Do you have a life list?
If not, you should.
A life list (sometimes called a bucket list) is a great way to instantly inject purpose and meaning into your life.
If you are honest with yourself, then you can think back to the last time you were in a rut.
Feeling stuck in life is common.
You get up and go to a job you may or may not like, sit in traffic, come one exhausted, and never find time to do the things you really want to do.
Let me ask you a question
What are you doing about it?
What are you actively trying to do to pull yourself out of that rut? If the answer is nothing, strongly consider making a life list.
A life list can start out by being incredibly simple. Think of 3 goals.
- One you want to accomplish within the next 3 months
- One you want to accomplish within the next 6 months
- One you want to accomplish within the next 12 months
This is your chance to really ask yourself what you want to do and what you want to get out of life.
It won’t be easy
When you start writing your list, fear, and doubt will creep into the process.
For example, you might want to travel and see the Eiffel tower.
But you will hesitate to put it down because of the cost of airfare, you don’t have enough time off of work, or you don’t have anyone to go with.
Creating a life list is a great exercise to get introspective and find out what is holding you back in life.
If those are your limiting beliefs you can have life list items that get rid of those and allow you to acheive more goals in your life.
Goals could then be, save up enough money to travel over seas once a year, find a job that allows me more flexibility, and find a travel partner who loves to travel.
A life list outline
Another benefit of a life list is you can use it as a measuring stick.
At the end of each year I look at my list and remember all the items I have checked off. I love seeing a few things checked off each year.
I then take time to consider if I need to rearrange, edit, or add new items based on what I want to accomplish for the upcoming year.
These leaves me feeling refreshed and engaged to push through and get another year off on the right foot.
Here is the basic outline of how I structure my life list.
I put my money goals here.
These types of goals are things like save up $5,000 in a savings account, the amount I have to save for retirement, and a bunch of other goals.
These goals are things that you want to acheive in your working life. They could be things like, get promoted to senior manager. Make enough to start a side business, sit on the board of directors, etc.
If you are spiritual person, these goals are great for keeping you committed to your faith. These goals could be things like read the Bible from cover to cover, keep a prayer journal for 100 days, be more comfortable to pray out-loud, etc.
If you love to travel or want to see more of the World, then put those goals here. Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? What do you want to do in another person’s culture? List em here.
This part of my life list has some of the biggest goals. They are reminder of what I want to be and how I want to be viewed by the people I love. Examples here could be, take my wife somewhere amazing for our 10,20,30 year anniversary. Photograph my child’s birthday every year until they are 18 and put it into an art piece to give them.
These are things that you have always secretly wanted to do but don’t have the time, money, or energy to do…yet.
For example these could be goals like, write a book, learn how to speak another language, learn how to play an instrument, give a guest lecture, be offered to speak at a conference, code a website for a non-profit.
Wrapping it up
A life list is essential to everyone. Even if you are extremely happy with your life and believe that planning out your life into the future is a waste of time. Life list’s aren’t about future planning, they are an exercise to show you what you truly want and what’s most important to you.
If you find yourself writing down goals that you never knew you wanted until you found the time to ask yourself, what does that tell you?
If you write down goals and think, these are boring, what does that tell you?
If you can’t think of anything you want to get out of life because you are so stuck in your daily routine, what does that tell you?
Life lists are great for finding out what matters most, getting them out of your head, and holding yourself accountable.
I have found the best way to ensure your life list is on your radar throughout the year is to share it with others.
Let them know what you are trying to accomplish and let them help you.
These lists are meant to be secretive documents.
Surround yourself with people who are willing to help you reach your goals. Checking things off your life list is more fun when you are able to do it with friends and loved ones.