Must Make My “Must List”

Minimally Minimalist

Lately, I’ve been intrigued by the concept and lifestyle of minimalism.  I started listening to a minimalist podcast, and found a 30-day minimalism challenge on their blog. While some of the tasks they list to truly become a minimalist are a little unrealistic for me to commit to right now, I do think there are some aspects that I should try incorporating into my life now.

One of those tasks is to think about and then write out your “must” list. Basically, contemplate what in your life you want to change that will have the most impact on your well-being. Then, start tracking your progress towards those focused goals. So, I thought it might be a good exercise to first discuss why I feel the act of blogging can help me become more mindful person, and then jot down my “must” list as some things I can use my blog to help me change.

Top 3 Reasons Why I’ve thus far failed at Blogging:

  1. Probably the most prominent reason I haven’t kept up with a blog up to this point is self-doubt. I second-guess my intentions and ideas constantly, worrying that others will judge me or that they or I will feel I’m not contributing anything worthwhile spending my time writing a blog, or that I don’t have a unique enough niche to present justification for making a blog.
  2. That ties into the paradox of how I am both super inspired by and discouraged by other blogs at the same time. On one hand, I see my favorite bloggers doing their thing and I feel like, “Yeah, I could do that!” But then I also go into this negative thought pattern like, “Well, there are already so many awesome blogs out there and I feel like even if I created content to the best of my ability, it would still never be as good as what’s already out there online so why bother?”
  3. Lastly, I’m constantly struggling with my lack of motivation. I am an expert at making then breaking promises to myself. I’ll say to myself, “Okay Danielle, TOMORROW you will start blogging and will post every day for the unforeseeable future,” and then I get home from work the next day and I’m tired and uninspired and I just want to veg on the couch drinking wine and watching Bachelor in Paradise. So a part of myself, the negative Debbie Downer part, tells the inspired or semi-motivated part, “You’ll just end up falling off the productivity wagon or quitting anyway, so why bother starting.”

Combatting the negative self-talk / Top 3 Reasons to Blog:

  1. Self-Doubt. I is kind, I is smart, I is important. Even if others think my blog is terrible, then at the very least it’s a record of my own personal journey that I wouldn’t have logged otherwise, and there is inherent value in documenting pieces of my life that I may forget later on, so I’m doing this for me ultimately.
  2. I am both super inspired by and discouraged by other blogs at the same time.  I am unique, and even if there are millions of lifestyle blogs out there, not one of them so far is mine. Yet. I have my own individual experiences and trials and errors and they could be helpful or interesting to someone somewhere.
  3. Lack of motivation/commitment. If I had kept up with writing even just a couple of sentences of a post every day since I first started trying to keep a blog, I would already have a super substantial site, and it will get there if only I keep going. And also I need to be forgiving enough to myself to allow a day of lapse and not saying that ruined everything, I can pick back up again and still be better than quitting totally by allowing myself the grace to continue after a lull. A better routine will be helpful in all areas of my life, and creating a blog as my personal project can cover many bases in motivating me to keep pushing for progress as I’ll see how far I’ve come.

Why I must Write a Must List

Some of these to-do list items may be things I’ve been embarrassed to talk about in the past, but I figure, if I’m going to blog about self-improvement then I’m going to put it all out there. So I’ll be the first to say it: I’M A MESS. I CAN’T EVEN DO SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS BRUSH MY TEETH SOME EVENINGS. I DON’T MAKE ANY SENSE. I’LL KNOW I SHOULD DO SOMETHING, REMEMBER I SHOULD DO THAT SOMETHING AT A TIME WHEN I COULD DO IT, AND THEN STILL STUBBORNLY TELL MYSELF THAT I CAN PUT OFF DOING THAT THING FOR THE UNFORESEEABLE FUTURE.

I don’t know why or how I became a procrastinator, but I know that I’ve stayed one because so far nothing bad enough has happened to me as a result of my procrastination to make me feel the strong need to change. I’m just now starting to have the forethought to consider that maybe I don’t want to wait for something that bad to happen before I change just because I know I should anyway.

My Must List

  1. I must find a way to more enjoyably and regularly move my body, maybe by walking Lincoln at least 3x/week to give him exercise too.
  2. Grooming: Must brush Lincoln at least once/week to keep him free of mats, and body shower myself at least every other day if not every day, but only washing my hair twice/week.
  3. Must stop biting my cuticles to finally quit the bad habit I haven’t been able to shake.
  4. I must write thank-you notes more promptly to accurately represent the gratitude I already feel to others.
  5. Must bullet journal every day or at least every other day to keep a better record of my life and to hold myself accountable to tasks.
  6. I must create and stick to a morning and bedtime routine to practice better self-care.
  7. Must do laundry at least 1 load per week to stay ahead of the “impossible pile”.
  8. I must make queso and blog about it at least once every other week (to allow for a reasonable amount of lapse for travel weeks or crazy busy weeks, shouldn’t have two in a row).

I think 8 is enough to focus on to start, one for each letter of my name, ta-da!

One thought on “Must Make My “Must List”

  1. Michelle says:

    I think your “combating negative self-talk” is right on the money! Write your blog for yourself, and let others discover what value they find in it for themselves. I am constantly trying different kinds of blog posts and styles, to try to figure out what I want to share in ,y blog — I’ve written daily and sporadically, and I’ve taken months-long breaks, and ultimately I eventually miss some aspect of the process of blogging and come back to it.

    Also, for your list of 8 goals, I’ll offer you the advice of Steve Jobs: just 3 things. Every year, he brainstormed with his executives about the priorities for the year. He then forced the team to pick just 3 things to focus on. Your list of 8 is good (great actually!), but each week or each month, try to focus on just 3 of your goals.

    Can’t wait to read what you come up with next!

So whaddya think?