your goals and sometimes you have to re-evaluate them, but making a list keeps them present. I didn’t hit that $5,000 goal in 2013, but when I made my list for 2014 it was still on it and I did finally make it last year.

Now my lists look more like this. And I check on those goals progress every month.

Now my lists look more like this. And I check on those goals progress every month.

Writing down a list doesn’t set it in stone. You’re not suddenly married to the idea. But you are going steady with it now. There’s some commitment there. If you break it off, it will be thoughtfully, with a decisive strike through or erasing on the list, not because you just hid from the situation and didn’t answer its phone calls for a month.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 7.52.36 AMThis analogy has gotten a little weird.

Resolutions are a lot like this too! Trust me, I’ve always been a scoffer at people and most of their New Year’s resolutions – my own included. Then last year, Michelle over at Fit is the New Poor asked a few other bloggers to send her their resolutions. I thought, “why not?” and sent her over a list. Throughout the year, I slowly worked on that list and got quite a few things done and the things I let go, I really thought about why they were initially important enough to make the list and whether or not I was ready to part way or put them on hold.

So now I’m putting it out there. This week’s goal:

  1. Rewrite the summer goals list.
  2. Cross something off the summer goals list.

When was the last time you made a list?

32 thoughts on “The Power of the List

    • I love that feeling too. I have a bad habit of losing them when they’re actually on a scrap of paper though. For a while last year when I was trying to lose weight, I had an actual list taped to my refrigerator with my weight on it when I would weigh myself each week. Physically writing it down was really helpful.
      Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted…Side Hustle SteriodsMy Profile

  1. I love writing lists, but I love even more being able to cross things off a list. I find it helps me to de-clutter and de-stress when things get hectic. I use the ‘sticky notes’ app on my computer to keep most of my lists.

    • I was so excited about the sticky notes app on my computer when I got it! But then all the sticky notes actually made me nuts – but I try to keep my desktop very clear. Actual post it notes I love though. Seriously a scary level of love – possibly from all the years of being a stage manager.
      Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted…Side Hustle SteriodsMy Profile

  2. “Writing down a list doesn’t set it in stone. You’re not suddenly married to the idea. But you are going steady with it now.” Love this! I make lists all the time and it helps keep me on track. Sometimes, however, the lists start multiplying like tribbles and I have to consolidate them and get it back under control. It’s good to have goals and tasks in front of you, but not so many that you get overwhelmed and give up.
    Gary @ Super Saving Tips recently posted…Invest Like You’re Cooking BarbecueMy Profile

    • I agree – I was reading some other blog by a woman who was often overwhelmed and said she would always keep all of her goals in front of her, but pick the top 3 to prioritize each day and as long as at least that got done, she felt good about her day.
      Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted…Side Hustle SteriodsMy Profile

  3. I’m probably borderline obsessive about lists. I have various lists going constantly, segregated by the various parts of my life–home, work, blog, volunteer gig, etc. I rely on them to help me know what I need to work on each day. And crossing stuff off a list always feels great! :)
    Kurt recently posted…Credit Score Boost for You?My Profile

  4. Seeing your goals in writing is so important and motivating to put you in the right frame of mind to achieve those goals. I live by lists! Lists are my way of staying on track and being organized. It is a feeling of accomplishment to cross items off that list too.

  5. Pingback: New Year's Goals 2016 - brokeGIRLrich

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