July 10, 2015

Why I Let Go of my 101 in 1001 List

I started my list on August 15, 2013. It was set to end on May 12, 2016. I gave it up on July 7, 2015.

First and foremost I am a list maker. It keeps me organized, lets me gets my thoughts and ideas out, and there’s a very real satisfaction to crossing things off once completed. This was the mecca of list making.
All 101 items are things I truly want to do, see, and accomplish. I separated everything by category: money, travel, food, etc. so that the list itself was organized. As of July 7th I had crossed off 34 tasks, which put me a little over 1/3 completion.

So why did I let it go?
The list was becoming a weight of aspirations. Did I do an item on the list? Did I check it off? What haven’t I completed yet? What do I need to finish? That’s no way to go about doing things that I desire to do. Instead of being fun it became tedious. If I don’t complete the entire list part of me feels like I failed.

When I saw the “let go of a goal” item on the minimalism challenge I immediately knew this was going to be the one. The 101 list stopped being enjoyable. It wasn’t challenging or motivating. It was a dark shadow looming over me, mocking me if I didn’t do it.

So I washed my hands. Granted, I do still want to do the things on the list, but I’ll do them in my own time. And if I don’t, who cares. Because really, it’s not important that I read 101 books or see a movie for every letter of the alphabet.
When I look at those type of tasks I see them for what they are. Fillers. Things I know I could do that didn’t require any real effort. Sure I love to read, and I greatly enjoy watching movies, but it’s like the movie Inception, they were just another layer of lists.

But now?....

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