Feeling Discouraged? Write a Ta-Da List (or Two)
“I feel overwhelmed.”
“I didn’t get much done today.”
“I’m so far behind.”
I think this . . . way too much. What does this do for me? Nothing positive. Instead, it leads me to the path of discouragement. Have you felt overwhelmed, like you didn’t get much done, or feel far behind from where you want to be in life? Try this: Write a Ta-Da List.
What’s a Ta-Da list?
A Ta-Da list is a list of all the good things you’ve done. It’s a reverse to-do list. List it all. Even the things that seem insignificant.
- Brushed teeth
- Put on deodorant
- Took my daughter on a play date
- Talked with a friend
- Read the Bible
- Listened to a webinar (encouraging me to be a better writer)
- Made plans for my date tomorrow
- Practiced guitar
- Put away laundry
- Took a power nap
Why write a Ta-Da list?
A Ta-Da list recognizes what you did in a day. Brushing teeth, putting on deodorant, taking a nap, and talking with a friend are all parts of self-care. Taking my daughter on a play date is part of parenting. Reading my Bible and praying builds into my soul. Planning my date invests in my marriage. The webinar encourages my writing. Practicing guitar helps me as a musician and a teacher. And laundry, it’s being a responsible member of the household. (Moms should do that, right?) When I recognize these activities for what they are, I celebrate the good I’ve done.
What does celebrating the good I’ve done do for me? It embraces the truth and energizes me. While it may not break the spell of feeling overwhelmed or make the long list of undone tasks disappear, the list lets me know I’m a capable person and have spent time doing the important. Self-care, parenting, feeding my soul, investing in my marriage, building into my writing and music, and being a responsible member of the family—I’d say they all fit the bill on significant.
3 Simple tools for your ta-da list
- Time. Set a timer or take as long as you need.
- Paper. Notebook paper. A journal. Or go digital. However you like to get your thoughts out on paper is the best paper you need.
- A favorite pen or pencil.
One simple instruction
Write your list and connect your list with what it values. Smile.
A second Ta-Da list
This second list is a God Ta-Da list. Write a list of God’s provision for you or of his characteristics. When I write what is good in my life and recognize God’s hand of provision, I agree with the truth found in the Bible.
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. James 1:17
In writing the second list, I recognize God’s work in my life throughout the day. I may have a long Ta-Da list, but I didn’t do it alone. And when I know I didn’t do it alone, I can rest in the truth: I don’t have to do life alone. My God provides everything I need according to his riches (Philippians 4:19).
Feeling Discouraged? Write a Ta-Da List ( or Two)
When the discouragement comes, and you can be sure those days will come, take some time to find encouragement. You may not be accomplishing all you had hoped. You may need to change direction or get on a better track. But the energy you need, the breath of fresh air life you’re looking for might be found in a Ta-Da list . . . or two.
You’re working hard. God is working too. Let’s celebrate.