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The “To Be” List

The “To Be” List
I hear comparisons bantered about with our current pandemic to Groundhog Day.  I don’t think of the day itself without thinking of the movie “Groundhog Day” with one of my favorite actors, Bill Murray. We currently seem to be stuck in a revolving door of wait and see with the ebb and flow of the pandemic, but it could be interesting to consider things the way Bill’s character, Phil, who is a weatherman and every day he was on repeat.  Maybe each and every day, we work towards being a better version of ourselves because we give ourselves grace to do so.  
A while back I felt stuck in my routine and was feeling very Groundhog Day. Frustrated that I was not feeling much sense of accomplishment, a great friend of mine sent me a “TO BE” list instead of a “TO DO” list that peaked my interest.  Months later, I still use it on a regular basis, especially when I see myself getting pessimistic, and it helps to clear out the cobwebs of life.  
Consider doing this “TO BE” list at the beginning of each day. Do them especially when you don’t feel like it, as that is the best time. It helps to end the “fits and starts” and you will start to feel consistent movement in the direction of ease, grace and success. 

“TO BE” List Questions

  • Who will I be today? What is the central role you will play today?
  • How will I be today? What are the qualities you will inhabit and/or cultivate?
  • What will I accomplish today? Narrow it down to a top-3 list.
  • How do I want to feel at the end of the day? Be as detailed or as simple as you want.
  • What might get in my way? As it relates to #2,3,and 4-this is both an interior and exterior question; a being and a doing question.
  • What is my plan for this? What tools/strategy will you employ to address the things that could derail you? Get creative but not elaborate. Simple is always better.
  • Who will I delight/surprise today? Be specific. Be generous.

At the end of each day (or in the morning with the other 7) answer these:

  • How did it go?
  • What did I learn?
  • What did I need more of?
  • What can I carry forward?


When I do this exercise consistently, I found I was more present in my day to day activities, and I didn’t beat myself up for not getting everything that I felt needs to be done on a daily basis.  The sense of urgency went away, and peace and grace entered the picture.  It is especially hard, even now, when we need to look at a calendar to figure out what day of the week it is, but giving ourselves the opportunity to BE instead of DO we hopefully lean in more to our true selves.  
Reading is one of the best ways for you to be kinder to your soul. According to an article from Healthline, reading “reduces stress,” helps alleviate depression symptoms, and strengthens your brain.” Even if you wouldn’t call yourself an avid reader, reading can help you escape reality for a bit.
The new year is now underway, resolutions either sticking or falling to the wayside, but either way, every day there is something to look forward to, the opportunity of becoming a better you! Be kind to yourself this year and take a moment to reflect on what is working and what is not. This reflection can boost your mood and be some much needed self-care. 
Happy 2021 Everyone! Like I mentioned at the beginning of the pandemic: Keep Calm and Be Neighborly! 

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