Recently I have realised the joy I can gain by simply grabbing my pen and putting it to paper. It is easy to get lost in technology in the modern world we live in and I usually opt for my 'notes' page on my iPhone or perhaps even a pages document on my laptop but when you actually bring yourself to sit down, open up a fresh, crisp page and fill the lines - it is an amazing, encompassing feeling. You are able to write words in a way that nobody else will ever write them, it reminds you that you're an individual, an individual that counts, someone who matters and genuinely has an influence on the world - not just some slave to technology typing away in the same 'Arial' font as every other human to ever type. As a person who often experiences anxiety, I also appreciate the sense of 'bond' you experience when physically writing an important list, there are no complications, it is a simple combination of your body, your mind, the pen and the paper.
Now, by lists I am not referring to your weekly shopping list, I am in fact considering the more influential and personal lists. Lists that we all contemplate in our minds but rarely take a moment to reflect upon or note down. You see, the human mind needs aspirations and goals, otherwise we are simply lost. Floating down a river of media fed beliefs of how we should live our lives, how we should act, who we should be friends with, what we should eat on a monday and the list goes on - every mind will have its own goals and only the person who truly owns that mind can set them. This is the point where I ask you to consider - who truly owns your mind? If you don't know the answer I strongly suggest you walk down to your nearest note-book stocking store (forget all those old note pads you have collecting dust at the back of your cupboard, they have not inspired you in the past so why would they now?) and collect your new inspiration journal, your guide to what you want to achieve. De-clutter your brain until you are left with the fundamental blocks of what you believe in and how YOU personally want to live your life. Forget what google says, forget what Millie that girl from three classrooms down the corridor says - believe in your own opinion.
Here is a picture of my current adventure pad (accompanied by fairy lights because who doesn't love fairy lights) it quite appropriately states "Say yes to adventure" .....
I like to create lists of various topics, here are some examples:
The Bucket List:
Bucket lists are a household term nowadays and the average person probably has a bucket list noted, whether it be in their mind or physically noted down. Personally, I find these can be useful however due to the long term nature of these lists- you can find yourself becoming depressed as you realise that aspirations such as buying an expensive designer bag (or whatever your thoughts may be) are not currently within your reach. If you are able to maintain an open mind and positive outlook whilst writing a bucket list they can be incredibly motivating things as long as you remember they are life long, potentially future goals.
My Current List
This list can tend to become a bit mismatched for me, it can contain absolutely anything whether it be where I currently want to travel and save money for, goals I have set myself for the gym, food goals (eg. trying to eat healthy!! Something I find only tends to work if you build up to it slowly, I tried making one big change to a healthy diet and lasted a measly week!) - this is just lists of current aspirations, so on a much shorter scale for example a week to a couple of weeks ahead. These goals tend to be much more basic and achievable but by listing them down it is the highest form of satisfaction being able to cross through the words on the page upon completion!
My 2017 Aspirations List
These are almost like new years resolutions (a perfect topic to ponder considering the appropriate time of year I am writing this post!) I have made many lists about what I hope to achieve in the next year. Again this may include travels or money goals but also things such as education and my health. Recently I have been trying to fill my life with as much positivity as I can outside of college to boost my moral during these two, truly horrific years of A Levels I am enduring, simple things such as Harry Potter films do the trick for me at the moment but for example next year I aspire to go out and push my body physically, explore the world I was put upon and record it (something I truly have a passion for is film and photography and this is definitely something I aspire to develop in 2017) and most importantly to respect the life I have been given. I have the chance to attend University next year and I hope that 2017 is a far more bright and prosperous year for me than how 2016 has proven to be. Listing these new resolutions helps to clarify with yourself what you hope to achieve and the person you want to be, perhaps event the type of people you wish to surround yourself with.
Positive Life Elements List
This for me is just listing all of the positive elements of my life. Taking the time to note down what you already have is essential because quite often the experiences you are already exposed to and frequently overlook are already rich.
Things I Want/Need to Change List
Now this can be challenging because the human brain often consciously wishes for us to ignore the things in our lives that we know are causing us pain but when it begins to affect you, the changes need to be made, if possible do it early before it becomes more challenging down the line. For me, my weaknesses I have noted to improve is that I need to stop relying on the internet so often. I google self diagnose when ill (who hasn't searched 'why are my eyes so puffy in the morning?' to be greated with warning messages that you have every possible eye disease under the sun and must rush to get antibiotics immediately!) I use social media far more than is healthy (all of these Instagram models how do they do it?!) and my procrastination has become ridiculous. Every person has something in their life they can change, some people might just have to look harder than others to see what these changes might be. Something I have learnt that I urge you to remember even if it is the only thing you may take from this blog post is that if something is causing you harm, as difficult as it may be to stop, the long term effects are worth it for the few weeks of difficulty - you will make it through to the other side stronger than ever before.
If you can make lists based on any of these style formats you are well on your way to a mind that deeply appreciates life and the chances you are given/will gain in your future.
If you have made it to the bottom of this post then congratulations because it is a truly wordy one! I hope I have shown how lists can be fullfilling and give your life goals and positive aspirations that feel incredible to cross off once achieved!
Finally I want to finish on the note that mental health is a topic often ignored and disregarded, pushed below physical health and it is something that needs to change- in my opinion a healthy mind can only function with a person's own, personal self formed goals and I truly believe that hand written lists are one of the best ways to start a journey to positivity- they certainly help me anyway!
Until next time,