Goal vs. To-Do List, What’s The Difference?

Do you ever see the end of your To-Do List (TDL)?Alinof_ToDoList

One of the most de-motivating habits we create is never seeing the bottom of a TDL; a page of tasks to do that is never entirely checked or crossed off. It’s almost worse than not making the list in the first place.

You find yourself starting your daily list by carrying over what wasn’t done yesterday and adding today’s list to it. Thus making today’s list even longer.

By the time you finish a week or so of carry-overs you have a list that would choke an elephant and no one could accomplish in the time-scheduled period.

So if this is happening to you, stop making a TDL! …..Unless you keep reading and finding out how you can have a TDL that you will always complete every time.

Let’s back up a bit and look at how a TDL differs from a ‘goal.’

A goal is an intention. It doesn’t have to have a time schedule. It is what you want to be, do or have that serves your life purpose in some way. Fulfilling this goal will feel as if you have added the final piece to a jig saw puzzle, the picture is now revealed and you feel more whole.

There should be no struggle to a goal completion. It is something you move toward by the choices you make in ‘now’ time. It is something that is aligned with who you are, your life purpose and not something that is ‘should-ed’ on you. You know, the things others tell you that you ‘should’ be, do or have.

The goal is the larger picture, the greater good, and will connect you with the kind of health, relationships, career, financial freedom and spiritual link you desire. It can be something seemingly small or grandiose, however each one carries an equal importance no matter its apparent size.

The TDL has an importance of great magnitude. Its purpose is to help keep your life operating more smoothly, to lower stress and assist you in preventing or avoiding those occurrences that can make life more bumpy and frustrating.

Now, of course you can’t foresee every life event that produces storm clouds and seems to come out of left field with no warning, but you do know which bad habits you have developed that keep creating the same problems over and over again. Properly managed TDLs can be very effective in providing you more time for leisure, put more play money in your pocket and in you having a feeling of much more control over your life.

These are some tips for a TDL that serves you rather than frustrates you:

1. Be specific, but not too detailed.

Too detailed would be, ‘drive to work’, ‘park car’, ‘take elevator to office’…..you get the picture. Specific would be ‘Take Julie to practice @3:00 pm. ‘Pick up a pre-cooked chicken on the way home.’ ‘Map out my newsletter so it’s ready to write for tomorrow’.

2. Keep more than one list; one for the month, the week and each day.

Begin every month doing a TDL you want to complete within the month. Each week write a TDL you want to complete for that week and they should support your month’s list. Then your daily TDL is easy, just look at the other two lists and decide what actions are needed that support them.

3. Keep the lists short. No twenty-item lists allowed!

Only list steps that you are confident you can complete in the time period. Will that always happen? No, but it should happen a minimum of 75% of the time. Only then will you have a feeling of accomplishment and thus want to keep doing your lists because you know how valuable they are for you.

4. Prioritize the list.

First by time constraints, which items are dependent on the calendar or clock ie: get to the bank before it closes, listen to the teleclass at 2:00 pm.

Second, by how long it takes to complete them; do the shortest tasks first so you will feel you are making great headway, love seeing the checkmarks and build energy to keep on going.

Third, by what you dislike doing most and do that first, get it off your plate so you are not dreading it all day. Just the act of dreading sucks the energy out of you because in your mind you are doing this task over and over instead of just once in actuality.

5. Focus, focus, focus.

Remain on task and don’t stray off into overtime on Facebook. Save that for the leisure time you are banking. Avoid stressing out over traffic or a temporary Internet interruption by always allowing more time than you actually need to complete a task. Another reason to keep the list short and not cram too much into a time period.

Your TDLs really help to support your goals too. They are the things that keep your life ticking in a way that makes you feel really good. We can spend less time ‘doing’ and more time ‘being’. Doing is busy-ness while Being is fulfillment. Goal completion gives your life meaningfulness and in order to get to this state, having the solid of foundation of a well working TDL practice is necessary.

It’s actually fun and has the power to make you feel accomplished, smart, in control and even walk with a little bit of well-earned swagger in our step!

About the Author, Lynn Moore


Lynn is an Intuitive Coach/Mentor who works with career women in the second half of life to help them find a deeper sense of self and soul purpose. To help them end the struggle to learn WHO they are, WHAT they want and HOW to go and get it.

She is an accomplished speaker, published author, lifetime entrepreneur and has coached clients worldwide since 2004. She is the creator of the Inspirational Goaling system that is revolutionizing the world of how to choose goals and accomplish them struggle free.

Receive your free iBook, "Inspirational Goaling", that will inspire you into a life of fulfillment and meaning at: www.InspirationalGoaling.com

Do you ever see the end of your To-Do List (TDL)? One of the most de-motivating habits we create is never seeing the bottom of a TDL; a page of tasks to do that is never entirely checked or crossed … Continued