The New Year had me thinking a lot about goals, values, ambitions, motivations, life, and how excited I was to wear my new fuzzy socks. With all the talk of “look how far you’ve come in a year” and “can you believe that was only 1 year ago” I found myself even more reflective and nearly bubbling over with blog ideas – two of which involved writing about goals and values.
At my old job, we had a list of working norms – kind of like guiding values – and each day at our morning huddle, we would say what working norm we were focusing on that day. I loved that idea. I mean, obviously, in theory, you were living into every positive attribute every day you walked into the office, but how nice it was to really put your heart and soul behind one guiding value each week.
For this reason, I’ve decided to dedicate a new series of “Res” posts to my own kind of working norms – my own mini-resolutions. You don’t have to buy into any of these. You don’t have to make your own. But maybe at some point, it’ll make you think about what it would look like to radically change your life one week at a time.
Res 34: Take It off The List
The other week, I was at a bar with my brothers and some of their friends. We were talking about movies. Someone brought up the movie Lion. My eyes lit up. From the moment I heard of the movie, I was entranced – and not just because I have a soft spot for Dev Patel. When the movie came out last year, I was determined to see it before the Oscars. My coworker and I talked about going to see it and I looked up show times frequently. But things got busy and people got busy and I didn’t see the movie before the Oscars.
A few weeks ago, the movie came out on Netflix. Fantastic, I thought, now I can watch it from the comfort of my sofa. I looked back in my planner. Every week since July 10th I have written “watch Lion” and every Sunday night, as I would plan ahead for the upcoming week, I would move “watch Lion” to the next page (along with everything else I hadn’t finished that week).
So when the topic of the movie Lion came up, I was ready to jump in with the articles I had read about it and the trailers I had made my roommates watch and how it had been on my list for months.
And that’s when I realized something: It didn’t matter if it was “on my list.” It didn’t matter that I had been “wanting to see this movie for months.” It didn’t matter that I began each week for almost 2 months with the intention of watching this movie. Because I hadn’t watched the movie. And I couldn’t partake in the conversation about it.
I took a sip of my water and sighed. It’s bigger than the movie.
Resolution #34: Take It off The List
I suddenly realized that it did not matter one iota if I had all the intention in the world. It didn’t even matter that it was on my list. It mattered that I hadn’t done it.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions so they say and, as I sat there stirring my straw, I thought about how much of my life is just good intentions. I thought of how many times a day I say, “it’s on my list.”
“I haven’t done it yet, but it’s on my list.”
It doesn’t matter how many times I organize my planner or try to strategize for my week or my day. It doesn’t matter how many lists I make or how many times I “feel” like I’m organized and accomplishing things. Some things are black and white. I either saw the movie or I didn’t. Having it written down 8 times in a planner doesn’t count.
I get it. It’s impossible to do everything. I certainly know that I put too much on my list. But maybe it’s time to start taking action on the things that have been hovering around for a while. Maybe it’s time to actually start checking boxes and crossing items and accomplishing things.
I’m going to watch Lion. I’ll let you know how it is.