It's very easy for me to sit around and do nothing, so in An Effort To Get My Crap Together, I made four lists of goals. And because I really need to see things for them to remain in my consciousness, I went to the office supply store and bought the giant set of post-it notes of sheets that are 18" x 24" to hang on my living room wall so that I would always see them. (As it turned out, I didn't have to spend $30 on the giant sticky notes, since they won't stick to my textured plaster walls. I had to hang everything up with masking tape.)
Anyway, these lists are a mix of chores, personal self-improvement, and fun stuff. The first list is things I want to get done in May 2010, and I am happy to note that I have been able to cross off seven of the nine items. These items ranged from the fun (going to the Mima Mounds) to fitness (take dogs on 45 minute walks 3x week), to the onerous (get all the useless stuff out of backyard--the carpet and pad I ripped out of the living room, the old furniture that had been left in the house when we moved in, and random bits of debris). All I have left is to clean out the office and to plant the herb garden.
The next list are goals for summer 2010. Again, these range from the fun (day trip to Portland to go to the Japanese garden there) to the onerous (fix back fence). I also need to repaint the trim of the house. The house was repainted about nine years ago by a volunteer group called Paint Tacoma Beautiful. It's a great idea but it's not professional quality work. The trim is peeling away in several spots and really needs to be redone. I had the bright idea that I didn't have to repaint it the same boring dark brown it is now; I can choose a different color! Now that I've realized that, I'm actually kind of excited about this chore. I'm going to choose a warm orange. The house is white/cream, so any color would work. One of the nice thing about having a small house is that I can do this myself. And since the days are so long now, I can do this in the evenings. I actually like painting. I find the rhythmic pace of the work very soothing.
The "Stuff to do by end of 2010" list is much shorter: pass the Professional Engineering exam in October, and paint the living room and kitchen. I'd also like to rejoin the YMCA so that I can go swimming again but that depends on whether I've met some financial goals and whether I stay at my job in downtown Seattle.
The final list is the longest and represent stuff that costs money, so all these are pipe dreams until I rebuild my emergency savings (so slow to rebuild, so quick to deplete). This list includes getting a tankless water heater (which may move to another list if the current one goes out), learn to ride a motorcycle, learn to fly a helicopter, get the front yard professionally landscaped, remodel the bathroom, remodel the kitchen.
It feels good to have the lists there. It feels even better to mark something off. It makes me feel less apathetic.