To-do lists are a staple in many people’s lives. They help us navigate through our day and making them is a simple way to encourage us to think about all we have to get done. Although handy, they might also cause us to stress that we might not complete all the tasks we put on it. This is why I came up with another approach to to-do lists that helps fulfill tasks but also cultivates wellness and sets us up for success.
The list covers 5 areas in our lives that we can check off without feeling like we are just doing chores. Focusing on 5 major areas- career, education, physical health, mental health, and fun and relaxation, will ensure that we work towards our goals while staying healthy and happy at the same time.
The first topic on the to-do list will focus on your career and what you can do today to come closer to your career expectations. Begin by brainstorming what could be a simple task for you to focus on that will be key to know when you come even closer to your dream job. This could be anything from working on your website, touching up your resume, checking your email signature to checking LinkedIn for job opportunities to see what is currently out there, and doing research on news or updates related to jobs that interest you. Being mindful of these small things is great for you to stay in the picture and know the options and opportunities at your disposal.
The second topic on the to-do list is about education. Whether you are a student or not, finding a way to learn a little bit more about something is a great idea if you genuinely want to read up on something new, or be a little smarter than you were yesterday. Focusing on this area can mean doing homework, checking emails, or finding resources where you can easily gain more knowledge, such as audiobooks, podcasts, the news, or education-related YouTube videos. Any of these could be a free masterclass and you can pick any topic you want to learn more about today. Gaining more knowledge is always a good thing because we can never know enough.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
It is proven that being active brings many physical and psychologicalbenefits. Engaging in some kind of exercise boosts confidence, brings motivation, and mental clarity. Although sometimes it can be difficult to motivate yourself into physical activity, start exploring what you could actually look forward to doing. You might want to set a duration of how long you want to be dedicated, or you can simply take a little bit of time during the day in between other tasks. You can put on some music and do yoga, stretch, work out, take a walk, or go on a bike ride. To maintain good physical health, you will also want to drink plenty of water and eat nutritious and healthy food to fuel your body.
The second to last topic on your to-do list makes sure that you focus on your mental health. There are several ways to maintain good mental health in today’s world amidst all the chaos. Start by thinking about how you can reach a good state of mind. Is it by reading a self-help book, listening to a wellness inspired podcast, or cleaning your space? Two things I might suggest are meditation and visualization. Meditating is scientifically proven to decrease depression, mood swings, reduces disease-causing blood chemicals, and leads to more self-compassion. Based on the clinical trial by Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, meditating also lowers blood pressure and regulates the nervous system. The history of meditation is not clear about when and where it originated, however, “the earliest written records come from Hindu traditions, in India, of Vendatism from around 1500 BCE” (positivepsychology.com). You can also use a tool called visualization to help you bring clarity about what you want and manifest anything you wish to happen. In other words, mentally rehearse the pursuit of your highest goals and intentions. You can also imagine what the best version of yourself or your idols would do and keep reminding yourself that throughout the day. Remind yourself of what you love about yourself, think about what inspires you and what makes you happy, and acknowledge your past achievements. If you have done something you are proud of in the past, just think about how many bigger and better things await you. Reflection drives motivation and productivity, this section is key.
The last topic to focus on in the to-do list is to have fun and relax. Squeeze in or prioritize effortlessly doing what you want and what you feel like that might not require any effort or motivation. You can play games, go out with friends or by yourself, dance, eat, cook, bake, watch a movie or a TV show, go online shopping, face timing with a friend or family member, sing, do arts and crafts, or take a bath and burn some candles. Just think about how you can have fun and unwind.
“Your biggest to-do: take care of you.” - Deepak Chopra
And there you have it! After following these five steps on your to-do list, you will have become more successful, knowledgeable, and closer to your higher self, all while having fun and relaxing in one day. The order in which you complete the list depends on you, and you can alternate between them anytime. Just try to hit each area in one day, and see if this works for you!