Instead of getting discouraged, find your inner “do list”

Old City, Jerusalem. Photo by Genevieve Belmaker.

Journalists are totally overburdened by the pressure-cooker of this industry. It’s beyond just being a tough job – the pressures can take a toll. Add to that the increasing pressures of adult life that everyone faces, and it can be too much. 

As a precaution against spiraling and a protection against despair, over the last year I developed something I call my “do list.” It started out as a “Do and Do Not” list, complete with admonishments and warnings to myself about all of the things I should not do.

I have been reading the list, adding to it, editing and refining it – on a near-daily basis since May 2018. It has a place of prominence in my home office as part of my (also always-evolving) vision board.

My goal in reading it is singular: positive reinforcement.

Then a couple of months ago, I realized the horrendous and totally unnecessary psychological pressure of telling myself what not to do all the time. So I changed the title to my “Do List,” and now it’s a psychological joy to read. I highly recommend making your own Do List. Here’s mine for a bit of inspiration:

Genevieve’s “Do List”

  • A daily act that’s for me
  • Allow space
  • Laugh
  • Speak truth
  • Be you
  • One thing at a time
  • Dance
  • Step steady
  • Dream huge
  • Work small
  • Sing 
  • Save your “sorries”
  • Love what you’re doing
  • Choose life
  • Let yourself be happy
  • Lead by example
  • Respect boundaries
  • Communicate
  • Cultivate silence
  • Let things pass
  • Value every moment
  • Keep the faith in yourself, and in others
  • Give the benefit of the doubt
  • Listen
  • Hear people
  • Ride fear
  • Be there, wherever you wake up
  • Your thing
  • Right
  • Say “no”
  • Give yourself credit
  • Strive for balance
  • Contribute
  • Advocate
  • Help others
  • Believe
  • Recognize magic
  • Practice chivalry


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