162/364/2015 The List


So, this is an inside page of the book I showed you yesterday. All of this is what I want to get done today. As you can see, I already have one check mark. Actually, I have two, because as soon as I took this picture, I was able to check that off as well.

Now, if you know me, you know that lists are nothing new. My ADHD brain just loves to check shit off, and thrives on structure. Without it, I flounder and waste a lot of time on the internet. You can imagine that this summer, with minimal class attendance and no small children at home, was a yawning chasm of aimlessness for me, and not in a good way. I do have goals, and I need to be taking steps to meet them. Therefore, there is a page in this book for every day between yesterday and August 14, inclusive, just like it says on the cover.

But. This book is also a radical departure from my normal list making. You can see that in addition to habits I want to maintain or build and the jobs I need to do, there is also fun stuff listed. That’s difference number one. Difference number two is this: my “Summer of Challenge” also comes with rewards.

In the past, and I mean around the time my fourth child was born, I have used my lists to beat myself up. At the end of the day, I would look at all I hadn’t done. An incompletely finished list was a sign of my daily failure as a person. I’m changing that mindset. Just as I tell my clients to give themselves credit where it is due, I’m taking credit where it’s due. Each item on this daily list is worth five points. Even the fun stuff. And I get a reward for every 500 points I earn over the summer.

Girl wants things. I want a new phone. I want a smart watch. I want to go Goodwilling with my cousin. I may want to go out to dinner and now worry about how many fats and carbs are on my plate. I want a yoga block or two. And I can have one of those things as soon as I have 100 check marks in this book. My lists run over 20 items, so this could be done in 4 or 5 days.

I’m not superhuman though. I still only have 24 hours a day like the rest of you. Some days, there’s just more to do than can be accomplished. The point system also acknowledges that. Yesterday, I got 75 points. Not bad considering that I didn’t even “finish” the book until noon, and then I added to it as things came to mind until 5pm.

And you know me. I love to beat me up. The very last thing I added was the reward system. Boys and girls, I have replaced my stick with a carrot. Apparently the three lectures I’ve attended on CBT in the past 10 days have sunk in.

Oh, look. Another check mark, because I just journaled right here on the blog.