My Not-To-Do List

T’was the Monday before Christmas and all through my mind, nothing  was stirring, but a panicked need to scream.

I was sitting at my desk, staring at a mess of post-it notes, a computer screen full of open tabs, a blank look and this oncoming feeling of anxiety.

I had a jumbled list of projects that I wanted to work on in my head, each one trying to yell louder than the other for attention. I was working on developing a calendar for social media at work, I had helpful blog articles to read, coding lessons waiting, an inbox to clean out. There were photos to edit, new photography equipment to test out. The list goes on and on. All I could see were all of these projects, accomplishments, and ideas that I wanted to get done in 2015, but how was I going to get everything done?Where had my year gone?!?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get so many ideas and goals that I loose track of everything and don’t even know where to begin.

My internet browser was suddenly a scary representation of my head and I was so overwhelmed that I just wanted to run away from it screaming. It isn’t that I wanted to give up and not accomplish anything, it was more of a need to not feel overwhelmed.

That is when I stopped and grabbed a piece of paper.

I began writing about everything that was going on in my head. My ideas, my frustrations about not knowing where to begin, a broad list of areas that I had projects in. Suddenly, that piece of paper was my best friend, and I was having a vent fest to it. I got a majority of my frustrations out. I sat back and was like ok… that helped me feel better, but now what am I going to do about it all?

Realistically, I have maybe four more days this year where I can plan to get much of anything, besides wrapping my Christmas gifts, accomplished; The rest is going to be family and travel filled. So I took a moment to be disappointed in myself for not being more diligent about certain things, and to recognize the areas I needed to work on. I recognized that I need to focus less on being scared about what I am doing with my life and more focused on just getting certain things accomplished.  Then I forgave myself and thought “you will do better next time.”


Next, I made a list of things that I was not going to accomplish this year. A list of things I’m going to set aside until 2016:NotToDo

  • Coding: Yes, I have been slowly trying to teach myself to code. Nothing fancy, just a basic understanding so that I can do more with designing blogs and website. I want to be able to make them look exactly how I want them to. (There are actually quite a few tools out there if you want to learn.) I had started this awesome class called CS50 from Harvard through but had failed to keep up with it as I had planned.I thought I had let this great opportunity slip through my fingers but that was my own fault. I knew I couldn’t teach myself to code in four days so, I promise I would put that aside coding for now. To my happy surprise, I found out that the class started January 1st again.
  • My Blog Redesign: Yes! I have been itching to do this! As much as I love my blog now, I built it when I was first learning about blogs, web design, and I was younger. I have grown up a lot and with that my taste has changed. I got a bee in my bonnet some months back to do something different but for anyone who knows what it is like trying to do a redesign, it can be hard. Picking colors, fonts, deciding on a new theme, should I go Genesis frame work, what host to use, the list goes on! I had really wanted to start off 2016 with a new look, new post-college me. But at this point, I could either get it done, or wait and really do it right. Also on that list, figuring out how to make a mood board.
  • My car getting cleaned: Yes, I am going to get my shoes out, but the vacuuming and detail work, that just isn’t happening before next year. I am traveling and going to be all over of the next couple weeks. Sorry pumpkin.*
  • Some Christmas gifts: I’m not a terrible person I swear, but some people I won’t see till after New Year’s anyway. So for those of you who I don’t see till January, you will get it when I see you and not a moment sooner. My apologies now.
  • Various projects: Whether it is photos I want to edit, or ideas for other projects I want to try, some of them I am simply going to have to sketch for now and make later.

This time of year can be stressful. We feel this need to accomplish all of these things, and we look back and see what we didn’t do.


What are some things that you could really say, “I’m going to accomplish these next year and that is ok.” Make a list somewhere and then put it away until 2016. If that doesn’t sound appealing, make a list of things that you have accomplished in 2015.

However you choose to do it, give yourself permission to relax and enjoy the rest of 2015.

*My car is fondly referred to as pumpkin.

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