Why you need to make a list right now 18



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He’s making a list and checking it twice!

The lyrics, of course, belong to the song, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”. Santa found that making a list was valuable, and if it’s good for Santa, it’s good for us. Lists have tremendous importance in our lives. We use lists for many things: shopping, weddings and real estate, to name a few. Here I want to discuss three lists that can be of tremendous value:


Goal setting

Setting goals and writing them down gives you a greater chance to achieve success in life. When we set goals, we are making a list of those things we desire to attain in our lives. You can write goals in many areas of life: personal, health, business, or financial.

Each year over the Christmas period, I assess what I have achieved during the year. I then become introspective and decide which goals I want to set for the upcoming year. I make sure to word my goals in the present tense as if I have already achieved them and make them as specific as possible. Also, I make sure to put an end date to achieve my goals. I do this whether “retired” or not. The following is an example of such goals:

  • I meet two new people each week by December 31, 2015
  • I attend four personal development seminars by October 31, 2015
  • I read a book a week by the end of December 31, 2015
  • I swim two kilometres a week, three times a week, by December 31, 2015
  • I organise at least one talk a month in the community by December 31, 2015

The sample above is a small one, but you get the picture. What is most important in goal setting is that you have identified a purpose in your life. Your goals need to be congruent with that purpose. You must see that every goal that you write in some way fulfils your purpose which also needs to be written down. Both your goals and purpose statement need to be easily accessible, and you need to read them with regularity.


Daily to-do list

Writing a daily list can keep you on track. Select the highest priority things that you need to do each day and make a note of them. Make sure that they are congruent with your goals and purpose. You can make a case that taking out the rubbish can help to fulfil your purpose––it’s something we all need to do––but that shouldn’t be high on your priorities. Write down those things that inspire you.

If you value your social life in retirement, then your list will be related to making a social connection. If you value writing a book, then your list will detail areas such as researching information, meeting experts in your area of interest or detailing how many pages you will write on a particular day.

If you write it, you are more likely to do it.


List what you seek in a partner

Did you ever think that writing a list of what you want in a partner could attract that person into your life? My wife, Adele did this, and it changed her life.

Six months before our first date, Adele wrote a list of the qualities that she wanted in a male partner. She wrote about physical characteristics, profession, finances, interests, sex, and family. She also wrote down how she would love the relationship to be. For Adele, being an equal partner was very important and meant that the other partner respect her profession,  finances, and ideas about the future. She wrote three pages and put the list in her night-table drawer.

A few weeks later she was introduced to me. Initially, Adele did not see how the relationship would proceed as I was so different from anyone she had had in her life, but there was some chemistry––there was a spark.

Six months later, Adele happened to go through the drawer of her nightstand and came across her list of what she wanted in a partner. To her surprise, she discovered that I fulfilled virtually everything on her list.

So don’t wait until Santa comes to town and hope that he brings you gifts from his list. Instead, use lists yourself to empower your life.


Do you make lists? What was the last list you completed? What was on it?

Dr Ely Lazar and Dr Adele Thomas

  1. And remember to take the shopping list with you, Cathy lol. I now list everything I need to know on my Notes on my IPhone, measurements, shopping, books to read authors to remember, there’s a birthday reminder as well and what other useless sorry useful stuff floating in my forgetful brain. When Its no longer useful to me I delete it. I love it.

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    • Will have to give that a try, it has to be better than paper lists that seem to disappear!

    • May as well Debbie no harm in giving it a go and we always take our phones everywhere we do so that’s a bonus.

  2. Do you make lists? Of course.

    What was the last list you completed? My plan.

    What was on it? The things I plan to do in the short, medium and long term.

    Now wait. I’ll be serious. I’m a planner trainer by temperament so planning is easy. So I have plans stretching out for a long time. Will I achieve it? No. One has to be flexible. I’m currently working on where and when next year’s fishing trips will be. I have one already booked and that is ten months away.

    Most large corporations have plans/forecasts and they are structured as follows

    – a weekly plan daily,
    – a fortnightly plan weekly,
    – a monthly plan fortnightly,
    – a quarterly plan monthly,
    – a half yearly plan quarterly
    – a yearly plan six monthly, and
    -a five year plan annually.

    Most of them will do 10, 15 and 20 years forecasts annually as well.

    My shopping list is tucked away in the old noggen. B|

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  3. Good Lord. The goals here are huge!
    Surely at your age you don’t need more personal development conferences?
    A book a week?
    I can do that but I am retired.
    How do you find time?
    No kids or grandkids to mind?

  4. I have my diary (hard back copy); my calendar of events on my phone; a whiteboard; and a calendar of events in the kitchen. My food list is always left behind, but my husband talks into his phone to tell it what we need urgently before we leave the house. We still forget things too, especially if we meet someone we know at the supermarket! I hate making lists, much rather “wing it” and see what I come home with. Often I stop at the shops on my way home from somewhere, only to find that the better half has done the same thing. One thing’s for sure…..the cat never goes hungry!

  5. I have a little whiteboard I bought from office works on the inside of the pantry door – I build my grocery list from it – mainly the odd stuff I usually forget to buy. I also add other don’t forget notes. And I recently made a list of all the things I could do with my mum during her 6 week visit – that worked really well and there’s still plenty on the list for next year. I also have another spiral notebook that has the big ticket to do items – now I’m sounding really anal…

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