Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Don't let your To Do list define you

As I was reviewing some coaching blogs this morning, I came across a question that I thought would trigger some interesting discussions: "If I gave you an extra hour every day, what would you do with it?"

When I try to answer this question for myself, I get overwhelmed. There is so much I'd want to fit into an extra hour every day. Part of this dilemma is probably attributed to my top strength on StrengthsFinder 2.0 being Achiever. I derive a lot of satisfaction from being busy and productive. This is the double-edged sword of your strengths. 

With an extra hour, I'd see more friends throughout the week, I'd write in my journal every day, I'd experiment with more recipes, I'd brainstorm ideas for a book, I'd go on a date night with John, I'd have our neighbors over for dinner...

All of these things are good and are pursuits that I desire to fit into my schedule in 2014. But I can't possibly fit all this into one hour, or one day for that matter.

This simple question made me pause to consider my response to how I do spend the hours I have during they day. Oftentimes, if I don't accomplish all of the things on my list, I feel like I haven't made progress on my goals. The start to 2014 has felt like a whirlwind, and I've noticed this thinking creeping in. 

After returning from Florida, I needed to get the house in order, organize, put away Christmas decorations, and start making plans for leading my small group, catching up with friends I hadn't seen, and spending time with John. I also wanted to stay on top of my goals, make progress on my business, and intentionally write more. These are all things that I enjoy, but I felt overwhelmed with my growing To Do list. Then the freeze and broken pipe hit, putting everything on pause for most of the week. So this week feels like playing catch up instead of being proactive. 

But then I read this from Holley Gerth: "You can be free from continually pursuing more and yet never feeling like enough." 

And I wanted to encourage you (because I need to give myself this encouragement!) that you - and I - are more than a To Do list. I think it's important to set goals and track your progress, and in fact I wrote a blog post about this today over at Student Launch Pad. But tracking your progress doesn't mean you should be defined by your productivity. Measuring your progress helps you stay on top of your goals that will hopefully lead to a transformed life. But you are not the measure of your progress and shouldn't measure yourself based on how much you accomplish in a given day. Again, I'm writing this more for it to sink into my own soul and to fully remember that you and I are deeply loved. 

Neither accomplishments or lack of accomplishments can add to or subtract from that love.

Today I'm linking up with Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart


  1. Yes, yes, yes! A million times, yes.

    "You - and I - are more than a To Do list."

    Thank you. Beautifully said, truthfully said, needed to be said. And I needed to hear it. SO glad I found you from Holley's link-up. So thankful :)


    1. Thank you, Jenna! As I said in my post, I wrote this as much for me as for anyone... I need daily reminders of this :)

  2. Very true and so inspiring. I can definitely resonate with this article. We may get overwhelmed of what we need to do in our daily lives but we need to bear in mind that whatever we have or haven't done/accomplished those won't affect the fact that we are loved. No more, no less.

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