An introduction to using a list

posted by Eivind on January 15, 2011, at 11:01 pm

On January 4, I sent out a newsletter about setting our intention for 2011. I ended that newsletter with these words: "In a few days, I will provide an essential tool that I use every day to facilitate progress in my life to help you maximize the likelihood of manifesting your intention."

It's been more than a few days, but here we are. The tool? A list. Yes, simple - and oh so potent. Here is a video testimonial I just recorded for "The List" which I did with the Authentic Man Program at the end of 2010, which only strengthened my belief in the value of lists.

There are many ways to think of a list. You could think of it as a way of getting things done. Though that isn't so potent in my opinion. A better way to think of a list is as a way of maximizing your energy. Time-management is a misnomer. I don't remember what dude on the New Man Podcast who said this, but he said that the truly successful and happy are into energy management. That fits. We don't want to work until we drop and then drag our depressed, lethargic asses through life. No, we want a list to be generative – to nurture and serve us. So that's why the list should also include action items consciously chosen to rejuvenate us. Relaxation done consciously is much better than just collapsing on the couch and unconsciously picking up the remote.

To that end, I recommend you approach list-building in a truly Integral fashion. That means you should include several areas of your life in it. A minimum is physical, intellectual and emotional, as Eben Pagan pointed out in his Wake Up Productive course that I did a long while back. I go farther than Eben though – I include spiritual as well. I couldn't go through a day without addressing my spiritual dimension.

Checking your list becomes a nice little daily ritual. You get to tick off the things you did and you get to say "you did well" to yourself. I think you will find that completing an action item consciously and then ticking it off your list gives you more energy than just flowing from job to job randomly. Every little tick mark actually feeds a little energy into your system. Maybe this is only true for us masculine people. Or maybe it's only true for me. Try it out though. We humans love the carrot on the stick as well as that little reward when we deliver. We also experience guilt when we don't follow through so you may want to install some rituals for restoring rightness with yourself when you fail to live up to your aspiration. What I did with AMP was two-minute ice cold showers. Don't think of this ritual as punishment, think of it as giving the gift of a clear conscience to yourself.

I include below the list I just wrote for the next phase of my life. This list, as you will see, isn't really a goal-achievement list (I will probably make one of those too). The purpose of this list is to install habits into my life that facilitate happiness and vitality as a means for the realization of my goals. So with this type of list, I focus on the current, not the future. You may choose to include more concrete goals. That is also an important function of a list.

Bottom line is – you do whatever you want. Just try a list and see if it works for you. You may come to love it.

Download my sample list

Popup Test

Malcare WordPress Security