You have a limited amount. What are you spending them on?

Why you need a ‘F**ks I Give’ list

Life is huge. You are finite. Boundaries are needed.

Meg Lightheart
Jul 17 · 3 min read
Handwritten centre circle of a mind map with ‘Fucks I Give’ written in the middle. Lines come off of the circle.
Handwritten centre circle of a mind map with ‘Fucks I Give’ written in the middle. Lines come off of the circle.

One of my people started reading a book about giving less of a fuck about stuff and the concept certainly appealed to me. I have pretty porous boundaries sometimes (especially when people I care about are feeling less than positive) and I get climate and Planet Pain Paralysis very easily.

I also run my own business, am great at starting new things, and care a lot about a lot of things.

I couldn’t get on with the book that he’d chosen — just felt harsh to me. A couple of days later I had an afternoon in Manchester and was working from the cafe in Waterstones. I picked up a similar book, written by a very different author, and (sorry author royalties) skimmed the whole thing in an hour.

It was nicely written and had very clear instructions, but seemed to be about stopping caring about stuff that I didn’t care about in the first place. Baby showers and co-workers charity appeals. My boundary issues are a bit deeper than that!

It did prompt me, however, to make a list of what I do, actually, give a fuck about.

Somehow it makes it easier for me to know what I do care about, and exclude everything else, than the other way around. Maybe the same will be true for you?

So I got a piece of paper and wrote ‘Fucks I Give’ in the middle and started a mind map.

First off came: Work and Money, Relationships, Friends, Being Myself, Social Justice and Climate Crisis as my big categories.

I quickly went into more detail on each.

For example, Work and Money included Clients, Ex-Clients and Resonance Momentum (Who likes ‘marketing’? Yuck. My coaching clients find me because they resonate with me and my work.)

Resonance Momentum goes down to: videos, Medium posts (hi!), website, contacting people, cups of tea, monthly public/private leadership group (in the planning stages).

Under Friends I noted down my super closest people, then literally went through my phone/Facebook and made sure I didn’t miss anyone else I truly give a fuck about in a big ol’ list.

Chunking down from the freeze-overwhelming categories like Climate Crisis was key. What do I actually give a fuck about?

I realised I cared about: supporting the Doughnut Economics project, writing, working with leaders in climate organisations, working with white people in the movement to unpick racism/whiteness and generally be less crappy, and convening groups. Some of that is aspirational, some of it current.

Social justice was: reading, writing, amplifying and convening.

I soon hived off Being Myself onto a new page as that corner was getting a little crowded!

Being Myself lead to

  • Transition
  • Fitness
  • Sex
  • Wellbeing
  • Therapy
  • Magical/Spiritual stuff.

Transition was: voice stuff, clothes, medical, talking to trans friends and being in the thick of trans community.

Wellbeing included:

  • cooking
  • bookshops
  • being near or on water
  • reading
  • writing craft
  • languages
  • naps
  • talking to friends
  • sex
  • queer community
  • making/listening to music
  • hanging out with my people.

See how it works?

It’s so comforting to look at a spread of two pages and see, ‘Yep, that’s everything’.

The Fucks I Give list serves as a reminder of things I might be neglecting, and reinforces that if I’m spending time on any of this, I’m spending my fucks (and therefore this one wild and precious life) wisely.

It also hones your ability to judge ‘Am I just putting that in out of duty?’ If the energy of some things doesn’t feel coherent with the rest of the items, they don’t go up.

I figure this is a work in progress and I’ll come back to it as I and my life changes.

Feels solid. Coherent. Has boundaries.

What are you waiting for?

What do you give a fuck about? Make a list!

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Meg Lightheart

Written by

Presentation & leadership coach. Inclusive and equitable culture specialist. Author. Queer. Trans she/her #blacklivesmatter

The Startup

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