Saturday, March 7, 2009

I think completing small task can improve your mood.

If you really want to feel good. Complete a task, meet a goal, or finish a project. It does not matter how small of a goal it is, just the act of completing it can really improve your mood, and your self esteem. It must release some kind of chemical in the brain or something. I just finished one of my winter projects, I set for myself back in November or December, and it really got me thinking about the health benefits of completing a task.

It was not a big project. I painted the two Adirondack chairs we bought last summer from the unfinished furniture store. Every week, after we bought them, I kept telling myself, "You have to paint those chairs." Then I finally decided it will be a good indoor winter project. That way I didn't have to think about it for a while. I've found I have gotten quite could good at justification for procrastination. Well several weeks ago I was looking at the chairs and said, "you will never forgive yourself if spring rolls around and you still have not painted those chairs." So I bought the paint, and a brush. I set up the chairs in the garage and cleaned them off. Then, of course, they sat there for a couple of weeks. Finally I started painting, I did one coat, on one chair, then the next night I did the other chair. Then they sat for while. Eventually I got three coats on each chair.

When I finally finished this very small, seemingly meaningless goal, I was surprised at how good I felt. I remember thinking, " Easy big fella, it's just a paint job." That's when I realized it wasn't the task itself that matters, it was the fact that I had completed the goal. I am not saying this is an unusual thing, for me to complete a project. I just happened to notice this time, how good it feels.

So, if you are in need of a little pick me up, or even just want to be able to check something off the list. Pick one project that needs doing and just get it done, even if it is just a little one. You will thank yourself afterwards.


  1. Hi mack! Thanks for the comment! that is really interesting! We are quite lucky here in the UK...usually if it doesnt contain nudity or swearing it get's aloud so some quite crazy things happen over here in the cities etc! I have heard/read that america is a bit more strict!!

  2. I totally agree with you Steven! I am the worst procrastinator. One of the things I keep telling myself I'm going to do is clean out my file cabinet with old...very old...bills and stuff; it's sort of overflowing! You may have given me motivation to get that done...I don't know. I wonder if YOU came here and cleaned out my file cabinet, would you feel as good as when you do your own project? (Just kidding!!!) Love ya!

  3. I completely agree with this. I think this is why I am a list person- it gives me that satisfaction to have a goal or goals and be able to meet that goal and cross it off the list. I think everyone should do lists (even if you are a procratinator)- it makes you feel useful!- Amy

  4. Aunt Franny - You just gave me another item to add to my to-do list. My file cabinet is bulging at the seems. If you send me all your stuff and I send you all mine, maybe we will get this one completed.

    Amy - I tried writing list, but I keep forgeting to look at them. Could be a topic for blog post.

  5. Good idea Steven, it might be more challenging to straighten out someone elses junk! I'm not a list person either. Aunt Franny

  6. Hello! Another great life lesson here. I make lots of lists but they don't always help. But, there is always a sense of accomplishment when you can put a line through something to mark it finished. We know how busy you've been lately, Steve, so don't beat yourself up about it taking months to get to a project!