How to See What Others Miss: The power of list-making


Make your list and check it twice.

How many of us women are list-makers? Ever since I was a child who could write, I’ve made lists- chore lists, want lists, to-do lists, friend lists, fun lists, dream lists, prayer lists- and the list of lists goes on. At times I’ve felt crazy for my obsession, but list-making has given me the unique ability to see what others miss.

As someone who is most often sleep-deprived, overly-stressed and way too busy, it’s easy for me to miss what’s right in front of me if I don’t take the time to write down what matters most. List-making enables me to see the blessings and not just the burdens. I notice the little things- the cuddly way my granddaughter snuggles right next to me as I read, the steaming cup of coffee in my chilly hands, the warmth that a friendly smile brings to the checkout clerk at my favorite store or the thank you note received in the mail for a meal I prepared.

Nowadays I make gratitude lists in my journal. I call it my “noticing what matters most” book. The simple act of writing down five beautiful moments from my day helps me sleep better at night.

It’s all too easy to miss everything good in your life when you focus only on what’s hard. When you make your to-do list for the day, try jotting down five beautiful moments or things. These might be special people, material goods, successful achievements, fulfilled dreams or hopeful desires. As you take the time to thoughtfully reframe even your most difficult or exhausting days, you will begin to notice a lift within your heart, mind and soul.

As the new year offers a clean slate, let’s be more purposeful in making lists that will make us wiser, stronger, more compassionate and infinitely more positive women than we were before. So go ahead and make those lists. I challenge you to spend just as much time and effort on your “noticing what matters most” list as you do on your “getting things done” list.