The Checklists that matter

It’s the second day of a new year. Do I feel different? Hard to say, really, considering I haven’t done anything to make it so.

I’m a checklist person, you see, so it seems natural to assume that I will have made  lists for the year ahead with enough bullet points and numbered schedules to keep me busy for the next 365 days.

It’s natural to want to be organised, especially when you’re trying to juggle many things at once. As much as I want to do complete justice to everything, it just isn’t possible. I find myself rather defeated at the end of each month, having drawn up grand plans and seeing less than half of them come to fruition.

Checklists that matter

So, this year, I am going to focus on the Checklists that matter. What are they?

Personal wellness:

This is very important, in my opinion. I rarely take stock of my personal health- either physical or mental. In doing so, a lot of things get neglected: my stamina, energy and overall physical strength; my sense of balance and stability. Time for me to consciously step outside the house and invest in some good old time with Nature/exercise as well as the freshness that comes from the daily effort. Doing this, I know, will make sure I stay in better health. I’ve also started re-reading the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and focusing on the simple goals for now seem not only doable but positively energising.

Emotional Investment:

I haven’t spent enough time with my daughter in 2015, although I have been parenting practically solo for the last 8 months thanks to the new demands of the husband’s job. The time that counts is the time when we sit together, laugh together, smile and hold hands or just cuddle with books in our hands. I need more of those moments in my life and am determined to ensure that these will happen in 2016.

Writing more:

Now this doesn’t mean blogging. Yes, I know the blog is important but I have realised that with a full-time job now, trying to do more than is practically possible, is plain foolish. But I love to write and I adore putting it all down when the fancy strikes. I intend to write more, a lot more, this year and with dedication to the art of writing. There may be more bursts of poetic fancy, more unrestrained Facebook posts and more involvement with my memoir than ever before. I need this, for my own sanity and peace of mind.

Lesser social media:

I used to deactivate my Facebook account every month all through 2015 and while it was a big blessing, I have come to realise that it is important to manage myself more than managing social media.

Deactivating also caused a few hiccups along the way. I used to lose access to other applications that would require a Facebook login, relinquish my admin role on the few groups I moderate and also lose out on potential business opportunities because people could not reach me. So, with 2016, I’ve decided to not deactivate anymore but consciously steer clear of the distraction that is social media. More on that in another post.

Read more:

I’ve never really taken up the Goodreads or any other reading challenge but I am determined to read more this year. Why? Reading makes us better writers. Of this I am certain.

I used to finish 3 books a week at one point of time and although I doubt I can do that now, I can aim for a book a week, at least. So that’s 52 books a year. What do you think? Worth doing? Well, definitely giving it a shot.

What do you think? 

Do my checklists match yours? 

Care to share your own?

41 thoughts on “The Checklists that matter

  1. I used to be a checklist kinda person, but then i was too caught up with the things on the list that I forgot to enjoy life… So these days I know what am doing, make a to do list daily but the rest of the time is mine to indulge in… 🙂

    How has the year been for you???

  2. Hey same pinch Shailaja. I am also a BIG time checklist person. But I didnt actually make any list of what I wanted to do this year. Thought for once, I would “unlist” and just take life as it comes 🙂
    Your points are all very soulful and I am sure they are all stuff that build much deeper strength. Regulating social media is very much needed for one’s own sanity.

  3. I am with you on all of these because coincidentally these few are really the only goals I have been working towards from past few months.
    I am excited to explore the ‘Happiness Project’ because I’m forever looking for books that can help me take on life on a positive note 🙂
    May 2016 be the year when you accomplish much more than you’re aiming for.

  4. Loved the way you said that it’s more about managing yourself than social media. I need to do that as well. I have few health and reading goals. Apart from that I usually make a list on the go. 🙂

  5. Wish you a very happy new year, Shailaja! You are certainly a checklist person. I love all the points here 🙂 My older DIL is one and I am amazed at her meticulousness. Me, I do it only when I travel or when organising something. Otherwise, I don’t as they stress me out.

    1. I tend to drive people up the wall with my lists, Zephyr 😉 It’s a miracle people still like me. I put it down to my winsome personality 😉 I can’t survive without lists. Ingrained in me. Think I inherited it from someone, not sure whom !

