Writing it down can make a difference! 

I came across a list that I failed to date when I wrote it, but given where I found it, it had probably been sitting at least 18 to 24 months. It was time to clean up that pile of paper and there, among other things, sat a “to-do” list of some pretty big chores.

What I noticed as I scanned through the list was that over half of the items on it had already been completed. And, like I noted, these were not little-bitty chores. The list included big things like a remodeling project on the house, to replace two patio doors, and to repair the carpet on the stairs. Both were done in 2023.

The list included solidifying our cremation plans and paying for those arrangements – chores I completed in 2023. And the list reminded me to inquire about gifting burial plots (clearly, we’re not going to need them) that have long been in the family – how do you give such things away?? Yep, I got that inquiry finished too!

There were things I had not tackled yet, but that’s okay, they can migrate to my “new” list and I’m confident that I’ll get to them in an orderly fashion. Here’s why I’m so sure of that…

You may recall that in an earlier blog (it was in February of 2022) I wrote an entry about the Reticular Activating System (RAS) – that part of our brain that remembers what really matters to each of us and reminds us to stay connected to the information it has filed away. 

It is the part of our nervous system that spots the car you just purchased and points it out to you in the traffic, as a way of demonstrating to you that it realizes how important this car you’ve just bought must mean to you. It silently points and whispers, “See, there’s another one!”

The RAS also remembers what you instruct it to look for – so when you want to find a partner, or spot a business opportunity, or even catch sight of a sale, you can program your RAS to keep in mind the details of what matters most to you and, obligingly, it will.  It will remember all the characteristics of the thing you’re trying to find and when they show up, when the pattern suddenly appears, your RAS will gleefully say, “Over there! That’s what you’ve been looking for!”

What I’m suggesting here is that the very act of writing things down can be instructive to your RAS as a way of saying, “These things matter, they’re important, don’t let me forget to complete them!” And, because it is built into the system (the nervous system) your brain will tuck away the details and whether you notice it or not, gently remind you to do what’s on the list.  It’s a wonderful trick for getting things done!

Maybe it’s time you put your RAS into service (if it is not already serving you) and gave it some details to work on – let it know the characteristics of that job you’re searching for, that degree you still want to finish, that book you’re hoping to write or that relationship you’d like to add to your community.  Then, simply trust your RAS to do what it is so very capable of doing, noticing (in a completely unconscious way) and reminding you, “You said this was important!” so that you can rely on it to help you complete your most note-worthy “to-do” list items!

Wishing you fun of completing, the amazement and wonder that comes from realizing how stunning your brain can be, and the joy and satisfaction that you’re deliberately moving in the direction you’ve set, just by writing it down! 

Self-care is every conscious action you take that feeds your soul, nourishes your body, nurtures your spirit, or replenishes your relationship with yourself!

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About Paula

I help other caregivers – both professionals and family caregivers – acknowledge their pain and learn to practice the many small skills of self-care that can sustain them through the challenges of wholeheartedly caring for others.

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How Can I Help You?

Through Co-Create 4 Life, you will learn a range of well-being strategies from skillfully implementing self-care to holistic approaches to well-being, rebuilding resilience, and battling burnout. Book a free consultation call today to discuss your options.

How Can I Help You?

Through Co-Create 4 Life, you will learn a range of well-being strategies from skillfully implementing self-care to holistic approaches to well-being, rebuilding resilience, and battling burnout. Book a free consultation call today to discuss your options.