Inspired to Make a List

Inspiration to set a goal can happen anywhere.

Inspiration to set a goal can happen anywhere. (Photo credit: Patty Allread)

I was thinking about lists–such as shopping lists.  Sometimes when I shop for groceries I use a list and sometimes I go free-wheeling through the aisles picking out whatever strikes my fancy. We all know how that can turn out, especially if you’re hungry while food shopping! You might eat all the free samples and end up buying nothing particularly useful or you might discover things that you’d never have put on your list and end up with the makings for a fresh, fabulous feast.

There are all kinds of lists! Each reflects a slightly different character.


Morbid. This is a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” Not my kind of list. I’m not planning for my death, I’m planning for my life! You won’t catch me making any bucket lists as a premise for fulfilling my dreams.


Nasty. I cannot condone black lists because each of us has the basic human right not to be discriminated against–including bucket-listers..


This could be one of two things.

  • Antagonistic. What are you the Mafia? Get a breath of fresh air or take a walk. Sit down and relax. Try developing a more positive viewpoint about getting things done.
  • Admiration. As in your top ten list of favorites. This list can be a lot of fun to make and it’s fun to see what others have experienced and put on their top ten.


Broad. Action pending. It’s everyone you know in a certain category or maybe there is no category and it’s simply everyone you know! It’s fun to grow this list as it shows an expanding zone of influence or reach. And it can go two ways: people you add to your list or people who add you to theirs–like the list of people who follow or subscribe to your blog. (That is a very cool list!)


Narrowed down. Put into motion. These are the people you know that you want to know better or become closer friends with. So you’re going to invite them to share an important moment with you or just have fun with you!


Conservative. Nothing wrong with having a list of things to get done. Love checking things off a to-do list! Sometimes you don’t want to rely on being strictly spontaneous so you make this list. The to-do list might show a sequence of actions or it could be completely disjointed.


  • Wish list Hope for the future if it is your wish list!  But it also implies you’re hoping someone else will deliver the goods. Of course, there are those of us who have no problem whatsoever with gifting ourselves every once in a while!
  • Gift list If it is your list for presents you intend to give others, then there is a whole sub-scale here that runs from obligated-to-exchange-with-these-people, to keep-the-budget-in-mind, to wow-it-would-be-so-cool-to-get-them-this-I-just-have-to-work-out-how-to-pull-it-off!


In control. It could be that you have made a decision to achieve certain goals diet-wise, cooking-wise (like a goal to learn how to make the world’s best dark chocolate mousse), budget-wise, production-wise, etc. You plan what you’ll need to achieve the goal and you also plan to avoid procuring things that don’t help you achieve that goal. Or it could be that you are economizing your time by not forgetting something vital which would cause you to have to return to the store. So you’re armed with a list!


Clear intentions. Speaking of being “armed,” a battle plan is so much more than a list. It is a reflection of strategic planning directed at meeting a goal. You’ve got your goal, you’ve worked out what it would take to get there, and now you are laying out your tactics–step-by-step–using your battle plan.


Create as you go, moment-to-moment. No itinerary, no agenda, no deadline. Play it by ear. Improvise.

Make it a game and this can be awesome fun and adventure.

Make it a lifetime philosophy and you can find yourself in total apathy with nothing achieved ever.

My Recipe

Convert your Wish List into a list of your Goals, sifting out any Bucket or Black Lists.

Make your overall Battle Plan and incorporate your To-Do, Shopping or Grocery Lists and gently knead.

Continue kneading, liberally adding Contacts.

Keep your Contact List Dough warm, letting it rise. Contacts may double or triple in size. You do this by offering gifts such as visiting, smiling, responding, and being an encouraging friend.

No need most of the time to put these into a Gift List except for Christmas or Birthdays. But a variation could include helping a Contact with an Item on one of their Lists.

Roll out your Guest List and bring your people together.  Find out how they are doing, what they’ve been doing, what they’ve put on their Hit List (the admiration kind)

Use the No-List method according to preference throughout, but not all the time.

If you start to feel apathetic or unproductive, go back to your Battle Plan. This is the time to use the other kind of Hit List and change anything that doesn’t work well for you.

Let us know how it all bakes out!