I've been a big fan of writing things down for many years now, as I can attest to with previous blogs on the importance of this discipline in life.
Really there are at least 5 lists that you should make, check, check-off and revise constantly:
Make a bucket list. Things you want to do before you die. Write spiritual dreams as well as dreams of things you want to do just for fun. The master at the bucket list more than any other person I've heard of was John Goddard who eventually achieved 109 of his 127 pretty audacious dreams. Here is his bucket list. If you haven't already, take some time to make a list - you can revise it throughout your life.
A goal is a dream with a deadline. Smaller steps and daily habits to keep you on track to reach your dreams. I keep To do lists for each of my projects to stay on task - these represent goals for various aspects of my life.
I keep mainly a list of books I want to buy in my iPhone notes. For books I own and plan to read in coming months, I keep stacks near my desk in our home office. Nothing like a book sitting near where you work to remind you what's next to read.
4. Grateful for
A super healthy habit is to write down as many things as you can think of that you are thankful for every few months. I use the same journal for these lists as well as prayer requests below. I use this journal for mostly spiritual reasons - prayers to God of praise and worship and thanksgiving, writing down testimonies of what God is doing in our lives and through our ministry.
5. Prayer Requests
I first heard of following up with prayer requests from a Pastor from South Korea named David Yonggi Cho. He defnitely has moral authority to speak to the issue, since he pastors what was for a time the largest church in the world - with nearly a million members. It is rejuvenating to our prayer lives to not only pray and ask God for things, but to write down our biggest prayers every few months - keep praying about them on a regular basis, and then come back to watch how God answers them - He answers a staggering amount of them, but most of us don't remember our original prayer and thus can't give God the glory.
I could and probably should add other lists depending on your interests and work. I keep notes on my iPhone for future books I hope to write as well as blog ideas - writing these down as they come to me. It is vital to capture inspiration in the moment it comes to us - this is called idea stewardship. We "take every thought captive," not just as excommunicating sinful thoughts, but also capturing holy ideas, by writing them down. As one writer says, "The shortest pen is better than the longest memory."
What other lists have been beneficial in your life? Or has one of these list ideas inspired you?