I have been thinking about what those words mean ~~ a bucket list. It refers to a list of things to do or places to go or people to meet before “kicking the bucket.” I’m not sure I like that idea. I suppose it also means that, if you get all those things done by the time you leave this earth, you’ll have no regrets or feel guilty about missing out on what this life has to offer. Now, that’s a good concept. How do we make that happen?
Shannon Kaiser in her book, Find Your Happy, got me thinking about this today. I’ve never really called mine a bucket list. I’ve always referred to it as my Vision Board … Shannon calls it her “Magic List” ~~ I like that a lot. When she makes those things on her list happen, it’s Magic! Brilliant!
What do you call your Bucket List?
Whatever we call it for ourselves, what’s important is that we have one. Whether it is a handwritten list in your journal or notepad or pictures and cutouts on a bulletin board or something you’ve created electronically, taking time to imagine and dream about the things you want to do in your life is how you will ultimately make them happen.
What are your excuses for not making your Bucket List dreams come true? Not enough time? Not enough money? I don’t deserve it? It has to wait until … my kids are out of school, I get a promotion and raise, I lose weight? Do you use your excuses to feed your reality? What if you lived one of your dreams ~~ how would that change your reality?
Are you sitting in your comfort zone and saying “no” to every new opportunity that comes your way because you fear the unknown? I am realizing that I did this for years … I worked for a company that allowed me to work from home, they paid me well, provided great benefits, I was able to take some nice vacations and I told myself that I wouldn’t be able to get anything else like that if I left. I wasn’t particularly challenged after a while. I didn’t particularly like some of the management styles under which I had to work. I was complacent. AND, I worked 50-60 hour weeks for the privilege!
There was no energy left to do anything on my Vision Board. I worked from 7 or 8 AM till 6 PM, fed the dogs, made dinner for my husband and me, then sat in front of the TV with my glass of wine and zombie’d out each evening till it was time to go to bed. Next day, I started it all over again. The weekends were so filled with stuff I had no time for during the week that I barely saw friends or socialized for the fun of it … never mind do something that I could cross off my Vision Board. Have you put your Bucket List on hold for too long?
Some lyrics come to mind from Elvis Presley’s song, Suspicious Minds ~~ “We’re caught in a trap – I can’t walk out.” That’s how I felt. Until I realized two things:
- I am in control of the choices I make
- I can make my own dreams come true if I want to
What was standing in my way? Fear of the unknown. My excuses. The pull from my comfort zone.
What did I do about it? I started saying “yes” to opportunities that came to me which took me out of my comfort zone, putting my excuses aside. I decided to “just do it” and not worry about it. And, I worked on turning my fear of the unknown into excitement for the new experience. None of that was easy and it took some practice, but …
It was liberating and cathartic all at once.
It’s time to update your Bucket List … or start one!
I’ve dusted off my Vision Board – I removed some visions that were already a reality or didn’t hold the same meaning they once had, and I added a few more that resonate with where I’m currently headed. And, I found a new location for my Vision Board in my home office where I see it daily.
If we make ourselves mindful of our hopes and dreams, wishes and desires, EVERY DAY, we are more empowered to move toward them. Otherwise, we lose focus on what we want and we can get off track from our journey to get there.
If you don’t have a Vision Board or Magic List or Bucket List, start one. All you need is a pencil or a pen or a crayon and some paper. What’s on yours?
If you have all kinds of excuses about why you can’t do the things on your list, write those down too. Then ask yourself a couple of questions: Are these excuses true? Or are they your way of holding yourself back? Cross those excuses off your list if they are just holding you back.
Next, open yourself up to new opportunities and start to say “yes” to them. You’ll be amazed at who comes into your life and what great new things you’ll get the chance to do. Who knows, you might be adding new things to your Bucket List.
Make this your day ~~ Explore … Dream … Discover!
Chief Inspiration Officer | SafeHarbor Coaching | For women facing life transitions
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