Have you heard of a ta-da list? It’s the opposite of a to-do list and for some people it can be a really great motivator. For me however, the concept sent me into a complete tail spin that ended in an existential battle. But I also made a printable so that’s cool too.
I was listening to this awesome podcast the other day (it’s called Happier by Gretchen Rubin) and they were talking about motivation. More specifically they were talking about how different personality types reacted to things like to-do list. One of their listeners suggested that a ta-da list can be heaps better than a to-do list.
Now I love a good to-do list as much as the next person but the ever-growing nature of them means you rarely get the satisfaction of getting to the end and that can be a bit crap. In contrast, the ta-da list can be filled with all the things that you have already achieved. It’s an exercise in giving yourself ‘snaps’ that produces a list that you owe nothing to, and this concept made me fall a bit in love with the idea. The context was that you could do it daily or weekly or whatever. But it got me thinking about goals.
I used to be really into goal lists; dreaming up what you want out of life/work/family can be a really great way to focus your energies but they can also be a bit of a downer. A few months ago I found a goal list I has written in 2011 and even though I had smashed the majority of them, one was still (deeply) in the realm of fantasy, and it bummed me out a bit. House, yup. Two kids, yup. Living by the beach, yup. Working from home as a writer, yup. Size eight, ha ha ha ha ha.
And I know it’s crazy; the fact that I had written that in my top-ten life goals is a bit embarrassing really but there is was, that little goal that was important to brand-new-mum Babs made me feel instantly crap about the number on my jeans label instead of proud of all I have achieved in the past six years.
After I git over the fact that my clothing size was still in the double digits I started thinking about bucket lists and, of course, I instantly felt stressed that I didn’t have one. I couldn’t even think of one thing to put on one (should I actually try to write one) and then I started to tweak. Should I write one? If I did, should I put really outrageous things on it to encourage myself to live a crazy life? Or should I just be super conservative so I would have more of a chance of completion and death-bed satisfaction?
Yup, it escalated really quickly.
So I made myself a ta-da list. For this week, this year and this life. And now I know that no matter when I find it and re-read it I will never owe it anything and it will bring me nothing but snaps.