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  • Writer's pictureCathy Borg

Unlock Intentional Living: Your Not-To-Do List is Key!

a planner with "This is My Year" on the front

The new year is often a time for new beginnings. But it doesn't matter if it's the new year or any time of the year. For an intentional life, the time to make positive change is always now!

Living intentionally is about consciously making choices and doing things that match what's important to you, so you can have a life that feels meaningful and satisfying.

Making a Not-To-Do-List is the key to leading an Intentional Life

Discover some of the habits or patterns getting in the way of your better, intentional life by making a "Not-To-Do List".

  • After you complete the list take some quiet time to reflect on the changes you want to make.

  • Then take your intentions list and set down 'what you want more of' and 'what you want less of' to achieve a beautifully balanced, and better life.

It's a start to making your year fantastic!

The "Not To Do" list is a foundation step. It primes you for breaking free from habits or actions that are getting in your way to a better-balanced life.

Knowing what you don't want can be as important as knowing what you do want.

a picture of a not-to-do list

How to Make a Not-To-Do-List

Download our Not-to-Do List. Get a pen and take a few minutes to fill in the list.

There are 6 categories – Things out of my control; things that waste time; other’s responsibilities; things that aren’t needed; things I think I have to do and things I think only I can do. Below are some ideas to help you fill in your lists.

1. Things Out Of My Control:

  •    If stressing about big world events keeps you awake, write it down.

  •    Notice concerns about stuff happening globally that you can't change.

  •   It's about admitting when you're losing sleep over things beyond your control.

2. Things that waste time:

  •    Write down things like spending too much time on social media or watching TV.

  •    Notice actions that eat up your time without giving much back.

  • It's about spotting what steals your time and doesn't make your life better.

3. Others' Responsibilities:

  •    If you're taking on tasks that others should handle, make a note.

  •    Notice when you're solving problems for others that they could solve themselves

  •    It's about letting go of unnecessary stuff that isn't your job.

4. Things that aren’t needed such as:

  • Unwanted Inherited Items like old furniture from a relative that doesn't suit your style or space.

  • Unused Duplicate Tools like extra hammers or kitchen utensils that you never use.

  • Worn or Broken Items like shoes with holes or a broken toaster that you don't fix.

  • Abandoned Hobbies or Sports Equipment like old tennis rackets or art supplies from a hobby you no longer enjoy.

The list could include things like magazine subscriptions, junk mail, and email subscriptions.

By letting go of items that you don't want, need or love, you make room for what matters and simplify your space.

5. Things I Think I Have to Do:

  •    List events or social gatherings you go to just because you feel you have to.

  •    Identify tasks you say yes to but deep down you know you don't have to do.

  It's about figuring out activities you feel you must do but make you anxious and unhappy.


6. Tasks I Think Only I Can Do:

  •    Notice situations where you hesitate to let others help.

  •    Identify times when you believe only you can handle certain tasks.

   It's about letting go of thinking you're the only one who can do certain things.


The "Not To Do" list is like your personal helper. It helps you uncover habits or actions that aren't helping you and that you may want to change. But how?

That's where "My Intentions List" can help.


You don’t eliminate a bad habit, you replace it. - James Clear

"My Intentions List" is your springboard to a better, intentional life.

Now you've found out some of the habits and things getting in the way of your better, intentional life.

This makes it easier to decide what you want 'to do less of'. That is, you want to do less of the habits and things that are getting in your way of having a fabulous life. When you stop doing the things that aren't helping you and clear out some of the things you're not using; you've got more time and space.

Ergo; you've got more time to explore things that you want to do more of and more space to do them in!

How to fill in the "Do More of This" column on "My Intentions List":


1. Enjoy Happy Moments:

   - Write down things that bring joy, like hobbies or spending time with loved ones.

   - Keep these in the "Do More Of This" part to remind yourself to enjoy happy moments.


2. Personal Development:

   - Think about what you want to learn or try in the coming year.

   - Put these goals in "Do More Of This" to focus on personal growth.


3. Take Care of Yourself:

   - Write down activities that contribute to your well-being, like walks or relaxation.

   - These self-care items go in "Do More Of This" to prioritize your health and happiness.


4. Connect with Loved Ones:

   - List friends and family members who bring positivity to your life.

   - Keep these under "Do More Of This" to spend quality time with those you care about.


5. Pursue Passions:

   - Write down activities you love, like painting or gardening.

   - Put these in "Do More Of This" to make sure you have time for your passions.


"Less Of This" on My Intentions List:


1. Avoid Draining Activities:

   - Write down activities that drain your energy or bring negativity.

   - Put them in "Less Of This" to remind yourself to avoid what's draining.


2. Reduce Stress Triggers:

   - List situations that cause stress, like over-committing or certain tasks.

   - Keep these under "Less Of This" to work on minimizing stress.


3. Learn to Say No:

   - Write down situations where you feel overwhelmed.

   - Put them in "Less Of This" to remind yourself it's okay to say no and prioritize your well-being.


4. Stay Positive:

   - List things that bring negativity, like negative news or toxic relationships.

   - Keep these in "Less Of This" to create a more positive environment.


5. Cut Time-Wasting Habits:

   - Write down habits that waste your time, like excessive TV or aimless scrolling.

   - Put them in "Less Of This" to make room for more meaningful activities.


How to Use Your Intentions List for an Intentional Life:


1. Regularly Review and Update:

   - Check your list periodically to make sure it fits your current goals.

   - Update it as you discover new things or change your focus.


2. Prioritize Your Well-being:

   - Use your list as a guide to prioritize what makes you happy and healthy.

   - Focus on the things in "Do More Of This" to enhance your well-being.


3. Celebrate Your Wins:

   - Celebrate when you do things from your list and feel good about it.

   - Recognize the positive changes you've made as the year progresses.


4. Adjust as Needed:

   - Be flexible and adjust your list if your priorities or what brings you happiness change.

   - Feel free to adapt your list to what matters most to you in the new year.


The "Intentions List" is a tool to use as it suits you.

It's not meant to be used as a club to beat yourself up with if you can't live up to all your intentions (few of us can).

Just choose a couple of things to do 'more of' and a couple of the things you've listed to do 'less of' and you'll be better off than you were before.

Keep it simple, and focus on what makes you smile.

And the stuff that doesn't make you smile - perhaps do less of that!

2 lists on a background of blue


Ready to unlock intentional living and transform your life through decluttering and organizing? Contact us! Brad, Greg, and I are here to guide you through the process, offering personalized services to help you create a balanced, intentional life that brings you joy and fulfillment. Let's embark on this positive journey together!


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