  6. What an awesome checklist, Shailaja. The 1st 2 points are the most important ones, and I believe they will make it easier for us to follow points 3,4 and 5. Copying some stuff of this to make my 2016 better 🙂

  7. You are right. These are the things that truly matter. As long as we check these off, we are on the right track.

    And I can say ditto to most of the points you mentioned. The only change is the reading goal – I am looking at 30 books for 2016. 🙂

    Wishing you a great year ahead!

  8. I guess I do something similar but I call them goals 🙂 I think the personal wellness category is so important. We all lead busy lives and I think women particularly, forsake our own wellbeing for that of others. We can’t do all we want to do if we are physically or mentally unwell. That’s why looking after ourselves should come first.

    I have similar goals as you except for the parenting one I suppose. Hope 2016 is a wonderful year for you Shailaja! 🙂

  9. YES — I am a checklist queen. I enjoyed your points and they are all important. My personal life is going through a major change in 2016 and I anticipate it will bring many challenges but many more rewards, so I am excited. I rarely make resolutions because, as a checklist person, I maintain good habits in that area all year. I can’t move forward until my old list is complete — are you that way as well?

    1. Interesting that you ask about the old lists. I find now that I have goals written down and keep ticking them off as I go. Am not really time bound, I notice.

  10. Those are great checklists that everyone could use to improve their lives. I haven’t made any goals or resolutions for the year so far but you’re inspiring me to get going on some. My main objective will be to write more and goof off on social media less as it is such a time suck. I do love it but it tends to take over and I am not productive. I probably said this last year, too!

  11. Shailaja, Happy New Year.
    From what I have read from this post, I feel you have set realistic goals. Sometimes we tend to make goals that overwhelm us and those are forgotten by the end of the first month. I have written a lot about resolutions in my last few posts. You can check one of them on my blog titled: “Divide And Conquer”

  12. Great list Shailaja and writing and less distraction due to social media tops mine too… Through I haven’t set any goals as such, I need to be more focused and procrastinate less in whatever I do! 🙂

    Wishing you and your family a very Happy 2016!

  13. That’s a valuable checklist, Shailaja. My checklist contains spending quality time with my writing, blogs, and me. Also, I hope to join a writing course if possible. And yeah, time management, I would like to give a shot at that. I like that you are not going to deactivate from FB anymore. 🙂 I uninstalled FaceBook app from my phone yesterday and I do feel good about it. FB in phone is a serious distraction. I wish that this year you achieve everything you aim for and that we get to read that book of yours. 🙂

    1. I’d love to join a writing course, Vinitha! Sadly, I doubt any good ones exist in India and the ones online are usually US-based so won’t work from the time perspective. That being said, I am raring to write more and write with passion, as always. Oh yes, the FB app on the phone is a pain and am so glad I removed mine a year ago! Thanks for all the good wishes <3

    1. Oh tell me about it. For now, I am only using Facebook and Twitter and although I do have G+, Linkedin and Pinterest accounts, I doubt I have the energy to invest myself in them. Takes too much effort and also not worth all that sacrifice, in my opinion. Just working on my technique and hoping that it clicks should keep me going for now 🙂

  14. For me, I have only thought of organizing myself better to manage my time better. And I wish to continue with my fitness and wellness initiatives. Patience is something I will be actively working on. Have been working on all these since December. Wish you good luck with your wish list.

    1. So glad to hear that, Rachna. You’ve always been pretty sorted on that front, I know, where wellness is concerned. Very inspiring. Wish you a lovely 2016!

  15. Those are really important points.. I too always have missed out on taking care of myself and my health always in between the busy schedules..hope to make it my most important goal for the year and to spend lots more of quality time with my little boy…?

  16. Great points..
    I want to spend more time offline too and write more.
    2015 was all about fitness and wellness, so that will continue to 2016 as well! 🙂

    Wishing you a fabulous 2016 Shailaja! May you achieve all that’s there on your list and much more! 🙂

  17. Great points, Shailaja. I hope to hear you say your book is ready for the world this year. I know it is tough but I also know that you can!

    I’ve set a list a goals this year that I intend to achieve as best as I can. Looking forward to all good things in 2016. I know it will be peppered by some speed breakers, but I also know I’ll cruise over them gratefully.

    Wishing you a successful 2016.

    1. I hope to say it too Vidya. That the book is done. Am definitely keeping that in my sights. Knowing you, you’ll sail through the speed bumps and make it a memorable year. Hugs.

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