A Bucket List in 5 Steps

A Bucket List in 5 Steps

Writing a bucket list gives a sense of reality to the long term goals we have for ourselves. A bucket list is, thought, much larger than just a list of goals to reach. A bucket list should include not just goals you want to achieve, but dreams that you want to see become reality and experiences you would like to have before you can’t have them anymore.

A bucket list can help you gain focus on those things that are really important to you–outside of our day to day run around tasks.  We cannot get away from our daily responsibilities but we can certainly measure whether our daily activities are leading us to reach our ultimate desires.

I thought of this as I started contemplating what I would put on my bucket list.  As I have mentioned before I am not a very adventurous person so on my list I would not put such experiences that include extreme sports.  For me–my most prized desires–include time and space.

And as I was thinking of the items to put on my list, I was thinking about how to decide on which things to include and these are the steps that I took to help me make those choices.

  1. Think about things, experiences and dreams that you have had since childhood.  It is in childhood that our true dreams and desires begin, before the responsibilities of adulthood take precedence in our lives.
  2. Follow your heart when it comes to things you truly want for you, not for what others expect of you, or would want for you. What matters is what you want.
  3. List things that are within your grasp as well as loftier goals that may be seemingly harder to achieve.  Do not underestimate how many things you can actually achieve if you put your mind to it.
  4. Include everything that would make you happy regardless of how much money it may cost, time it may take to achieve, or resources you may need to acquire to reach them.
  5. Write these objective, dreams and experiences down on paper. Keep a copy of it where you can review it often.  Add to it if you like!  But keep your dreams and goals foremost on your mind to help you achieve them.

Once you make your bucket list–then the fun begins! Choose one of the goals on the list and start the plan on how you will reach that goal.  Make plans, find a way and seek out the goal.

One of the fun things of having a bucket list is crossing them off as you accomplish them.  And the joy you will receive from reaching them!

What kinds of things would you include on your bucket list?  Drop a comment below…and let me know!

Happy Monday!  Have fun!

The Happiest Place on Earth

The Happiest Place on Earth

I have to admit that as I binge on Netflix this summer I am drawn again and again to Walt Disney Movies.

When my girls were small we watched EVERY Disney Movie we could buy, borrow or see in theaters.  And that includes the Disney Pixar Movies.

These are movies I don’t get tired of and not just the old standards like Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lady and the Tramp, Mary Poppins and Dumbo but “newer” ones like Toy Story, The Incredibles and The Pirates of the Caribbean.

Recently, I’ve seen Moana, the live version of Beauty and the Beast and Coco.  

All of which transported me to their realities and made me feel part of the worlds created for the screen..

You would think that now that my girls are grown and on their own I would shy away from the cutesy, cartoony, sentimentality of the Disney movies.  

But no…I love them!  And why? Because they are fantastic! They have music, colors, and details and TRUTH. And they grab at my heart.

I can’t think of one movie that does not deal with all the beautiful values that I admire: integrity, family, love, good over evil, perseverance, faith, hard work, loyalty, compassion and respect to name a few.

Even when the villain is seeming to get his or her way–you just know that good will overcome in the end and all will be well.

Too sentimental for you?  I don’t think so,–you see Walt Disney really was ahead of his time.  He knew a fundamental reality–no matter who you are or where you are from–everyone longs for a happy ending no matter what.

Especially in this world we are living today–in our runaround hurry and in the negativity people are stuck in.

The movies remind us of his core beliefs–that we have all heard at one time or another–but may not have attributed to him.

Here are a few of my favorites:

“If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started by a mouse!”

All things were once a dream–everything!  Think about all the inventions of the past (and those yet to come!), the poems and books, the ability to fly in airplanes, the iphone–and all the ideas that have become realities. Someone had to dream it first. And then…

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

We can’t just leave our dreams in our heads–we have to find the way to make it come true.  From the most basic of ideas of how to do a task better to maybe inventing something that will help millions of others. We all have a purpose–it is in our dreams–and we can make it come true if we work towards it.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible”

If you share your dreams with people, many will tell you it–whatever it may be–is impossible.  And they are so right! Everything is impossible UNTIL THE FIRST PERSON DOES IT! Ignore the naysayers–who cares what they think!  It is fun to get over barriers, to find a way around a mountain, to challenge yourself and make the impossible possible!

“That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people GROW UP.”

Truer words have never been spoken. If we can remember the wonder and the unlimited joy of being children many problems that adults face would not seem like problems at all.  

If adults did not pour their negative words, actions and experiences on their children, children can be left to their wonderment and acceptance of the world as a fascinating place.

Walt Disney, although no longer with us, created a world through his amusement parks and movies that others continue today in his honor and following the vision he had.

They bring countless of hours of joy, peace and amazement to all of us–whether we are young or not so young anymore.

Watching the movies, even if they only last an hour or two, takes us to the happiest place on Earth–our hearts. Thanks Walt!

Who are your favorite Disney characters? Comment below or send me an email at emptynestsaavy@gmail.com.  Enjoy the day!

The Plan

The Plan

When my husband and I realized that the Empty Nest was really a thing…and that ours would be coming soon…we started to formulate “The Plan”.

In other words we began to dream.  We talked about future goals and expectations we had for our lives. After all, we consider ourselves to be very fortunate to have–so far–lived a great life. The future has to be great too!

That is not to say that we have not had horrible times, struggled or made mistakes. We’ve done all of that and more! But somehow we survived it, made the best of most situations–learned a lot–and kept going.

