Do you ever feel totally, completely, utterly overwhelmed by…everything? This is how I used to feel. All the time. Now, I am getting better. And I would like to share what I am doing to feel excited about what I have to do rather than squished. Because who likes going around feeling squished all the time?
The Seasonal Review
The seasonal review is my process for reviewing all the things I have to and want to do in my life four times a year, at approximately three month intervals. In the past, I have done this at times that made sense to me, not necessarily coinciding with the financial quarters.
This year, I am kicking off my seasonal review with my birthday. This puts my other seasonal reviews this year at mid-April, mid-July, and mid-October. I like these times because there isn’t much out of the ordinary going on in my life in April and July, and October is a good time to gear up for the holiday season (yes, I am already thinking about the holidays…too soon?).
The seasonal review is a time to check-in and see what direction you are headed in, and if that is actually the direction you would like for your life. I get sad when I think about weeks, months, and years going by with no real progress being made. Who wants to look back and wonder what they have been doing for the past five years?
But I get excited when I think about my ideas and what I would like to see change in the future. I like to do the seasonal review to get myself motivated to take action on my ideas that might otherwise get neglected, lost to the shuffle of an overly busy lifestyle. No thank you!
I want my to-do list and days to be filled with things that make me feel joyful and peaceful. How about you?
Seasonal Review Elements
The first thing I did in preparation for my seasonal review this time around was to whittle down my to-do list. I still have a few straggling tasks, but I intend to clear them away within the next few weeks, freeing up more time to work on ongoing projects (like wedding planning and business starting, for starters).
Next, I went through and updated my rituals list, or my to-do list dedicated to recurring tasks. I have to admit that I have been neglecting my rituals list for quite a while. I attribute this neglect to allowing my to-do list (or reminders list) to get out of control, making it hard for me to see what needs to be taken care of on a regular basis. Now that my reminders list is more up-do-date, I can more clearly see where I can take the time to maintain things, which is the purpose of the rituals list.
Finally, the seasonal review is a time to review one’s goals. I have a very strong vision of where I would like to see my life go, and I focus my meditation time daily on that vision. I also use affirmations to maintain my focus on my vision. I went through my affirmations list and gave them a refresher, making sure that they are closely aligned with my vision.
To-Do List Philosophy
I think a lot about my to-do list – the one I have today, and the one I had over five years ago. I am particularly intrigued by the one I had five years ago. That little demon planner I toted around with me that was filled with stuff I had no interest in doing and a few things I actually wanted to do, while feeling like I never had enough time to do it all.
I think about how everything on my to-do list of five years ago has gone away. I am grateful to say that nothing on my current to-do list is five years old. So somehow, some way, it all, eventually, got done (or didn’t get done, but went away, out of my life).
Knowing this gives me hope for my today to-do list, and humbles me a bit to realize that my to-do list isn’t the end all be all in life (thankfully!).
A to-do list is simply a guide, a way of keeping track of things that need to be done so we can take the next necessary steps to move our lives forward. Or so it should be.
But when it gets waaayy too long, it can be easy to feel like it is more harmful than helpful, squelching otherwise carefree moments of their carefreeness.
My vision for my to-do list is for it to become a guide for getting done what needs to get done (and merging what needs to get done with what I actually want to do), so I can spend the rest/most of my time doing what I really want to be doing…even if that is simply nothing, or getting plenty of sleep.
I am excited to continue my journey of transforming my to-do lists and life. What planning system have you found to work for you? Please share your thoughts!