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I slapped a date on my life list because I want to make sure I actually do everything on that list. The irony is that if I don’t put a date on it, I will take a slow meandering route and maybe, just maybe, get everything accomplished.

If I have a date, I am forced to be mindful and intentional with my time and money.

My life list is having an affair without a care with the date: December 31, 2035.

The Dating Value

When I have a rigid timeline, I get more accomplished.

My furlough is a perfect example. On the days that I have appointments, I am more efficient with time. I schedule appointments in the afternoon, which forces me to be productive in the morning. If I want to accomplish the few items on my to-do list, I need to make sure I don’t get sucked into news, emails, or other frivolities that look a lot like social media binging.

I am making progress in a slow, casual way. It’s not with snap or vigor, probably because I am furloughed for another three months. My motivation is similar to a lazy significant other. It wants to prolong the to-do for as long as possible, to make sure there is plenty to “look busy” with.

It’s equally parts frustrating and tiring.

Making Good Choices

I procrastinate therefore I make a list with a date.

I don’t want my life list to become a slow, plodding experience to end with a draining year of financial overload. Instead, I want this relationship to start slow, build over time, and end with a big expensive trip like a cruise around-the-world.

What a way to celebrate a love of exploration and lists!

It sounds magical, but if I want magic to turn into reality, I need to give future dreams an ultimatum with the help of a date.

Speed Dating

This is my first life list, so I am still trying to figure things out.

However, when I was a Park Ranger at Yellowstone, I had my first encounter with a list of expectations with an expiration date.

I wanted to go big.

Or at least, that is what I focused on instead wallowing in homesickness. After a solid week of moping, I decided to make the most of my situation. I said yes, to every invitation and decided to do all the Yellowstone things in less than six months. It included a full range of attractions, from horseback riding and whitewater rafting to a boat tour and rodeo. The big finally was hiking 100 miles.

There were tough times when I had to do activities by myself, when I would have preferred not to. But, I committed myself to an expiration date, which strong-armed my emotions into ignoring nagging thoughts of kidnapping.

Harking back to those days, I realize that it was one of the best summers I ever had. Yellowstone is a beautiful gem of a park, even from the safety and comfort of a car. However, the best of Yellowstone isn’t inside a car. I truly believe none of this would have happened if I hadn’t have put a date on my Yellowstone to-do list.

That is the success I’m hoping to channel. A date with my life list is a hopeful guarantee for life that is better than what’s listed.

Do you have any special dates on the calendar?

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