What have you accomplished this week?
I can tell you that I’ve finished two books for work, made two medical-related calls, spent a couple hours on a volunteer writing project, read a handful of books, tidied around the house, and cooked dinner a couple of times. Woohoo!
I could also tell you what I didn’t do. I didn’t meet my word count goals on Project Pea or my travel memoir this week. I didn’t finish all of my chores yesterday. I didn’t get my newsletter out yet.
Even though the list of goals that I did meet is much longer than the list of goals I missed, it’s a lot easier to get caught up in what I didn’t do. Not only are we humans just ludicrously obsessed over things that didn’t happen or might happen or won’t happen, but I’m also just predisposed to worry. My mind instantly focuses on the negatives and I start beating myself up. This is no way to meet goals.
When you have lots of goals to achieve, the best way to achieve them is to celebrate your victories and learn from your defeats – then move on.
Train your brain to look at the positives. This doesn’t mean that the negatives should be ignored, but rather treated as a learning experience and an opportunity to do better next time. It took me a long time to even start thinking like this, and I still have a long way to go.
But you know one really simple thing that oddly helped a lot? A checklist.
There’s actual science and psychology behind this. By breaking tasks into smaller chunks, our brain sees them as easier to do. And when we check something off the list, whee! our brain releases dopamine, which not only gives us a sense of satisfaction because we’ve accomplished something, but it also gives us motivation to complete even more tasks!
This is why I checklist most things that need to get done throughout the week, whether it’s work or chores or groceries. It keeps me organized, gives me clearly defined goals, and boosts me with encouragement when I’m able to check off something I’ve done. There’s nothing like watching the number of empty checkboxes on the list get smaller and smaller!
If you’re looking for a better way to set goals or celebrate the accomplishments you’ve made, a checklist is the way to go. It sounds too simple to work, but it really does.
So whatever you’re doing today, this weekend, or next week, make up a quick checklist and give it a try. Don’t forget to be proud of yourself for what you’ve achieved.
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