There’s always been a tension for me when it comes to ‘to do’ lists. So, today, I want to introduce you to my newly renovated list-the ‘to be’ list. Instructions for creating your own are found below. So, read on and find out how to make a list that’s more about be-ing than do-ing.
To do lists are dangerous for me because I can lean towards a ‘works-oriented’ pride.
- A list that provides me a place to feel accomplished as I tick the boxes can easily drive me to think that what I do is more important than who I am.
- My to do lists are often more task oriented than people oriented, and we all know how much easier it is to do tasks than to deal with people.
- My to do lists can also have the opposite effect of their intended purpose-making me feel swamped and stuck rather than accomplished and focused. As my mind starts revving with tasks, the list is quickly too long and I throw in the towel at the sight of all there is ‘to do.’
But, recently, I’ve started to set up my ‘to do’ lists more like ‘to be’ lists and I’m finding the change refreshing and helpful. So, I thought I’d pass it along for those who love the lists and even for those who are don’t.
Here’s the gist: I set up the list based upon my roles in life and I order the list based on the priority those roles currently have in life.
Start on a Saturday or Sunday when you have a chance to sit and reflect for a longer period of time. Sunday afternoon has worked well for me the past few weeks.
1 List the roles you currently play in life, and list them in the order of their importance.
- Disciple of Jesus
- Household Manager
- Family Member
- Church Member
- Friend & Neighbor
2 Search for Scriptures that apply to that role and lessons you’re currently learning in that area.
- For instance-With being a disciple, I’m focusing on being faithful in the small things.
- With being a wife, I’m continuously working through communicating respect to my husband.
- In being a mother, I’m wanting to build trust in my little ones so that they will be willing to learn wisdom from my husband and me.
You get the idea.
3 With the focus of these roles and the Scriptures that give you direction, list your top 3 goals for the week under each role. For instance:
- As a Family member, one goal for the week is sending a note to my grandfather who recently lost my grandmother.
- As a neighbor, one of my 3 goals is baking an extra loaf of bread to deliver next door on Saturday. Or it could be something more general like being out in the front yard for 4 hours this week.
- As a church member, one of my 3 goals is praying for a stranger to talk with at church on Sunday and being intentional to find him/her and introduce myself.
You get the idea.
4 At the end of the week, as you make your list for the next week, reflect on what worked and what did not. Talk with God about it. Talk with others about it (especially the ones that are benefiting from your list). Ask God for more grace to dig in deeper to further become all He’s made you to be.
5 Find new verses, fill out the priorities and get out there again the next week.
Now, I know that this method of list making can make life seem less integrated than it really is. For instance, the goal of reading Scripture every day as a disciple is going to benefit every one of my roles, not just the role of Disciple. And respecting my husband will provide a great example and loving environment for my children and will impact my interactions with other family members. Nevertheless, if I don’t focus on each role separately with specific goals for each role, I find that some roles will be neglected. And roles that are not first priority will somehow sneak back up to the top of my to do list.
So, what do you think about my ‘to be’ list? Thoughts for revisions or ways to make it better? I hope to provide you with a free download of the template later this week, so stay tuned…and get out there and fulfill your ‘to be’ lists!