The 3 Most Important Lists You Need In Life

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The human brain is not activated by words. It’s activated by images. 

And yes, I know it’s ironic for me to state this in writing. The best writers, though, “paint pictures” with their words. 

So, help yourself by envisioning yourself doing what you’re reading here. You’ll remember it better, and it increases the chances that you actually do what I’m about to explain to you. 

There are three and only three lists that you need in life. None of them is a to-do list (except the action steps I’ll give you at the end). Pay enough attention to these lists and you’ll get everything what you want for yourself. 

Each of these lists needs to exist in tangible form — digitally or on paper. Having these lists only in your head is NOT acceptable. Invest in yourself by taking the time to actually write these things down. 

1. Goals 

This is a simple concept: write down the things you aim to achieve in life. 

Have goals lists for multiple time frames: 

  • Monthly 
  • Yearly
  • 5 Years 
  • 10 Years
  • 20 Years 
  • Lifetime 

And subcategories for your particular situation: 

  • Season goals for sports
  • Quarterly or fiscal year goals for business 
  • Event/project goals 
  • Etc 

Your goals will also be broken down into 3 sub-groups — 


These goals describe who you want and need to be as a person. 

Who you are “being” determines what you do, and that in turn determines your results. 

Despite this, most people never pay much attention to their being — they go straight to doing stuff, and wonder why things aren’t working for them. 

You won’t make that mistake. 

In this category, list things like your desired confidence level, your level of urgency for getting things done, and how other people deal with you.

Being goals are mostly intangible, not measurable, and can be gaged only by either your personal vigilance or observations from a trusted person who’s around you enough to have an educated observation. 


These are the goals that most people are most familiar with. These are the things you’re going to actually do. 

Understand: who you’re being, from the above section, has a huge effect on both what you do and how you do it. So, if you feel like you’re already doing all the right things, perhaps it’s your being that needs an update. 

Doing goals would be things such as going to the gym 3 times per week, starting that blog that you’ve been putting off starting, or going to visit your grandmother who you haven’t seen in years. 

Doing goals are the easiest to track as they’re often measurable, and black-and-white: you either did the thing or you didn’t. Unlike being goals, doing goals are rarely subjective. You can’t lie to yourself about what you actually DO. 

You’re probably already very familiar with doing goals. And when you read about the third type of goal, you’ll have a better understanding of how to formulate your doing goals in a more systematic way. 


These are the goals that some people also refer to as “dreams” or “wishes.” 

What makes the items on the having list goals are the doing goals that you’ve already created above: a plan for making them happen. 

This group of goals is actually the easiest place to begin when you start laying out your goals. 

When you know what results you want, you can then work backwards to suss out the actions required to make them happen, and the person you’d need to be to take those actions. 

There’s no limit to what you can list in your having goals, given that you’re willing to DO everything necessary to make them happen and patient enough to know that they may not all happen at the same time. 

And, once this list is done, re-check your doing goals to make sure that you’re doing enough to match your desired accomplishments. 

2. Personal Accomplishments 

Remember how I told you that you mind works off of the images given to it? Here’s where you take control of that process. 

Make a list or everything you’ve ever accomplished that you are personally proud of. 

Of the things you think of for this list, nothing is too big or too small. 

  • School graduations. 
  • Launching your website. 
  • Getting hired at a new job. 
  • Dumping a good-for-nothing mate. 
  • Joining a gym. 
  • Making new friends. 
  • Standing up to a bully. 

Anything you’ve done that you are personally proud of goes on this list. 

This list will be ever-expanding, so after your initial brain dump, I suggest you leave plenty of room for future entries (or make digital versions of these lists). 

In his classic audio recording called The Strangest Secret, Earl Nightingale told us: you become what you think about. 

You wouldn’t be reading about creating goals lists if you weren’t an achiever.  Reviewing your accomplishments list on a regular basis conditions your mind to seek and create even more accomplishments. 

3. Thankful-For

This is the list of circumstances in your life, past or present, that you are appreciative of — 

  • Your life
  • Family
  • Friends 
  • Past achievements 
  • The fact that you’re making this list 
  • The great weather of this past summer 
  • A favor someone did on your behalf 

Naturally, there will be some overlap between your accomplishments and your thankful-fors. And that’s fine: you wouldn’t list something as an accomplishment if you weren’t also thankful for it. 

Reviewing this list creates a mindset of thankfulness in your mind, which, keeping Nightingale’s message in mind, attracts even more reasons for you to be thankful. 

What Happens Next

  1. Go make these lists. RIGHT NOW. 
  2. Review them daily. Even if you have only two minutes, do it. 
  3. Continually look for items to add to these lists. 
  4. Repeat step #2. Forever. 
  5. Get The Mental Workbook so you have all of these lists organized and systematized, which means your future success is predetermined and guaranteed before it happens.