More thoughts on the Detox

Before I get into the details of our February plan, Kellie made the following comment on the previous post:

As a fellow list maker and plan setter, I have a few questions:

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your lists? I know you have said in the past that you don’t intend to “change things” on your lists “over night”, but I often wonder how you keep from overwhelming yourself with all the stuff you make lists for! Your lists make mine look like child’s play!

Also, I understand the concept of weeding out “toxic” things in our lives, but I also know that sometimes things take a lot more time than 29 days. Especially if they are strongholds we have been dealing with for quite some time. Just thought I put that out there…

I thought I’d address it in an actual post, rather than in the comments, because they’re great questions.

First, I don’t feel overwhelmed by my lists but I think that’s because of my fundamental view of lists. I write lists because if I don’t write something down then I forget about it. My running list of things to do ranges from things I need to do that day to things I’d like to do “some day.” You’re going to laugh, but I often make a smaller list of things I want to accomplish each day. I learned a while back to make that list short, and to underestimate the number of things I thought I could accomplish. I used to get frustrated because my list left no margin for interruptions and so I could never finish it. Now, I keep it short and usually finish it all. The only time I get overwhelmed by my must-do list is when I just have too much on my plate (like last Dec/Jan) but that’s not so much because of my list, but because of my inability to manage my calendar.

As for my “things we’re trying to do list” like this detox list, although the list seems long, I try to keep the items simple. And, again, I don’t look at them as a set of rules. Rather, I see them as a brainstormed list of ideas I want to try. If they don’t work for me, I have no problem setting them aside or revamping them. They are a starting point, not necessarily the end goal.

All of that said, lists work for me. I have friends who become enslaved to lists, so they aren’t a good idea for everyone.

Regarding the 29-day part. I totally agree that some of these bad habits will take more than 29 days to kick. In fact, in some cases, I’m just giving myself 29 days to figure them out! Our intent is to be intentional for these 29 days on working on these areas. At the end of the 29 days, we’ll decide what to continue actively working on, what didn’t work and needs to be revisited, and what – if anything – has been resolved. Take eating out, for example. Back in August or so, we stopped eating out for the month and tried to change our view of eating out. At the end of the month, we thought we had changed our habits, but ever so slowly it has creeped back in to be a major part of our monthly spending. That one is definitely something that will take more than 29 days!

Anyway, I hope that helps explain some of my thinking. We’re finalizing the financial aspect of our detox plan tomorrow, so I’ll post the goals this weekend.


  1. Thanks for clarifying. I figured as much but I thought I would ask anyway! I had always heard about your amazing admin. gifts and attention to detail. And of course I like to read your blog because you are a “thinker” who isn’t afraid to write about your thoughts, which is always good for those with whom you interact with! It gets us thinking too!

  2. How do you learn to underestimate what can fit on the list? I am forever planning to rule the world by the end of the day.

    And would you believe I’ve only pulled it off twice.

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