If you pay attention to advertisers, it’s that time of year when you should get started with your Christmas shopping. You have a list, and if you wait too long, someone will be left out!
There’s a list for everything these days, which made me think about how I have used lists to my advantage.
Thanks to the smartphones that are always by our sides, list making doesn’t always involve the need to find a writing instrument. But it does take time. When I take the time to write something down, I’m taking a moment or two to think about a task or goal I want to accomplish.
Lists work for me when I want to use my day effectively.
Lists work for me when I need to make sure that I don’t forget an item at the grocery store.
Lists also work for me when I want to accomplish personal and family goals.
It is very easy for me to say that I would like to travel somewhere or save enough for an article of clothing or a household item.
I could easily talk about the goals I have for my family.
But there’s something about writing down my goals that makes me visualize them. There’s something that makes me want to work towards what I have taken the time to write down.
Recently, I was cleaning out a drawer with a box full of menus and other papers. Some of the papers needed to be thrown out, but some were handwritten or typed. It was obvious that these were lists that had been made over the years. There were a few Christmas lists made by my children. There were also the lists we made as a family on every New Years Day since 2013.
The title “Family Goal List 20__” (fill in the year) was always typed in bold print at the top of the page. When we sat down to make the list, everyone was involved. Before anything was written down, my husband would start with the same sentence:
“No matter how small you think your goal may be, say it, and it will be written down.”
My daughter said she wanted a new bedding set. I wrote it down.
My son said he wanted to attend a video game tournament. I wrote it down.
We wanted to find a new home. I wrote it down. With specifics.
After the list was complete, I went to the computer and carefully typed each request.
Every request mattered.
Keeping the list in a place where we could see it was also important.
The list was placed on the refrigerator, and as requests were accomplished, the item would be crossed off the list.
You see, placing the list in a prominent place made us conscious of the things we wanted to accomplish. For example, if a new stove was on the list, I saw it often enough to remember to keep an eye out for a great deal on appliances.
It wasn’t long before my list making crossed over to travel.
My #travelgoals are more than a hashtag. There are real places I want to go to share unforgettable experiences with the people I love.
I found a small notebook where I could write down my goals and plans, and unlike our family goals, I don’t type this list on my computer. I like being able to write notes, draw arrows to other notes and cross through items to update them.
The list also includes possible dates of travel, places to stay (with addresses and phone numbers), ticket prices, etc. If the list doesn’t include these things, I can’t say that I’m planning because planning involves research. Research gives me an idea of the budget I need to get where I want to go.
Here are a few future travel plans that are on my list (not in any particular order):
1. The North American International Auto Show in Detroit
2. The Northern Lights in Fairbanks, Alaska or Norway
3. A transatlantic cruise
4. A Mediterranean cruise
5. Travel to the Hawaiian Islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kauai
6. Multi-week European vacation
- My goal of visiting the Hawaiian islands was added to my list four years ago. An offer that I couldn’t refuse was presented to me, and I visited the Big Island in 2016. Oahu was the next island on my list and I spent the Christmas holidays there with my family in 2017.
- A multi-week European vacation is something I’ve been working on since 2017 to make it possible for 2019, and as soon as the 2020 cruise season opens, I’ll start planning a Mediterranean cruise.
Now I see why my husband calls me our family’s travel agent.
Every goal begins as a dream. Have you ever considered writing your goals down and starting the plans that can make them become reality?
When I realized that my family, personal and travel goals could be written down, and that research and planning costs nothing, I was unstoppable. What’s on your list?