Life Lists, or what some people refer to as Bucket Lists, have been created for decades. Since people could dream they have been writing down their goals of what they would like to accomplish in their lifetime. Whether it’s a mental list of what you dream of doing, a Vision Board that hangs in your office or a notepad with a jotted list as a reminder of fun things to take time and do; a Life List is what is important to you no matter how big or small.
In February I attended a social media conference where I heard Maggie Mason speak about how she decided to blog her Life List and write about her experiences and the impact each item has on her life. I was inspired. In early April I published my own life list for all to read. Being inspired to sit down and put my list in writing made it feel more real. I believe we all have those ‘things‘ we want to do in life and sometimes we get so busy living, we lose track of time and what’s truly important: looking back and having no regrets. A Life List isn’t just about those large goals or extreme events that you dream of taking part in. Even the small things you want to do yet always push off for a later date because they seem so trivial can be added to your list. In many cases those small things on your list is what you tend to over look until it’s too late.
My daughter attends a special needs camp each year. Gabby’s favorite activity at camp is to rock climb up a wall and zip line down. Last year I stayed at the bottom taking photos and videoing her experience to capture the moments dear to her. This year after writing my Life List I knew, those moments are important for me to share in, so I marked my first item off my list by rock climbing with Gabby up that wall and zip lining down. Nerve-racking? Yes. Extremely exciting and a wonderful bonding experience? Definitely! If I wouldn’t have taken the time to write it on my Life List, again I would have been perched at the bottom taking photos.
Tips for Creating Your Own Life List:
- Don’t fret over length. You want a full list of 100 items, go for it. You want a short list of Top 20, great! It’s your Life List – don’t stress, have fun. Be proud that you are taking the initiative to write a list, that’s a start.
- Mix it up. When writing your list make sure you put some ‘easy to accomplish’ tasks on there as well as the big ones. The more you are able to mark off your list the more excited you’ll feel which keeps you motivated to continue working towards your list. It’s okay to dream big but it’s okay to want to accomplish some simple things too. Be reasonable with yourself so you aren’t discouraged.
- Have fun. We all write enough of those dreaded honey-do lists for ourselves. Your Life List should be exciting, fun and make you feel good to accomplish. Make sure the items on your list will be something you look forward to doing and enjoy looking back on after it’s accomplished. It will make you feel good to remodel your home? Then great, add it to the list, it’s a dream. Cleaning out the attic? Maybe save that for another list.
- Don’t set unrealistic time lines. You want to accomplish all your items right away? Don’t we all… Don’t force yourself to accomplish them all right away or too many within a years time. At the end of a year you don’t want to be upset with yourself for not completing something. It’s your Life List. Meaning, it’s to accomplish throughout your life. These are things you want to accomplish, not have to accomplish.
- Share your list. Share your list with family and friends. I encourage people to share their list on my personal blog post as well as leaving a link to your Life List within the comments of this post. By publishing your list, whether you are a blogger or by just emailing out to family and friends, helps hold yourself accountable. Plus you’d be amazed at how many others have their own list to share and how fun is it to accomplish things with family/friends?! Not a blogger but on Facebook? Create a Facebook Note and share with your friends, encourage others to write their own and share in experiences. You might want to travel somewhere one of your friends has already been, it’s nice to hear their suggestions.
I hope you venture over to read my Life List. Already have yours written? I’d love to read it. I hope this post has inspired you all to write your own. I owe Maggie a big Thank You for inspiring me to publish mine and blog about my experiences.