The Comfort of Lists

I’m a huge fan of lists:

~Ten ways to become more spiritual
~Seven paths to a happier adulthood
~Five things to make holidays less stressful
~Three ways to sanitize your kitchen sink/drain
~Twelve methods for clearly communicating your ideas

I love bulleted points of self-improvement that are easy to remember and generally spot on and that make my life more wonderful. The list of lists is endless (pun intended)!

While I can’t remember the entire contents of a self-help book, a short list of the chapter titles triggers the helpful material that I can use to enhance my life.

Some say these lists are overly simplified.

Must it be convoluted and obtuse to be meaningful? Does the diatribe need to be a whole big book or multi-paged paper in order to get the gist of the message?

I carry tiny but powerful reminders in the deep pockets of my memory much easier than if the concepts are presented in a volume the size of a doorstop.

Sometimes we oversimplify. For myself, however, I’m more likely to over-complicate things than oversimplify a concept or reminder into an easily palatable piece of advice.

What’s the value in making lists?

Short lists of wisdom can get me back on track.

When I’ve screwed up … again, or when I need to corral any of my bad habits gone wild, I pull out some of my lists to remind me how to refocus. Ten Ways to Solidify New Habits (1. Identify the change you want to make, 2. Commit to thirty days, etc.) or Three Ways to Forgive Yourself (1. Pretend you’re talking to a beloved friend or child, 2. Accept your failures, etc.) are two examples of lists I’ve used multiple times.

Lists can perk me right up if I’m feeling a little down or bored or stressed.

The great website shared a wonderful post entitled “56 Lists to Make When You Are Feeling Down.” Items include making lists of people who inspire you or a list of your best qualities, or how about making a list of people you want to send a thank-you note to? This article even includes the option of getting a free workbook on the subject of lists. It’s very uplifting and fun post. Check it out here.

Lists can expose me initially to a new idea without having to delve into mounds of research to learn more.

It’s easy for me to grasp a new concept or one I’ve forgotten when it’s in front of me in an abbreviated but powerful statement. If I have to dig and excavate ways to return to normalcy, I get further frustrated with myself. I can dig and excavate later when I need backup information.  In the meantime, a short list tells me, “Here, give this a try right now in order to turn things around.”

Do you use lists to stay or get back on track? If you don’t, give it a try. Don’t know where to find the perfect list that, for instance, will help you learn to trust again? Or perhaps an abbreviated list of positive approaches to a more joyful life?

Finding a list that solves a problem, lifts you up, or is fun or funny is just a Google search away.