Before you read another word of this post, I want you to stop and think of one annoying little thing you have been enduring. Got it? Now imagine how free you would feel if that annoyance was gone. Can you feel the lightness? Ok, maybe go deal with it and then come back here. I’ll wait…

About 12 years ago, I came across a book that changed my life. I found it at the library while I was looking for… actually, I have no idea what I was looking for. I think some sort of time management book. Anyway, I found “Coach Yourself to Success” by Talane Miedaner.

At the time, I had no idea what a life coach was. But I grabbed the book anyway. Six months later, I had accomplished too many things to count. From that moment on, I knew coaching was great. In fact, not long after I read this book, I decided to work with a coach directly. Over the course of the two years she guided me, I wrote a novel and addressed many of the “adult” things I consistently avoided.

What does that have to do with my question? Well, the first thing Talane has her readers do is make a list of 60 to 100 things in your life you are enduring, and then fix them. It’s genius really. That feeling of annoyance drains your energy and steals your joy. It doesn’t matter whether the thing is big or small; it still drains you. And when you are constantly drained, it is nearly impossible to not only figure out what will make you happy, but to go for it.

I still remember some of the things on my first list: paint the living room (big) and sew the button on my favorite pants (only one year after it popped off!).

Last week, my husband and I started on a new list. One of the things was to clean the refrigerator — a task I hate. But something leaked in there long enough ago that I’m embarrassed to admit it, and it has been grossing me out every time I open the door. This morning, I did it! I got rid of the grossness. It only took 20 minutes, and I am so happy. I just want to stare inside the fridge.

Another thing was removing a paper string from a hook on the wall that holds an old violin. I have no idea how it got there, or even why it would be there. I do know I looked at that for MORE THAN A YEAR. No joke. And it took me less than 10 seconds to deal with it. Don’t be like me.

So start making your list and checking things off! Not everything can be dealt with in 10 seconds or 20 minutes, but you will be surprised at what can be. Once you have your list, carve out an evening or a whole day to just take care of the list. You will feel amazingly light after. If you feel up to it, share some of the annoyances you no longer need to endure. I’m going to go look in my fridge again.