MODERN DAY MARTHA

Celebrating the art of making a home
  • Inspiration Wall
  • Who’s Martha?
  • Who are we?
  • Archives
  • Categories
  • THE UBERLIST

    I love new starts. I love the beginning of a new week, a new month, and the opportunity it provides to plan and create a contained set of things to get done in an established time frame.  I appreciate the repeated chance to reflect back and evaluate what worked and what didn’t; what could be changed for next time.

    So I especially love the start of a new year.

    I’m not a big one for resolutions. They’re too vague for me, it’s too easy to get discouraged. (How do you measure “Be healthier”?)

    But a to do list?  That I can do.

    To- do lists for a week, by their nature, have to be short, concise, and specific, to be in any way effective.

    To-do lists for a year? Expansive, ambitious, long.

    Enter the Uberlist.

    I’m not sure who first came up with the idea of the Uberlist; I came across it on the blog of a friend of a friend.  The idea is to come up with a to do list for the coming year, with as many items on it as the number of the year. (For the friend of a friend it started in 1998 with 98 items, and continued on, so this year had 109 items, and 2010 will have 110.)  Some of the items will be menial ( #65. Organize desk), some much bigger (#21. Go to Disneyland).  Some are things you’d do anyway, (#82 Go to dentist), others should stretch you (#34 Memorize 10 hymns).

    I’ve done an Uberlist for the last 3 years, and I love it. So far this year I’ve finished 48 of my 109 goals, which is pretty good. There’s a good chance I’ll  finish another couple before the year is out (#12 Reread a childhood favorite is a strong contender).

    I split my list into sections to make it easier to go through, and to make it easier to balance out. (It gets hard to come up with new items once you hit about 50.)  The sections I used last year were:

    Books  (ie. #11 Read something by an author I’ve always meant to try. )

    Local attractions (#19 Go to the zoo )

    Trips (#22 Visit family in Utah)

    Spirituality  (#26 Read the New Testament)

    Personal Development (#38 Make a new friend)

    Leisure (#48 Go to a musical)

    Home  (#63 Get shelving for closets)

    Writing (#78 Edit novel)

    Health  (# Floss)

    Homemaking Skills (#100 Make a master grocery shopping list)

    Entrepreneur endeavors (# 107 Come up with name for Etsy store)

    This year I’ll probably add Creativity and Education as new sections.

    But a list isn’t any good unless you use it, especially one this long, so I come up with the list during December, and then at the beginning of each month I take a look at it. I pick things off of the list I can tackle that month, and then break it into weeks.  Some things are easier to get taken care of than others, some leap to the top of the list (#70 Put away Christmas decorations), others take planning and work (#92 Make a quilt), some stay on the list for years (#55 Make curtains for Z’s room).

    And some just become unimportant and never get done.  Interests or time or circumstance change, and things listed at the beginning of the year aren’t always relevant six months later. And that’s just fine.

    The point, for me, is to catch a vision of the year to come, from the basics to the dreams. Having it written down gives me a reference point on the days that seem overly cluttered, or unusually empty. When I feel like I’m missing the mark, I can reassess.

    I keep my list on the computer, and when I finish an item I bold it. It’s visually lovely that way.

    So I’d like to invite you to join me, if you’re so inclined.  Do it by yourself, or with your family (I might try that this year). Make your list as safe or ambitious as you prefer.   If you’d like, share one or two of your list items with us. It’s always inspiring to see what other people have planned for their life.  And if you’re curious, post a number from 1-110 and I’ll tell you what that item on my Uberlist is.

    Happy planning!

    6 Responses to “THE UBERLIST”

    1. Hilary says:

      I like this idea, but am intimidated. I will mull it over. But, in the meantime – 22, I want to know what 22 is. :-)

    2. Maryanne says:

      @Hilary
      It’s intimidating once you get going, then it kind of flows. You could always start with my cousin’s idea of making as many goals as years old you are.
      And it’s also way less intimidating if you start with super easy things. :) One of mine is to buy a clock for the girls’ room. Although, that one has been on the list for, like, 3 years now. So perhaps it’s not that easy. :)
      #22 is: Go to Enrichment at least 6 times.

    3. Brandy says:

      Ooo…what a good idea! I’m gonna ponder this, though, like Hil, I’m a tad intimidated. What’s number 9?

    4. Maryanne says:

      #9 is Go to the beach. You can totally do this, Brandy! :) Just have 1/2 the things be wedding related, and you’ll be through your list in no time! :)

    5. Nancy says:

      Great idea Maryann! And a good way to not put together New Year’s Resolutions, but to have several things to work on all year. I think I’ll start thinking of my Uberlist, too.

    6. Carolyn says:

      Taking things a step further, you might pick out a few things from the Uberlist to agree do with your husband, or the kids. With the kids, it’s important to follow through on the ones you pick. Let them participate in planning.