The ‘Could-Do’ List – Why It Makes Life Better

simple-things-photoI’ve mentioned before that I love to read UK magazine The Simple Things. I love that it keeps reminding me to slow down, take stock and enjoy all the small things. A regular feature in the mag, that I just love, is the ‘Could-Do’ list.

The headline “Your Could-Do List” then follows with a sub-heading “Things you might want to do this month (no pressure!)”. Quirky, and beautiful. Pregnant with possibility.

These days we are all slaves to our ‘To-Do’ list. There is always something being added, even when you happily cross something off it. With that comes that heavy feeling, the weight of responsibility, the slight panic of drowning under the pressure of all the things that need doing.

The ‘Could-Do List’ – (no pressure) is a welcome relief in amongst all the ‘Have-To-Do” items. I love that the suggestions are informed by the seasons, and think that if we tune the rythym of our day-to -day lives into the seasons, it makes for a much happier and enriching existence.

Here are a few of my favourite ‘Could-Dos’ from The Simple Things.

※ Bake two cakes and give one to a friend or neighbour

※ Prepare a healthy breakfast and lay the table before you sit down to eat it

※ Use fresh summer herbs to flavour water or soft drink

※ Sit outside to drink your first cuppa of the day – watch the sunrise if it’s early enough

※ Sleep with the curtains open so you wake up naturally as the sun rises.


And here are some of my own suggestions:

※ Go for a beach walk and collect shells and stones that are shaped like love hearts


※ Find a soft patch of lawn (either at home or in a park) and walk bare foot

※ Buy a piccolo of champagne and treat yourself. Float a fresh strawberry in it.

※ Pick fresh flowers from your garden and enjoy the perfume that comes only with home-grown flowers



※ Plant some strawberries in time to get a little supply for summer

※ Start a novel you’ve been wanting to read, and go to bed early to read it

※ Go for a stroll after dinner – now that it’s lighter for longer in the southern hemisphere a post-dinner walk is easy

※ Visit your local fresh produce market and buy something you’ve never cooked with before – summer suggestions are zucchini flowers (the male flower that doesn’t produce fruit), rhubarb or figs

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※ Cuddle a new-born and take in their beautiful ‘new-born’ smell (but make sure you know the Mum, or things might get weird).

I do think that these days our lives are too busy for our own good.  Cancer rates are on the rise, mental illness is on the rise and in amongst all this, we are trying to build these lives of achievement – where we become something or someone; ruled by the acknowledgment and approval of others.

I truly believe that it is in these small things – these suggestions of simple things that we ‘could do’ – that the key to a greater depth of happiness, or contentedness lies.

I’m not suggesting that if you do these things that you won’t get sick. Not at all. But I am suggesting that because we don’t know what is around the corner, we need to seek improvement in the quality of our day to day lives.  Having a ‘no pressure’ list of possibilities that will almost certainly make you feel lighter and happier, is quite nice place to start.

What would you add to your ‘Could-Do’ list?


  1. says

    Funny, i do have such a list in my mind – eat outside on our deck more, do some craft/sewing when I feel like it, go for a bike ride in the early morning, bring flowers in from the garden, have a long soak in the bath with a good book. Now I will try and do some of these in the week ahead. I did some sewing on my deck over the weekend, with music playing, and it was so peaceful! Trouble is I feel guilty…the modern woman I guess. Thanks for validating these mindful activities. 😌

    • collette says

      Ahh yes, the guilt. It is the curse of the modern woman. We all know we need to cast off our guilt but I’m not sure anyone has found a way of doing that yet. But sewing on the deck sounds wonderful!

    • collette says

      When I forget to do those small things, I get all “I hate my life 😖” – those little things make the hard bits less hard I reckon. xx

  2. says

    Lovely ideas (I’m a big flower arranger, myself, but opportunities to slow down are always good ideas). I spent half an hour out with Phoebe this evening, doing some goal shooting and practicing dribbling consistently (she’s working on her basketball skills). I’ve got no idea what I’m doing, but it’s fun with the kids!

    • collette says

      How lovely that you default to flowers! I need to remind myself. Playing a bit of sport with the kids is also a great way to stop the merry-go round of craziness, and they love it also. My son has just taken up basketball so is out every night on the driveway. Maybe I’ll join him tonight. xx

  3. says

    The driveway is MADE for basketball! (and getting out there reminds me not only to smell the roses but to pick them before they get squashed by a basketball). My flowers are in very precarious locations, so it’s also a bit of a rescue mission, but we get the benefits indoors 🙂

    • collette says

      Thanks Sarah, I love that it’s a ‘no pressure’ list – just if you fancy. The mag is wonderful. I discovered it at the local library, but have since subscribed to it. You might be able to get back copies at your local library too, and most big newsagents have a copy. x

  4. says

    This is a lovely idea. Sitting outside with my first cup of tea in the morning is something I haven’t done for quite a long time. Thanks for the reminder. ‘Could Do’ lists sound like a great thing to work into my life. Xx

    • collette says

      I have my cuppa in bed, but tomorrow I am meeting a friend at the beach to watch the sun rise on her 40th birthday, so I will have my first cuppa outside. These little things are things that make life better. Thanks for stopping by. x

    • collette says

      Aww, thanks Dawn. I do love the idea of a stress-free, no pressure list of nice things to do. I hope it made you day a bit brighter, after all the crazy election outcome. 😔 xx

  5. says

    Such a great reminder to cherish the little things that make our days & our lives beautiful and special. One of my favourite things to do is sit with a cuppa in the garden early on a summer morning – that’s living! I feel like I’ve definitely taken on a lot of things lately so the last weeks of the year will be very busy, but I’m going to make time to bake this weekend after reading this. Snow is forecast and I love the smell of home-baking, esp when it’s cold out! Gorgeous pics xx

    • collette says

      Gosh, today we had our first beautiful spring day after a very slow start. A very close friend turned 40 today, so I picked her up at 5.45am, we went to the beach, met some other great women down there, paddled out into the bay and watched the sun rise sitting on top of paddle boards. It was quite spectacular. Then at 6.30am we opened a bottle of champagne. These are the things that count – watching the sun come up, seeing the snow fall and the smell of home baking. 💖

    • collette says

      Glad you enjoyed it Clare. It’s a gentle way to bring back the little things that we forget to do when we get so caught up in our busy lives. xx

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