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     Transforming Your To-Do List

Recently I had the delightful pleasure of spending a couple days with my mother in Southern Orange County, California. My high school years were spent in this paradise. My body always seems to sense when I am in the area, immediately feeling more relaxed and at ease. One afternoon I had some time to visit a shopping mall that had been built when I was a senior in high school. I knew it had been extensively remodeled, so I especially looked forward to observing the TRANSFORMATION. Driving into one of many large parking structures I had a sense of being Dorothy speaking to Toto, "I guess we're not in Kansas anymore" as I learned the Mission Viejo Mall was now called "The Shops of Mission Viejo". The late 70's mall had become the New Millennium Shopping Experience.

My first reaction was making that mean snobby pretentiousness. At second glance, I decided to view it instead from a base of creative PERSONAL CARE. The people who visited the Shops of Mission Viejo would be guaranteed a quiet and comfortable experience where they were pleasantly catered to with such a subtle ambiance that it was almost unnoticeable yet its power was ever present. Around the hallways sit overstuffed leather chairs clustered in groupings. They invite people to take breaks outside of a food court setting, which in Mission Viejo was instead called the Dining Veranda. We relax and unwind on a Veranda. At a food court we chase our children and quickly eat a bean burrito before tackling the next crowded store. The natural lighting complimented the "street" lights that lined the "sidewalks." People could be seen visiting and reading and studying, laughing and simply quietly contemplating their next move. The designers of the Shops of Mission Viejo had clearly decided they were going to view the shopping experience as a DELIGHT rather than a CHORE, an adventure instead of a necessary evil, a complete sensory experience rather than a sweat inducing, wallet draining course in stress management.

How do you care for yourself on a routine basis? Are you nurturing your spirit, or is your daily to-do list something to struggle and ENDURE your way through so you can get to something that you perceive as more fun? What if you decided to transform your "to do" routine into an exercise in self-care? Instead of seeing it as drudgery, see it instead as filled with potential to POSITIVELY SHAPE your life and grow it to a more passion or joy filled exercise. How to do this?

Remember how the Shops at Mission Viejo has a Dining Veranda instead of a food court? How could renaming your "To Do" list change your OUTLOOK on the tasks ahead? How could surrounding your "To Do" list with REWARDS -- by sprinkling it with tasks that make your heart sing instead of focusing solely on priorities -- shift your motivation?

Mary used to schedule her day strictly based on "A-B-C" priorities. What she discovered is most of her "A" priorities were so DISTASTEFUL to her, she ended up getting little or nothing on her list done. Instead, she now starts with a more ENJOYABLE "B" or "C" priority, then to an "A" priority, another more fun task, then another "A" priority and so on. Now Mary is getting much more accomplished as well as taking excellent care of herself. She has transformed her "To Do" list into a "Possibilities of the Day" list.

Pablo Picasso said, "An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought." As the designers took their idea of taking a shopping mall and seeing what the potential for the entire experience could become, so you take your idea of how you can transform your daily "to-do's" and elaborate on it. What are your POSSIBILITIES?


Julie Jordan Scott is a Certified Life Purpose Coach who works with action oriented, creative people who are ready to live each moment with passion. Subscribe to Julie's daily ezine by sending an email to or visit her website at www.5passions.com.

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