Motivating Myself: The Power of To-Do Lists

To-Do lists have been an important part of where I draw my motivation from for as long as I can remember.  It's a curious thought to consider that my drive comes from a piece of scratch paper with little check boxes and all sorts of tasks scrawled next to them, ranging from the most basic things like 'Empty the Trash Can' all the way up to 'Travel Back to Japan.'  For me, it's not the process of achieving each task one-by-one.  Rather, it's the feeling of accomplishment I get after I've checked off every single box on the list.

At any point in time, I have several To-Do lists that I'm working on as they relate to certain areas of my life.  In fact, I even have a three page list of life goals that I wrote in my Junior year of high school that I am still working on, as well as an "Inspiration Board" hanging up in my bedroom to further my motivation.  These types of things are a way of constantly reminding myself of the goals I not only need to achieve, but want to.  They are reminders that everything I am working for is purposeful and they encourage me to always do my best, no matter the circumstances.

Below, I have listed both my Short-Term Goals, as well as my Long-Term Goals.  You'll notice that both lists are relatively long.  This is simply because there is a lot of things I would like to accomplish in my life and there is no better time to start doing them than right now.

 Short-Term Goals

  • Achieve a high GPA Spring Semester 2013
  • Maintain a high GPA throughout college
  • Officially choose a Major
  • Complete my Associates of Science Degree
  • Apply for the Semester at Sea program
  • Finish writing my novel, Breaking Away
  • Learn HTML coding
  • Ski or hike once a week
  • Learn how to rock climb
  • Practice my violin on a regular basis


Long Term Goals 

  • Be the first in my family to earn a doctorate
  • Have a career that I love and makes me happy
  • Find a literary agent and eventually publish Breaking Away
  • Live in a foreign, non-English speaking country for one year (aside from Japan)
  • Become fluent in Japanese
  • Become fluent in Spanish
  • Travel to Africa
  • Own a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro
  • Create a successful comic series

My inspiration/motivation board, with pictures and quotes from people such as Neil DeGrasse Tyson, 
Aristotle, Socrates, Malala Yousafzai, Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein and Ellen DeGeneres.


SLCC Learning Outcomes

Students communicate effectively. 

Recently, my biggest focus in my writing, inside and outside of class, has been to organize and present my ideas in such a way that impacts my reader.  The analysis of Socrates' Philosophy from my Introduction to Philosophy class is a great example of this, as I organized each of the Socratic concepts in such a way that was demonstrative of the importance of examining one’s life.


Students develop quantitative literacies necessary for their chosen field of study. 

Although I have not yet taken my required mathematics class, I have had to use such mathematical skills in my Astronomy course, specifically on the topic of determining a star’s apparent brightness and distance from earth (I have only posted the chart I used in solving these things).  I will be enrolled in Math 1010 in the Summer Semester 2013 and will be able to further prove my mathematical abilities at that time.


Students think critically and creatively. 

Critical thinking has been a central aspect of many of my classes.  My analysis of the Gender Roles of the Ibo Tribe in Things Fall Apart is a great example of this, as I had to examine the contents of the book to discover the gender roles specific to this Nigerian society.  Additionally, my analysis of the symbolism present in Vajrayana Buddhism that I wrote in World Religions demonstrates my ability to think critically, as I had to attend a service at a Buddhist temple and identify the various symbols.


Students develop the knowledge and skills to be civically engaged.  

Understanding the social world that we, humans, live in has been discussed in many of my classes, but none more so than Introduction to Sociology.  Through Applying my Sociological Imagination and my exploration of a social group that I belong to, including its associated norms, I have demonstrated my understanding of the social relationships that span the globe, as well as the effects that it might have.


Students develop the knowledge and skills to work with others in a professional and constructive manner. 

I have had the opportunity to work with a group of peers in my Professionalism in Business class regarding ethics in the workplace.  Here is the final Prezi that I helped create.  We presented this to our professor and our peers at the end of the semester wearing business-professional attire, and in a professional atmosphere.


Students develop computer and information literacy. 

Through my Sins of Omission research paper for my General Psychology class, I have exemplified my ability to accurately recognize credible sources, specifically as it applies to the internet.  Furthermore, this assignment is a demonstration of my knowledge in adequately citing such sources in respects to their authors or creators.


Students develop the attitudes and skills for lifelong wellness. 

I have not yet taken a Lifelong Wellness class at SLCC, although I do plan on fulfilling this credit in either the Summer or Fall Semester of 2013.  I do, however, have experience in learning the importance of such activities outside of the classroom, as demonstrated in my Skiing page.

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