That means there are 76 things I set out to do and achieved this year. Freaking self-five on that one - how cool is that?
And when I take out the things that I conscientiously decided I no longer wanted to do, the total is around ten things not done.
I've been banging on about the importance of this list for years now - the power of writing things down, the power of intention, all that.
But if you're still not convinced, then this year rather than go through my list of achievements as a way to convince you, I'm going to give a couple of examples of just how powerful the list is.
Random coincidences maybe. Perhaps divine intervention. Universal Laws. Or maybe just the ding-dang power of writing this shiz down - you can be the judge (if ya want).
1. The Importance of Updates
At the start of 2015 when I wrote my list, I started it with "Read 30 non-fiction Books". Around February I started a coaching program, and one of the lead coaches was very adamant about constant learning. She said that she reads at least 100 business books a year. One of our homework tasks was to create a list of 100 books to read. So I accepted the challenge and set-up a Google-doc with all the books I could think of to read. I added every recommendation I got, and I went through them as quickly as possible. I tried audio books, kindle versions, and even joined my local library for this specific purpose. I set a time in my calendar to guarantee I would read at least every Sunday for two hours.
Over the year, my list grew to about 105, my bookshelf sagged and my Kindle pushed it's memory limits. But I've just now completed a blog post about all the books I read in 2015. I counted them. Guess how many books I read in 2015?
I never went back and updated my goal. And as it stands today, December 30th, I have read 30 non-fiction books this year.
Not "around 30", or "30 or so". Exactly. Freaking. Thirty.
Weird coincidence? Or is that the Power of The List?
2. The Universe wants to give you what you want!
One of the items not crossed off my list is "See St Kilda penguins". When I learned that there is a colony of Little Penguins living right near the city, I was very excited. Problem is, I sort of hate travelling to that side of my city - it's busy and parking is hard and public transport is even worse ... blah blah blah. But I thought about it a lot, and tried to make plans with friends to head to St Kilda - but it just wasn't happening.
Anyway, it got to August and it was looking like this item might not happen.
And then my cubicle boss decided that the team needed to be taken away for a conference. And he decided that conference should take place at Phillip Island. And as a team building activity, we should all go down together to watch the penguin parade.
So, I got to see my Little Penguins. And OMG they are adorable and I love them and I want to cuddle them all.
And also - even with lots of volunteers around telling people to stay on the paths and not take photos because it hurts the penguins ... sometimes people suck and everyone was taking pictures anyway and it made me get all Mumma-bear about my poor penguino friends and I was grumpy and maybe (?) threatened to confiscate some tourist's camera phone >_<
Moral of that part being that in St Kilda (I'm told) there is even less supervision and I think I would probably lose my shizzle over it and it'a a good thing I didn't make it. The Universe gave me my penguin fix, and also gave me a subtle "that other thing might not be the best thing for you".
Final example of the power of this wonderful list is around my some-what vague goal to "Refresh German". I studied German for quite a while, fairly intensively while living in Germany, and then for a decent amount of time when I returned to Australia. Initially it was so that I could converse with my in-laws, and then it became about preparing for our eventual return to Germany to raise our hypothetical kids.
Skip forward >>> break up >>> divorce >>> blah blah >>>
I don't really need to speak German anymore. Except that speaking a foreign language is very cool, and it's a skill I would very much like to have. Four years of High School Mandarin and I can just about remember "hello my name is Laura how are you?", and my Indonesian was "Jakarta slang" at best. So it seemed that since I'd studied it most recently, German would be the way to go.
Insert massive emotional reaction to even looking at my German books. Break-ups can do that to a girl. Actually, brutal honesty - I never looked at my German books. I got pissed off when Germany won the World Cup; I knew I wasn't going to start studying Deutsch anytime soon.
Oh, but what's that? In April I start dating someone. And she's from Mexico. And I'm reminded - "that's right, before I met a German girl, I spent six weeks travelling through South America by myself. And in preparation for that, I went to Spanish lessons. Twice a week. FOR THREE YEARS".
Oh and yeah, my cubicle-job colleague is Columbian, and my good friend is about to marry a dude from El Salvador.
I know I speak about The Universe as a concept, a force if you like. But I still also believe that sometimes, The Universe would have to be all *facepalm*
So there you have it - three more reasons I think that getting this stuff out of your head and onto paper is SUPER important, MASSIVELY powerful, and AWESOMELY magical.
Hopefully, you're convinced. Because it's time for you to get onto writing your list for 2016.