A few weeks ago, we discussed abandoning our to-do lists so that we could rely more on God and can have more peace. Some of you have admitted that it’s difficult to give up a to-do list, especially with our busy schedules and all the appointments we have to make. So, for those of you who are performance-based, accomplishment-driven, or just plain disorganized and in need of some structure, here is another way to look at your tasks for the day.
Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life.Church shared in his leadership podcast that the habit he wants to create this year is to celebrate little wins. He has been so focused on the big tasks, that he doesn’t want to forget about the everyday accomplishments and blessings that come his way.
While looking at my to-do list, I realized how condemning it was. The way I have it set up, I’m never going to be satisfied. I may have a list of 50 items, but if I do all but one task, I feel like I’ve failed. And even if I do all the items on my list, throughout the day, I’ll realize there were items I forgot to add to my list.
Why not focus on the items that I did accomplish?
I understand that people may not want to boast in their accomplishments. “Let those who boast, boast in the Lord,” the Scriptures say. But I’ve found that, instead of focusing on our accomplishments, we tend to focus on our shortcomings, which also does not glorify God. Think about it: God has given us the strength and the ability to accomplish all that He wants us to do. If we sit around thinking we’re failures or that our lives are too overwhelming for us, we’re neglecting to use the power, grace and strength He has given us.
Here is what I do now. At the beginning of the week, I write a list of what I’d like to accomplish. Since I have multiple freelance clients, in addition to my part-time job and the ministries I’m involved in at church, it’s easy for me to have an idea of what to expect in the next couple of days. Whether I want to work on my book, follow-up with a client, or spend time with friends, it’s helpful to see what’s on the agenda.
However, every day, at the end of the day, I take out my journal and write what I’ve accomplished. I don’t even look at my to-do list; I simply look back on the day and reflect on what went right. Then, I write at the bottom: “God, thank You for helping me to accomplish these things.”
So, I ask you, what have you accomplished today? If you are a perfectionist, like me, you may feel like you haven’t accomplished anything. You may feel like you’ve done a lot of work but nothing to show for it. Let me encourage you, and challenge you, to consider what little victories you have made today that can propel you to keep going.
This week, try writing down what you’ve accomplished. Put away the to-do list, and focus on what you’ve done right.
To give you an idea, since waking up this morning about two hours ago, here is what I’ve accomplished:
- Woke up
- Spent quality time with my husband at breakfast
- Read the Bible
- Did an intense workout
- Made the bed
- Took a shower
- Got dressed
- Wrote a blog post
I didn’t change the world doing any of these things today. I didn’t make any money. I didn’t even affect anyone’s life, really. But what I accomplished so far matters, and knowing what I’ve already done will motivate me to make it through the rest of the day.
God, thank You for helping me to accomplish these things.