Confession: I make a to-do list every night before I go to bed. Embarrassing? Yes. Useful? 89 percent of the time.
Here’s the problem. In recent years my to-do lists, which once started off as achievable (buy milk, brush cats, write one blog post), have now evolved into 1000 word manifestos about saving the world and applying to every freelance job in New York and repainting my house and solving the stray cat population problem in Brooklyn. And when I can’t write three articles in a night or finish an entire publicity packet for Voices, I start to feel unaccomplished. See, I’m all about a good to-do list, but one makes me focus solely things I haven’t done, those have got to go.
Social media hasn’t helped the problem either. Scrolling throw Instagram, some days I can’t help but compare my friend’s accomplishments to my own, wondering how their life looks so “perfect.” Well that friend graduated law school and just got engaged and just became a certified yoga teacher. How come they can do all these things? I beat they don’t sleep, maybe I should sleep less! In these moments, I’ve found it best to put down the electronic device and instead, fill my hands with pumpkin whoopie pies from One Girl Cookies.
Last year, I made a pact that I would stop beating myself up for all the things I felt I wasn’t doing. So far, it’s been working pretty well. I’ve learned to make relaxation a priority, to sleep more, and enjoy the things that have no other purpose in life than to make me smile. It’s silly I have remind myself it’s okay to just sit and do nothing (or rather my mum has to remind me), but overtime, this philosophy is finding its way into my routine. So in an effort to continue this pact, here is my list of tiny triumphs I believe we could all stand to appreciate a little bit more:
Making it out the door on-time, and in a kick-ass outfit to boot!
Getting ice tea before work because you deserve it. And then after work because you double deserve it then.
Finally mailing the package that was cluttering my hallway for a month.
Taking a spontaneous trip on the weekend. No planning, just onward!
Actually taking and enjoying your lunch break.
Making it to yoga even though it’s raining and you’d really would much rather stay home and cuddle with your kittens.
Having an item you’ve been eying for months go on sale.
Eating carrots and walnuts for a snack instead of that fifth cookie.
Treating yourself to a “just because” gift.
Trying a new recipe and as a result, not blowing up your kitchen. That’s how I discovered lemon bars are one of the easiest things to bake.
Cleaning your room and still having the rest of the day ahead of you.
Finally catching up on overdue phone calls.
Writing a love letter.
Finally being able to do a move in yoga you’ve been working towards for months. The best kind of surprise.
Getting your grocery shopping done early. You deserve a medal for even attempting to do that in this city.
Making a monthly contribution to your savings account.
Walking the highline.
Not getting lost on the way to your friend’s birthday dinner.
Finishing a book or magazine or tab you’ve had open on your computer for over a month.
Planning drinks with your coworkers.
Making it to every work meeting on time and prepared.
Flossing. Seriously this is a triumph every time.
Finishing a book.
Writing the world’s most clever email and having the courage to send it.
Going to bed before midnight with your work bag all packed and ready to go!
Painting your nails while watching an episode of Twin Peaks.
And a major triumph: Choosing to fill your day with happiness and sticking too it. Sure some things might be annoying, but they don’t get to take center stage in your daily play.