Wellness Bytes – To Do or To Be

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Wellness Bytes #12

Are you tired of using to-do lists?  What if you could find a way to make your day more meaningful with a different kind of list?

To Do or To Be?   Which seems like a better fit for you today?  I find that the to-do list helps me to manage my time efficiently.  The value of this is that I feel a sense of accomplishment every time I check something off, PLUS, I have more free time when I am organized.  But just having done a bunch of tasks winds up leaving me kind of flat after my day. 

 So I have been trying something different a few days each week, and I have found that it puts my mind in a good place. I call it the To-Be list.  Basically, I come up with one – three ways of being that I would like to focus on throughout my day.  At work this week they were to be:

  • present
  • efficient
  • compassionate

With this focus in mind, my work days were more meaningful, and even when there were challenges,  I was able to move through the days with more of a sense of flow.  To keep my list in the forefront of my mind,  I put the words on a bright post-it and placed it on my desk to remind me of how I want to be in the world. 

Why does this help so much?  Whatever you focus your mind on affects what you notice and how you respond throughout your day.  When you focus on specific ideas frequently, your thinking patterns do shift and so does your attitude.  This is not magic; it has to do with how our minds work.  There is ongoing research that will help us to harness this ability more and more in the years to come.


Would you like to bring a little more meaning into your daily life? 

  • Starting tomorrow – try writing your own To-Be list.
  • How will you remember your list?
  • How many times will it take in a week to develop this habit?
  • How will your list impact your day?
  • What is the first thing you want to be in your world?



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  1. We are often human doers, but really we are human beings. I thank you for your sharing. To rewire the brain so the outcomes of our actions are pure, simple, do not cause harm to ourselves or others is wonderful. The mind has its job to help us survive in this complicated world. The ego loves to get involved whether it is positive or negative as long as it brings significance. To no longer be identified with the mind and the ego is a special place to be. To realize that our accomplishments can only bring temporary happiness is important to me. Eternal happiness comes from knowing who we truly are and it is not the mind, the body and all of its doings.

  2. Janet Nicolaysen on February 24, 2014 at 9:59 pm said:

    I find that praying, meditating , and staying “present” to my Divine at the start of my day really centers me and provides me with my “to be” goals. Janet N.

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