Does Your “To Do List” Have Tasks or Opportunities On It?

Lately I’ve read several books (see below) about negative thoughts versus positive thoughts.  Many times we don’t even realize how negative we can be.

Every day I write out a “to do” list on a white board.  I tend to lose focus throughout the day and this list helps bring me back to the tasks on my list.

But the problem is I rarely finish everything. Then I get down on myself for not being able to finish all my tasks. Even when I’m writing them down in the morning I feel a certain negativity towards the list.

Well, after reading one of the books it dawned on me that the word “task” or even the word “chore” has a negative meaning.  I decided to look both words up in the dictionary.

Task:  1. Something hard or unpleasant that has to be done. 2. A piece of work assigned or done as part of one’s duties.

Chore:  1. A routine or minor duty or task.  2. A difficult or disagreeable task.

Duty:  1. An act or a course of action that is required of one.

Wow! No wonder I felt stressed out each time I wrote out my daily “to do” list.  Not a very positive way to begin the day.

So I decided I needed a better word to describe the actions I wanted to take each day.  The word I decided on is “opportunity”.

Opportunity:  1. A favorable or advantageous circumstance. 2. A chance for progress or advancement.

Now that sounds a lot more positive!

Today’s Opportunities

At the top of my list I write in big letters; “Today’s Opportunities”. Then I list what I want to do. I now see the list of things in a whole different way.

  • I have an opportunity to improve my health and body by getting on the treadmill today.
  • I have an opportunity to write a blog post to share my tips and insight with others.
  • I have an opportunity to bless my family by doing the laundry today.
  • I have an opportunity to bless myself by cleaning out some of the clutter because I deserve to live in a nice, uncluttered home.

So you see, by just changing one word it can help change how you approach the things you want to accomplish on your “to do” list.  When you see that your actions have a chance to move you towards your goals it’s much easier to do them with a smile on your face.

If all you see on your list are the routine unpleasant actions that are required of you, it’s hard to get and stay motivated to take the actions needed to complete them.

So this year a good resolution would be to recognize the negative words you use and find positive words to replace them. You’ll be amazed how something this simple can make such a big difference.

To a lighter load along the way.


P.S.  Here are the books I’ve read about learning to be more positive. If you click on the covers it will take to you Amazon where you can read more about them. These are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase the product through these links I’ll receive a small commission at not extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.


2 thoughts on “Does Your “To Do List” Have Tasks or Opportunities On It?”

  1. I was always busy crossing off items on my to do list but never felt like I was getting anywhere and always felt drained.
    I too realized that I saw everything as another chore, something to get out of the way before I could enjoy life.
    About a year ago seeing how what I did benefited to my life.
    I now feel energized, motivated and enjoy what I’m doing.

    1. Priska, I still find it amazing how just changing the way you look at or approach something can make such a difference. Like you said, recognizing and making a change can benefit our lives in so many ways.

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