I’ve Been Meaning To . . .

i've been meaning toAs I’ve read your blogs about your hopes, dreams, plans, and resolutions for 2014, I’ve caught myself thinking, “Oh, I’ve been meaning to do that.” Then I was reviewing my never-ending to-do lists, which include prosaic items like “buy shampoo” but are also littered with things that never get marked off the list. The latter are things “I’ve been meaning to do.”

These aren’t the big, earth-shaking, bucket-list kinds of intentions. I don’t find the making of a bucket list too compelling. And they aren’t the little day-to-day to-do list kinds of items. Those are easy and they get marked off the list promptly.

Right in the middle of “really big” and “really small” are the kinds of good intention that are just right for my “I’ve been meaning to” list—you could call them the Goldilocks goals. These are manageable goals—projects to start, places to go, new skills to try. Maybe it’s because they are manageable that they never get done.

For instance, I’m always saying I’ve been meaning to spend more time in Montreal. It’s close, it’s easy to get to, it’s an antidote to provincial rural life. But because it’s easy and close, I can postpone doing it—it’ll be there tomorrow.

The quilt I just finished fell into this category. It was right there, waiting. It only needed a couple of days of focused work to be finished. Easy. Postpone. It’ll be there tomorrow.

But then I finished that quilt and felt such satisfaction! I strutted around for a couple days! And that has added to my certainty that I should do more of these things I’ve been meaning to do, both because they’re worthy things to do AND because I feel so smug when I actually follow through (and can take them off the list).

So, here’s my plan. I’m going to try to do one of the things “I’ve been meaning to do” every week this year and tell you about it. I’m going public with it because I hope that means I’ll be more mindful of following through.

My guidelines for myself are as follow:

  • I’m going to remember that my blog is NOT all about me. I write a personal journal for that. The blog is about, and for, you, too.
  • Having said that, I promise to write about things in ways that I hope you can relate to.
  • And having said that, I may not do a post on this topic every single week. I may do something I’ve been meaning to do that is too personal or weird to burden you with!
  • I will seek to stay true to my theme of “loving hands at home.” Many of the things I’ve been meaning to do are tailor-made. Some are a little further afield. Both may show up here., with an emphasis on the former.
  • If the plan gets boring to me or I think I’m boring you, I’ll abort!

So, thank you for sharing your plans and goals in the last week—it seems to have motivated me to re-consider some of mine. I hope we all follow through!

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46 thoughts on “I’ve Been Meaning To . . .

  1. Looking forward to hearing about all the “meaning to do” things you have planned. I too,need to be more mindful of those type things and start checking them off my list. You’ve inspired me 🙂
    maureen

  2. Ah yes, the endless list of “meant to do”. Look forward to seeing what you accomplish.
    I chickened out this year and made no resolutions. Just a new thought process.
    By the way I thought your quilt was Awesome!!!

  3. Good luck with your “i’ve been meaning to” goals! I have lots of those things that stay on my to do list too. They tend to be the “be better at…” goals. I would definitely feel better if I just got them done. I can’t wait to see the projects you finish! xx

  4. Hope it all goes well but don’t worry if things don’t go as you mean them to because, if we use other time references like Lady Day (25th March.. In England, Lady Day was New Year’s Day up to 1752) or Coptic New Year (Sept 11th) you can always refresh your meaning to list more than once in a year 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. I know what you mean about the things that you never get marked off your list. My lists are like that, too. I think that I do the things that absolutely must be done and the things that I like to do–but I never seem to get around to the things that I “want” to do, but are more difficult for me to do for one reason or another.

    I made a new “to-do” list on Jan. 1 and can already see that I’m skipping over some items. Your thoughtful post makes me want to go back to my list and encourage myself to do a few of those things.

    • I think your distinctions between “must” do, “like” to do, and “want” to do are just exactly right. And that last category just gets lost. I hope you (and I!) can get some of those things done! Let me know how you do!

  6. But your blog needs to be all about you to a certain extent — that’s why we read it — to get your perspective, insight, thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc. Make sure to keep you in it as much as possible 🙂

  7. I know I “should” follow your lead – but – there are all those other things that need attention! and sometimes I put something on a list just so I can tick it off – need to feel like I’m making some progress.

  8. I guess an “I’ve been meaning to list” is a little more informal than a “to-do list”. I ticked one off today. I’ve been meaning to get the car’s annual state inspection done since Thanksgiving, but each day that I was off from work and the shop was open, we had snow, rain, or general mud on our dirt road that prevented driving a 2-wheel drive vehicle in and out. But, ironically, with the extra cold snap here, the roads were dry and frozen. One more item off the list.
    Oscar

    • My to-do lists are very chore oriented and rarely talk about more important goals, the things I’ve “been meaning to do.” But I still love being able to check something off the to-do list!

      • Yes, how often do tasks we value get pushed back by those chores! As “meaning” has various connotations (purpose, interest, value, importance…) the phrase “been meaning to do” could have more significance. 🙂

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  12. This blogging/Pinterest/Etsy/Facebook thing is really time-consuming. You’re a real human being with real to-do lists looking for a way to get that Goldilocks bucket list going–love it because I can identify. Can’t wait to see what your practical applications are because maybe I can identify with those, too!

    • The blogging/Etsy/etc. circuit truly is a time suck! ‘m retired so, God knows, I’ve got time but I often put off little outings and minor adventures–the kinds of things that make memories. So far, I’ve been doing pretty well with my challenge to myself!

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