September 21, 2010

Create and Clean Up Your Messed Up List

You've messed up. Welcome to the club. We call it being human and messing up is part of life. Now, if you're like me and 99.9% of the rest of the population you've also got this little backlog going of things you've messed up in life that you've just never really cleaned up yet. We're going to identify those pesky traitors and then we're going to eliminate them for good!

Make Your Messed Up List

When it comes to lists and note-taking, I wasn't always a writer-down. I gave my memory too much credit! Although I consider myself bright, it's certainly a positive thing that I realized it's not always best to trust your memory, especially if you don't have to. I've found that writing things down is not only important but it's helpful. In this self improvement article we are going to look at a useful list – our "messed up" list.

Once we have this list drafted we are then going to translate that into a sort of "should do" list. Now, this is not to be mistaken for a must do list or a do-it-or-die list. To the contrary, our should do list is a compilation of areas or aspects of our lives where we knew that our outside actions were betraying our inner knowledge, awareness, feelings, and perhaps even betraying our greater wisdom as well.

It should be noted that the messed up list is not my creation. Rather, as this man has done so many times prior, Jim Rohn once again inspired me and informed me about this useful little list, we will call the "messed up" list. Jim talks about it along with probably hundreds of other great ideas in his amazing personal development program How to Have Your Best Year Ever.

While the messed up list plays just a small part in his seminar, we are going to examine it to the degree it deserves. Not only that, but we are going to actually create our own messed up lists. I'm even going to share mine in this blog post.

What is the "messed up" list?

Jim Rohn doesn't spend very long on the messed up list in his DVD seminar. Part of the reason for that is simple – the messed up list is a simple process. The other part of this is that I've come to learn that this is how Jim Rohn teaches most of what he offers us. He'll give you the idea, concept, or principle but then it's up to you – to us – to develop it and truly learn the lesson. I liken this method to planting a seed and nurturing it to adulthood. Jim Rohn plants the seed and we make it flourish… or perish.

In short, your messed up list is a quick run-down of the neglect in your life that has weighed you down and held you back from being your personal best.

For example, did you know that all that junk food you may have been eating was harming your health? If you answer "yes" then you've messed up. Put it on the list!

Other areas of your messed up list can include: health, spiritual, family, friends, relationships, professional, educational, planning and preparation, financial, charity, and anything or anywhere you've messed up!

How I've Messed Up

So, how have I messed up? Well, on my list I have a number of things that I am continuously paring down on since taking a proactive approach to handling this nagging little list. Some of what I have on my list I have: My exercise routine has been too off/on; finding inner peace has not been a priority in my daily life; I haven't written a friend in a while; I haven't stuck to my teeth-flossing regimen; and I let my office and house get messy or cluttered more than I'd like.

There is my messed up list. Now, where is yours? If you don't have one in writing then do create one now! The next part of this self improvement article hinges on your list. And the name of the game here is self improvement and personal development, so let us honor our intentions and put some activity into our lives. It's worth noting that I recommend writing your list on paper for reasons that will become clear.

What to do with your Messed Up List

Life coach expert Jim Rohn has a great choice of words on what to do with our personal messed up lists. It's a messy list, so we clean it up. Just start cleaning up your messed up list each day and each week. Meaningful intra-personal victory is ours for the taking!

The Knitty Gritty Process

What I have done is looked at my own list and calculated how long it would be acceptable to finish cleaning up the list. If my messed up list has 10 items and I want it clean in 60 days then every 6 days I need to check something off. That sounds easy, doesn't it? How long do you want your clean-up to take? Write this number down and divide by the number of items on your list. It's that easy.

Once you are underway on cleaning up your messed up list then there are a few tips that I believe will help you see it through to completion. First of all, keep your list in a visible spot. If you write up a top-notch list and have every intention of carrying it through then fantastic! But what if you forget about it 2 weeks from now? You can prevent that! Remind yourself of what's on the list daily, and work on it.

Next, a good tip is to use a schedule planner or calendar to mark the days when you decided ahead of time that you wanted to cross something off the list. This will help you continuously review and keep you on track towards living your better life, free of pestering thoughts that peck away at your potential. The aim here is to check off everything on our list in the amount of time we feel is best and reasonable.

From Idea to Paper to Results

The idea of the messed up list that we've talked about is merely the seed planted in your mind. You can I've a life with a shrinking messed up list as opposed to one that is growing. It can and will be a liberating activity as you see areas of your life where you once had it wrong turn into something true and right. Now, it's time to clean up!

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Diana said...

I agree completely!! I've been reading and listening to Marci Shimoff's book and course on being Happy for no reason and she covers the Steven Covey stimulus and response topic you talked about. Being positive or happy is the same as being healthy. You need to make the CHOICE to eat fresh unprocessed food and move your body in order to be healthy. If you want to be spiritually, mentally or physically healthy the choice to do so must be a habit you practice. Great post!!

Inspired Robin said...

Fantastic points Diana. Thank you for sharing your insights!

"Being positive or happy is the same as being healthy."

Absolutely! And you really hit the nail on the head when you pointed out that it's up to us to make the choice. It's such a powerful concept to understand. Most people haven't made that choice. They've deferred that choice, and unfortunately it doesn't always end up pretty.

I like the words of Jim Rohn when he says, "Guess what other people have planned for you?... Not much!" It's actually pretty funny, but it's sad too. If we don't make choices for ourselves, we give up a lot of our power to improve and change our lives for the better.

Another great point you bring up is that making better choices effects all areas — spiritually, mentally and physically. The more I study personal development and self coaching, if you want to put it that way, the more I realize they build on eachother. Likewise, if you're lax in one area, chances are you're slipping up somewhere else as well.

Thanks again Diana for your great comment, and I hope you stop by again soon!

malowo said...

this post has inspired me to do something i had never thought of-- creating my mess-up list for the last 30 years and fix it. It's a great post! Is it possible to republish it in the magazine i work with? It's called me magazin (

Inspired Robin said...

Absolutely malowo. Like Jim Rohn says, if you share a good idea long enough eventually it will fall on good ears. So if you gained something from this blog, then I encourage you to share it. It will help not only them, but you as well.

Have a great day!

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