Friday, November 1, 2013

MOREvember - Daily and Monthly Life Checklists

Not sure if it's due to moving from my mid to my *gasp* late twenties, paying off my last student loan (woot!), finally quitting the family cell phone plan, or something else, but I've been going through a mini quarter-life crisis for a while now. Whatever the reason, all the associated soul searching and questioning my career, relationship, location, and pretty much everything in my life has left me feeling dissatisfied and a little blue a lot of days. Setting and meeting fitness goals (and writing this blog!) has definitely helped, but there are definitely other areas that I haven't touched. So, in honor of November, I decided to do something about it. I decided to do MORE (hence the blog title).

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During a recent leadership seminar (told you I was quarter-life crisis-ing), the speaker mentioned the importance of setting and keeping commitments to yourself. This made sense to me, as turning vague fitness goals into public commitments on this blog has definitely helped keep me accountable and on track. I've tried to do this for other parts of my life, briefly creating a Life List on Go Mighty, and reading/making various before 30 lists. But I have trouble relating these big, long-term, goals to my day to day. So I was really excited to read Gretchen Rubin's book The Happiness Project, describing her efforts to increase overall happiness through small everyday acts. Inspired by Gretchen's project, I came up with my own method to try to improve my mood and contribute to a sense of personal growth by making small, simple daily and monthly commitments.

(Click here to download my daily and monthly life checklist )
First, I came up with a daily checklist of five things to do to help increase my daily energy and sense of well-being:

1. Take a 10 minute walk at lunch
2. Eat at least 1 totally mindful meal (no TV, computer, or book, just chewing)
3. Get in bed by 11:30 (to hopefully get more sleep!)
4. Take 5 minutes to stretch and breathe before sleep
5. Write down one thing I am grateful for

To make this easy to track, I made a printable with 4 checklists per page, printed and cut a bunch with a paper cutter, and stapled them together along with a cute cover made from magazine pages and an obligatory happiness quote to create a cute little book that I can carry with me. Oh and I also included a continuum of smiley faces that I can circle to indicate my mood for the day to see if checking off the items on my list makes a difference.

In addition to my daily goals, I also created a checklist with of 10 goals for the month:

1. Try a new workout/fitness class
2. Run a race
3. Clean out the closet (I have twice as many clothes since I went down two sizes and haven't finished purging the old ones)
4. Move living room furniture, which has been sitting in an odd temporary configuration since we had to redo the floors over a month ago
5. Do a new couples activity/outing 
6. Organize a girls night/day out
7. Have lunch with a friend
8. Phone a friend or family member (I am terrible at staying in touch)
9. Create a new recipe
10. Write a personal blog post

I hope that this mix of simple small goals will give me a sense of personal growth, helping me feel less whiny and more satisfied with my (pretty awesome) life as it keeps me trying new things, clearing out clutter, strengthening relationships, and being more creative. 

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I'm hoping that I'll be able to keep these daily and monthly commitments (especially now that I made them public on the Interwebs!) and that they'll make a difference in how I feel. If you'd like to play along, my daily and monthly checklists can be downloaded here. Or, if you'd like to make up your own daily and monthly commitments, I also made a blank checklist printable which you can download here.

Q: Anyone else have a life list? Gone through a quarter-life or mid-life crisis? Any tips?

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