The King of All Lists

I’ve been doing to-do lists for a long time. Every single morning, I wake up and write down exactly what I want to accomplish by the end of the day.

As I crossed things off that list, I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. Crossing things of my goal list is extremely gratifying.

In my opinion, to-do lists are amazing. They give you an outline of the day. They allow you to complete your goals and promote generating/implementing a routine.

They’re built for people that use the common excuse; “I don’t have time,” which, I’ve discovered, is quite a large number of the population.

Outline Your Day

Wake up every morning and write down exactly what you want to accomplish by the end of the day. Keep it short and concise.

Long lists prevent you from completing them, which knocks you down a peg at the end of the day. Make you sure you keep it small.

Have a set of constant goals that you must achieve (more on this later). For me, it’s daily affirmations, learning Spanish, and going to the gym. These are my constant goals to attain each day.

Make Time

For all intensive purposes, I consider myself a busy person. I blog, make videos; attend school and work, and constant learn (or read) something, which sucks up most of my time.

“How do you have time?”

The answer is quite simple. I make time. This is something magical about the to-do list. Having those goals on my to-do almost force me to make time. I know the feeling of not completing that list.

I work to avoid that feeling! I don’t have any extra divine time. I just make sure I fit it in. The to-do list encourages me to complete everything.

Build a Habit

To-do lists help build a routine. As mentioned, I have certain things that stay constant. Gym was always a constant habit, which I internalized early on.

However, affirmations and Spanish was something that never came easy. I constantly forgot to complete them or decided to avoid it for just one day.

Here’s where the list came in. Including those things on my list gave me extra motivation to complete it. I couldn’t allow myself to sleep without completing my list, even though it included a difficult Spanish lesson and time-consuming affirmations.

Now, those things are a constant event on my list, but I don’t need them to be. I’ve built the habit. I know, even without including them on the list, that I have to complete them before the days’ end.

Now, including those goals are formalities. Use your to-do list to build and internalize new habits.

“To-Don’t” List

I used to have a terrible nail-biting habit. My earliest memories included my fingers in constant pain and bleeding. I can’t place any early memories before nail biting.

I’ve pretty much done it my entire life. This was a hard habit to break.

How did I do it?

To-Don’t lists to the rescue. I started my day by writing “Today, I will not bite my nails.” And every night that I didn’t bite, I crossed it off.

Boom. Instant gratification.

The problem with people and bad habits is that they visualize the distant future. They see one week or month into the future and breaking the habit seems almost impossible.

Not biting my nails for a FULL week? Not drinking for a FULL week? Not smoking for a FULL week? That seems torturous.

Instead, focus only on today. Today is the only day that matters. Get through today. And then, tomorrow, get through that today. Time doesn’t exist outside of today. Time is just a series of todays.

Similar to the to-do lists, not being able to cross it off at the end of the day, felt terrible. My decision always includes gratification and today I will achieve it.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

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The Truth About Lying.

It seems as if we live in a world of lies. Nearly every adult will tell you that lying is wrong. But when it comes to avoiding trouble, saving face in front of the boss, or sparing someone’s feelings, many people find themselves doing it anyway. Sometimes, I lie because I just feel the need too.

It can be something stupid like my height. But still, I don’t quite understand why? I have nothing to gain from it and I am sure people catch me knee deep in it.

Eventually, you are forced to lie because you previously lied and it continues to grow. No matter how small the lie is, it always chips away at relationships.

I’ve referred to my past relationships a lot, but it is all too clear the life I’ve led. The most significant relationship I’ve ever had was riddled with lies. There was not a shred of truth in her and I was too oblivious to see it.

Or maybe, I just did not want to see it. Regardless, it crippled me inside.

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I’ve complied the three types of lies in this world and why it is necessary to stop.

A) White Lies

I suppose to most of you, these are considered the least harmful of all lies, hence the ‘White.’ But I do not believe that at all. White lies destroys relationships. It usually starts with a simple lie.

“That fish was 10 feet long. No, those tight pants fit you great.”

When these white lies compound and are used excessively, it can make your interactions less authentic. At its worst, people will get the notion that you are not being genuine and, eventually, they will begin lose trust.

I have no verbal filter. Some people are afflicted with this occasionally. For me, it is literally all the time. I constantly have to censor myself around new people or risk losing relationships.

But I feel that being genuine is integral to building lasting relationships. White lies (lying to spare ones’ feelings or being brutally honest to hurt ones’ feelings) can be avoided but toning it down. Tell the truth but provide reasoning and positive feedback as well.

Some people will take offence, but it is always followed by acceptance and endearing responses.

B) Lying to Avoid Situations

We often find ourselves in less than desired situations. Situations like meetings, soirées, and general gatherings. What happens? We fib to get out of it.

“I can’t go out. My cat died. I have homework. A dingo ate my baby.”

Well, maybe, not so much the last lie. Instead, I propose saying “No.” Try it; exercise the power of “No.” Fine-tune the word “No” and use it in your everyday life.

You can use it with any and every situation you encounter and avoid the traps that will occur if you originally lied. Stop trying to justify the reason you give the recipient and end it with a simple “no.”

C) Lying To Yourself

Out of all three, I feel like this is the most common lie among us. We lie to ourselves constantly, everyday. This is the most destructive to us. Eventually, we start internalizing it, believing it and it becomes second nature.

“I do not have a drinking problem. I do not need therapy. I am not fat.”

Lies prevent you from realizing your faults and progressing. You internalize your problems as normal and forget that they are problems. With the exception of “I am not fat” these lies are all incredibly harmful.

Body image is incredibly skewed in society. As long as you are living a healthy lifestyle, words like “fat, skinny, large, toothpick” can be eliminated from your dictionary.

Whatever you want to accomplish, from sticking to a healthy lifestyle to conquering your drinking problem, lying about what is really going on puts you one step farther from that objective.

Instead, visualize, in full detail, what it would feel, sound, and smell like to attain your goal. Construct a picture in your head, already attaining that goal.

Lying is incredibly damaging to your relationships. I suppose, I do not have to stress that. Anyone that has lived has lied and hurt people. But this is not the life I want to lead.

I want to be known as genuine and trustworthy and it all starts with the truth.