Reality-Check Your To-Do List


I've always been an ambitious, goal-oriented person. It's a strength, right? Not when left unchecked.


Sometimes, we need to reality-check our to-do lists. First things first, how are you today? I mean, really. How's your heart? How do you feel? That's where we need to start. This has been a little easier for me lately because I'm taking yoga teacher training, and part of the process involves daily yoga and meditation. I'm paying better attention to how I'm feeling--both physically and emotionally.

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I used to push myself to get done every single thing I wanted to do. I pushed through pain. I pushed through exhaustion. I made myself sick, stressed, and depressed in the process. I don't do that anymore.


Part of my daily check also involves the reality variety. I have an endocrine disorder, and I'm raising autistic children. We have a few challenges--but honestly, who doesn't? Some days, I need to switch up my long list of things to do to comfort a child who is going through something. Other days, my body is in pain and exhausted or my emotions are all over the place, and what I really need to do is some serious self-care. So, maybe washing the dishes goes out the window for a little while.


The above list isn't bad for most days. I do hydrate, especially on those self-caring days. Meditate? I can often check that one off--even if I only have a few minutes a day to do it. Create-- you know I'm always working on something new. But my long checklist of things I want to accomplish should always come after assessing my wellness for the day.


Our lives aren't about meeting goals or measuring up (yes, even yours, Capricorns like me).

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They're about taking good care of ourselves, of our families, of our relationships. Our lives are about being present in the moment--not ignoring the moment because we're trying to get to the next.


For example, I had a night where I got very little sleep despite my best efforts. I woke up exhausted, physically sore from the restless night, and discouraged because I had so much I wanted to get done and no energy to do any of it. I started with the basics. I got my kids off to school, took my dog outside, and stopped by a friend's house to feed her cats for her. I couldn't skip any of that. Then, I came home and skipped coffee in favor of a cup of tea. While it was brewing, I quickly scrambled some eggs and made toast. I prioritized the absolutely essential work tasks and pushed everything else off to later in the afternoon or the next day. (Let me just say this-- I know not everyone has the luxury of rearranging their schedule like this. Do what YOU can.) Then, I adjusted my list to add a new item:

  • Take a nap.

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I've been under the weather, and I'm not going to get better by pushing myself. I'm going to stay hydrated, eat something that supports my health, and take a long nap so that I can prioritize my other responsibilities. I can't take care of my children or dog if I don't take care of myself.


Do I want to shop one I've written and finish another? You bet!


Do I want to finish any one of the three outstanding manuscripts I've written over 100 pages on? Yes, definitely.


Do I want to get ahead on my work rather than feeling like I'm constantly playing catch up? Of course!


But today, I adjust my best to how I'm feeling TODAY. I add TAKING CARE OF MYSELF to the top of my list. I shift everything else beneath it. Work will get done in good time. The dishes will be washed and put away. Life will go on. But first, there will be a nap.

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How can you take better care of yourself today?


Be well!


Crystal Jackson


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