Last week I turned 49. Let me just say, it baffles me that I am almost 50. As we have been sifting through all the stuff that has collected in the attic/closets/basement preparing the house for sale, I can see I have a lot to be proud of over the years and I can’t say I have a whole lot of regrets. But there are a several things I wish were a little different for me. Languishing personal issues, general life bucket lists, habits I wish I did or did not have. Things I want resolved before I find myself at the end of my time here looking back wishing things were different.  Now granted, I think life will be a work in progress until the very end. But what if I took this year to push through some of those things on my self improvement list. What if I hit that golden age of 50, knowing that I spent the last year making sure I have the tools and ability to have more ease, comfort and joy for the rest of my years. So I have decided to tackle 50 self improvement steps this year. Some of them are minor (like get a passport) some of them more complex(resolve a languishing childhood issue).

This week’s task is to lose the to-do list. 

I am a huge advocate for to-do lists. And if you are like me that list can get overwhelming and is often unrealistic. There are times when the to-do list is just a nagging list of stressors, and the overwhelm can often lead to complete inaction. I came across this article in my business network FB feed. In a nutshell, many successful business people trade their to-do list for calendars. Instead of adding tasks to a list, they actually schedule those tasks in their calendar. My favorite biz mentor, Marie Foreleo says “If it is not in your calendar it is not real.” This is also the same time management tool my high school sweetheart learned at his freshman orientation for West Point. So I am in! We all have the same24 hours in a day. I want to be one of those people who know how to maximize my time to do really good stuff and still leave room for ease.

So far this week’s calendar has been a 80/20 kind of thing. I did not do it perfectly, but I definitely found it easier to knockout a couple of deadlines stress free. I was able to make last minute plans with friends because I could reschedule some tasks. I also found myself better able to manage my time waster activities. The key is to acknowledge all activities that are important to you whether leisure or work. For example, the Bachelorette Season finale? Yep, I slugged out those 3 hours. It is my chill time with my BFFs(we txt during the show) Next week’s schedule is roughed in. Including the big task of resolving my inventory. And more importantly time to relax and relish in that task completed.