Life is like that.  It is a roller coaster ride that takes you to unexpected places–sometimes painful and scary. And through it all we survive it and arrive at hopefully a good place.

I am finding though, as we think about dreams we have for the future that we have become complacent and comfortable with where we are and do not want to tempt the Fates with asking for more.

That is such a wrong idea. We can have more without threatening the security we now enjoy.  We can do and go and be whatever we want if “The Plan” is thought out properly.

And now with the empty nest we have also found that we have a great deal more time.  We have been filling this time with hobbies and weekend trips and doing the things we really enjoy and care about–like writing!

Others, though, see our empty nest and think we have time to do MORE for them. But MORE doing is not exactly what I had envisioned for “The Plan”. It is not busy that I would like to be but more authentic. Authentic to my true self and what I can offer others and what I can do for myself.

It is not part of “The Plan” to multitask anymore. That is not authentic! When I multitask I am not putting my full focus on what I am doing. I am good at multitasking and I can get a lot of stuff done. But over the years I’ve noticed that the better I multitask the more folks expect me to do. And by doing this I’ve allowed them to take away my joy.

Who came up with this concept of multitasking anyway? When I did a little research–(ok, I got a little carried away and read about 17 articles!)–I found that the term multi-task can be found as far back as the 1960s but was always used to refer to machines, in one article a lawnmower, and later to computers that can perform various functions simultaneously.

I also found that “Human Multitasking” is a thing! It is actually described as if the Human were some odd species!  Most article agreed that when humans multitask we are less efficient, prone to more errors and ultimately we are not saving more time.

So part of my “Plan” is to stop multitasking.  I want to be present when I am doing whatever it is I am doing. And I have been testing it out!  

I am my own laboratory rat: I had lunch today and concentrated on just eating and enjoying my meal. I turned off the monitor on my desk (where I eat at work), I put my cell phone in my bag and I just ate and looked out the window.

I have to admit that at first, it felt weird. But after a few minutes, my breathing changed, I noticed I was eating slower and how good my lunch tasted. I watched the wind blow through the trees outside and without intending to I started thinking about “The Plan”!  And all the things we are planning to enjoy and do–because we can and because we want to!

So just because we have more time doesn’t mean we have to do MORE of what others expect or want us to do. It does give us the freedom to look forward to that future we are planning and the manner in which we want to enjoy it.

And so I’ve officially included in “The Plan”:

  1. No more multitasking!
  2. Be authentic with my wants and dreams!  
  3. Give to others what I can offer them but that also brings me joy!

Look into your future.  What do you want to see there? What are you doing today that will help you realize your “Plan”? Comment below and share some of your plans and dreams. And remember, we only have one life people! Make it fun!

Join Facebook and check out my Pinterest page to see ideas about living a full life!

Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday

One of my favorite Disney movies has always been Freaky Friday.

(Did you know there were 3 versions of the movie?)

In it, through a strange twist of fate a mother and daughter switch personalities but remain in their own bodies–forcing themselves to see their lives through the perspective of the other.

In the end, in good Disney fashion, it all ends well with mother and daughter in their own bodies and with a new appreciation of the other.

It is the type of theme that reminds us that no one is an island unto themselves. We are connected–for good or bad–to many other people, some of which we may not even realize we are connected to, and whose life we affect.

I remember this as I begin this journey in creating the life I want for myself.  

A few days ago I decided that as new year’s resolutions I should chose changes I wanted to make in my life that had a reason behind them. The ultimate reason, of course, is to live the life I want–a happy life.

And that is when things got Freaky!  Define a “happy life”! And how does your “happy life” affect or impact the “happy life” of others–especially those closest to you. Talk about Freaky!

As we think about and form what our “happy life” is, we cannot forget the others near us that do not realize what it is to walk in our shoes. Because ultimately, as Disney points out, we do not realize what it is like to walk in THEIR shoes either.

So we have to do two contradicting things at the same time.  We need to search for that thing that will bring us happiness and be selfish about it, but we must also take into account how our happiness will affect others.

That is not to say we should give up our dreams and do what others want us to do. That will not make us happy and if the people around you really care about you, they do want your happiness.

If the people around you are just takers and are not concerned with your happiness but the function you serve for them, then perhaps it’s time to take a hard look at those relationships. More freaky.

It is a matter of PERSPECTIVE after all….the what’s in it for me? thoughts and feelings.

Freakier still…this is not easy and it will take some work, but it will be so worth it in the end!

So, over the next week–I am going to go about my normal life. But I am going to be conscious at really analyzing it and discovering myself.  

I encourage you, also, to spend some time looking at your current life and to think about what your dreams are.

If you are in a marriage or committed relationship–you may want to do this exercise with that person, as most likely wherever your dreams take you so will it take your partner.

Look at the point of view of each person that is involved in this future. And see yourself in that future, surrounded by what you want, where you want, how you want things to be. And then write these things down.

You don’t have to do anything with the list right now, but it helps to have your ideas develop on paper (or in a journal or on your PC).

I am sure the things we find out about our present selves, and about what our future selves want will be beyond Freaky!  But like the end of the movie (all three, actually) it will lead us to a better beginning to the future we hope to have!

I hope you have a wonderful Freaky Friday!  

If you’d like, I’d love for you to share your thoughts on what type of future you envision or on Freaky Fridays of your own!  Please comment below.

Also, visit my Facebook page and Pinterest to join, follow or post your thoughts as well! And have fun!