Both my daughter and my niece have shared with me how much they enjoyed a blogger from Minneapolis who really speaks to them and their generation (Millenial). Although I’m in a way different generation, I finally followed this girl and found her posts, ideas, and even online training to be spot on for anyone trying to live their most authentic life and making changes for the better.
Her name is Sarah Von Bargen and creates her work over on Yes and Yes. I love her. And I want to meet her. And she lives in Minneapolis so it might be entirely possible.
Since ’tis the time of year for goals and dreams and vows to change all of our bad habits and endless list-making (for us list-makers) of the things I plan to do more of or less of or better this year, when I ran across her post about “Why you need an ‘Every Damn Day’ list + how to create one” . I knew for sure I did actually love her.
“It’s a perfect world and I awake to songbirds, cooing me into consciousness. I eat a surprisingly delicious, kale-filled breakfast and then walk the dog while simultaneously meditating.
I settle into a lovely day of writing, phone calls, and catching up with friends. I am wearing a cute outfit, my hair looks amazing, and my home is miraculously spotless. I AM A PARAGON OF POSITIVITY AND PRODUCTIVITY!!!
But, sadly, this isn’t a perfect world.
On any given day, it’s entirely possible that I will sleep late, work myself into a headache, avoid phone calls, and/or eat popcorn for every meal.
Life happens! Deadlines change, priorities shift, and sometimes I just don’t want to put on real pants, okay?
So how do we keep our lives from derailing when things get busy? How do we keep making tiny, incremental steps towards the life we want when we’re nearly too frazzled to function?
We make and use an Every Damn Day List.”
Right? She gets me. I need a list to remind me of all the things I need to do even if I’ve been doing them every single day for most of my life. And there’s a reason! She gets me!
“…this Every Damn Day List – keep us from throwing in the towel in every blessed area of our lives.
They dramatically reduce the number of days that we toss up our hands, declare the entire day a write off, and settle into a funk of bad decisions.
If you have an Every Damn Day List, no day will ever be a complete write off.
No matter what professional, social, financial, or dietary decisions you make, if you follow your Every Damn Day List, there will be at least a few choices that point you in the right direction.
Stayed in your sweats all day, binge watching Queer Eye, and eating pudding cups? At least you walked the dog and made your bed!
Flicked someone off in traffic, ignored your mom’s text, and missed the due date on your library book? At least you complimented your barista’s shirt and ate an apple!”
For me, it’s about being kinder to everyone – especially me! We are the hardest on ourselves. Climbing into bed each night conscious that my house is still a mess, I didn’t get those samples in the mail, I didn’t do one minute of Tai Chi and I had 2 glasses of wine again! Aargh! After 64 years I still can’t get my shit together and be productive?
WAIT A MINUTE! I worked, I ate, I made food, I messaged a friend, I did errands, I fed the pets, I chatted with my daughter, I created a boatload of graphics and designs not only for my business but for so many others. Why am I so fast to say I didn’t get anything done?
My friend Pam is a master tracker. Her calendar is filled to the brim, and she marks off every item with a color-coded highlighter so she can see what she accomplished. But to me, it seems a little silly to write down “make my bed” every day in my planner.
So…. the Every Damn Day list!
“These four questions will help you create your own Every Damn Day List.
What’s the smallest possible action that will make your space feel nicer?
- Spend five minutes cleaning the kitchen
- Make the bed
- Run the Roomba (no, I will never stop proselytizing about Roombas!!!)
What’s the smallest possible action that will make you feel healthier?
- Go outside for 20 minutes
- Drink two glasses of water
- Eat at least one fruit or vegetable
What’s the smallest possible action that will make you feel better emotionally?
- Say something nice to someone
- Look at old photos on Facebook
- Send a funny text to a friend or family member
What’s the smallest possible action that will make you feel on top of your life?
- Wear perfume or cologne
- Spend five minutes replying or deleting old emails
- Check your bank account balance”
I’ve started on my list. My NEW list. For 2019. Where I am being kinder to myself and celebrating my somewhat crazy but extremely productive life.
IN CASE YOU’RE WONDERING, HERE’S MY EVERY DAMN DAY LIST
- Drink a gallon of water
- Get outside every day for a walk. Even a short one.
- Play Tai Chi
- Follow the 12 hr on/12 hr off rule with my phone (this is a goal for 2019)
- Connect with 3 people every day – offline or on
- Try to eat a veggie with each meal
- Make the bed
That’s it! That’s all! None of this is ground-breaking or even particularly hard. If I wanted to, I could get this all done in an hour.
I could spend the rest of my day, totally running around trying to multi-task and failing miserably, but if I spent the hour before bed doing these things, I’d still end the day on the positive. And celebrate my success! Because our lives are made up of a million little things that are called living.
Terry Kempfert is an Anti-Aging and Creative Lifestyle Consultant and artist that lives in Central Minnesota, motivating and helping people to be their best at every age.