This was my concern as I left the gym after a hard core workout. I wasn't congratulating myself on getting my keister to the gym and actually doing cardio for 35 minutes. I wasn't celebrating a hard work out and some good, responsible stretching afterward. My thought as I left the gym was about how after all of that effort, I forgot to stretch a certain part of my body.
However, to do lists become an albatross when we are focusing on what we haven't done instead of celebrating what we have. When did taking care of 99 out of the 100 things on a day's list become a failure for many of us? An unfinished day?
Obviously we need a shift in perspective. This shift needs to happen in two areas.
First we need to bring the measure of success down from 100% to something doable. Aiming for just over half is a good start. Focus on the minimum accomplishment that suits your day and tackle those items. If there's time for more, then great, extra credit!
Second, don't cross the to do items off but highlight them. Put a star by them. Celebrate them. You have now achieved something new or gotten rid of a problem. Congratulations, Hercules! This accomplishment deserves celebration, not some grand dismissal with a strike through of the pen.
By recalibrating our expectations of what success looks like and focusing on what we've achieved instead of what we haven't, we can use that momentum of success to power us into the next task. We can end our days cheerfully reciting our accomplishments and inwardly exploring the self-respect that comes with keeping promises to ourselves.
So forget about not stretching your butt. Focus on the finished workout and the sweat of success. Celebrate your To Done List.
Image courtesy of Flickr's koka_sexton.