Project x Project: Aspirations and Experiments

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I am a list addict. That's right, I've admitted it (yet again). And for the upcoming summer I have made a list with subsections of items that I want to begin or complete during that time.

But this time I've done three things that are a tad bit different with the list:
1. I have made all the statements into "I want to..." forms
2. I have decided whether they are an aspiration or an experiment and indicated that
3. I have put a reason next to it about why I want to do such a thing

 Some of the ideas are simple, such as "I want to go through my closet and organize, donate, get rid of, DIY or get new versions of my clothes". Easy enough to do in the span of a day and the reasoning is as simple as the moniker "out with the old, in with the new" because I need a closet update.
Some of the ideas are a little more challenging, such as I want to start rollerskating, which I have put down as a "novel exercise" that I want to try. That experiment will require more planning than tearing up my closet and seeing what works and doesn't; it will also require a lot more time.

But does that matter? Nope.

Having a goal list like this indicates only whether the goals are experiments or aspirations, without condemning one idea or showing the negative sides of them. Essentially, it allows me to look at each item, determine its value to me at that moment, and gets me brainstorming about ways to complete it. I would use this regularly when I am about to have a life shift (such as going into summer, returning to college, etc) because those transitions may be a little hectic without a framework.

Does it mean that I'm going to do everything? Probably not.

While I like to say that I get everything that I want done in a given time span, it mostly ends up that I am trying. But hey, I value the positive stuff that I get out of trying more than the unintentional failure of not trying at all.

And that brings me to the last, and greatest, benefit of this list: values.

When I look back on this list in three weeks, once it has set in, I can look at the little reasoning that I gave each of those points and ask myself whether I connect with that intention. I can ask myself that again at any point that I lose sight of why I am doing something - such as when I fall down during skating - and evaluate whether I still believe it is giving me the value I wanted it to.

I encourage you to try out this type of list. I believe that it works better on long-term goals rather than short-term, but using it for next week's goals would probably be an awesome way to get started on it! Let me know if you do in the comments.

Check out some more lessons I've learned in this life (of course, some do include lists!).