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 Sky is The Limit

The Sky is The Limit

Part of the fun of reaching the empty nest stage of our lives is that we can take advantage of new adventures. And our bucket lists are long!

I am not as adventurous as my husband but I encourage him in his ideas and hobbies. One of his dreams was to skydive–and just a few days ago, on the 4th of July–he did just that!

It was quite exhilarating–and I did not even get on the plane!

I was very nervous while my husband was very excited.  He boarded the plane and I said my prayers.

But I have to confess that once the plane took off down the runway, my excitement also began to grow.

Twenty minutes later, as I watched the sky, a tiny dot jumped from the plane and he began his free fall.  I was stunned and excited and terrified all at the same time while MY feet were set firmly on the ground

The parachute opened and my husband floated beautifully back to earth and made a very graceful landing in a red, white and blue parachute.  He–and I–were smiling from ear to ear, that he had completed a goal on his bucket list.

And even now–a few days later–the excitement of the adventure is still with us.  What is also with us is the knowledge that for the rest of our lives the sky is the limit to what we want to do and accomplish.

It is a very good feeling to know that the only thing that holds us back is ourselves.  Luckily we are learning to let our hair down and go where the winds (literally) takes us.

This experience reminds us that, especially in this country, if we work hard there is nothing that we cannot do.

In this country–we have been able to have our home, educate ourselves and our children, become professionals and secure a comfortable and hopefully adventurous future.

In this country there is nothing a person cannot do–although I find a great deal of people wasting their time arguing and trying to change what is right, what is written, what is established and what is true.

I believe they have not created their bucket list and instead of working towards their goals and dreams they are floating about looking for what that ideal is.

You see, I truly believe that each bucket list is as different as the person who creates it. And it is best if you surround yourself with people that will encourage you in your completion of it instead of just being one in a crowd of people who all think alike.

Be original!  Be bold! And be you! We are all in the perfect time and place! The sky is the limit!

Have a great weekend!  Next week–I think we will work on those bucket lists!

Comment below or send me an email with your thoughts! I’d love to hear them!

 

 

 

 

 

Reaching Resolutions

Reaching Resolutions

At the beginning of the year I made some New Year’s resolutions that were meant to be finally kept, after years of resolutions that did not last through the last frost.

I tried to keep it simple this time and these were my resolutions in January:

  1. Be the healthiest ME I can be
  2. Organize my life so I have more: space, time, money and happiness.

And so far, the beginning of June–6 months in–I’ve kept my resolutions.

Being the healthiest Me I can be has been easier than I thought it was.  Studying nutrition has helped me, but just being aware of the goal: being healthy and not giving into the temptations that others bring has been a huge game changer in this area.

I just did not allow myself to be swayed by people giving gifts of food, or feel obligated to eat at social events. I ate in small portions when tempted and learned to say “no, thank you.”

Over the last 6 months, I’ve been eating better and I have lost weight. I have been exercising more and am learning to do yoga, so have become more flexible and stronger.

I am not superwoman (yet) but my clothes are fitting better, and I am sleeping better–so day by day I am getting healthier.

 

Organizing my life so I have more space, time, money and happiness has also been going well.  Mostly because I have slowed down.

I am taking my time doing the things that need to get done and that I want to do.

Again, I decided it was not my obligation to meet everyone’s expectations of what I should do, when I should do it and who I should do it with.

I’ve turned down many social invitation and gave myself permission to say “no–thank you.”

And somehow I am more organized with my time, I am getting more of the important things done and I am saving money in the process because I am not running around buying things I don’t need to make my life easier–because you know, –I’ve made my life easier.

And while all this progress is wonderful and I am so proud of myself. This post is really not about my progress.  I want to talk about how reaching resolutions really makes others angry.

It is amazing to me how one person’s failure to reach their goals, in this case their New Year’s resolutions, makes other people–often the ones that are supposed to be the  closest to them–happy.

If you are asked and you actually share your resolutions–some people make it their mission to tell you all the ways in which you will fail.  They can enumerate all the challenges that stand in your way.

So reaching your resolutions (or your goals) requires a person to not worry about what other people’s opinions are.

I know it may seem obvious–although it took me 50 years to figure out–that it really doesn’t matter what other people think–even the people that are close to you.

Ultimately–when I am happy–the people closest to me are happy as well. Reaching my resolutions and continuing to grow with them has opened up a whole new way of thinking.

If you are wanting to reach your goals and continue to grow this is what I would suggest you do:

  1. Make sure your goals align with what will make YOU happy
  2. Take yourself out of situations that do not help you meet your goals
  3. Ignore negative people
  4. Take your time and keep moving forward.

I am learning what I think I have known all along…taking things slowly but in the right direction will help me reach the outcome I am looking for. Other people do not have my goals in mind when going about their lives. And we have a limited number of hours a day and days in our lives–we’d better make them count.

What obstacles are you struggling with to meet your goals? How do you allow others to sabotage your progress?  Write a comment below or send me an email at emptynestsavvy.com.

Reach for your goals today!

 

Honor Yourself in Your Health

Honor Yourself in Your Health

When it comes to our health, or anything we decide to do, sometimes the hardest part is dealing with the people whose opinion means the most to us–and sometimes dealing with people whose opinion is not that important but still affects us.

Let me work backwards from least important to most important in relation to people’s opinions.  

There are strangers and acquaintances that we encounter in life that look at us–and make a snap judgement.

What is that judgement? It really depends on what lens of the world they are looking at you through. Honor yourself–regardless what they may be thinking.

Then there are our closer acquaintances and “friends.” These people know a little more about you–perhaps because you come in contact with them more often–but don’t really know you know you. They make judgments about us based on how we dress, act, speak, react etc.

We think about what they may think about us if we did something out of the norm of their belief systems about us–which let’s admit–is pretty narrow.

Honor yourself.

I know we think about these people because we care about ourselves and want to be perceived a certain way–whatever that may mean to you,  and that makes it important but we still should honor ourselves.

Then come our real friends–the people we care about and that care about us–at least we think they do. Their opinions rank a little higher on the “I wonder what they think of me” scale.

And the most important group is, of course, our closest and dearest family and friends whose opinion–for better or for worse–drive our decisions.

These two groups of people make it harder.

I am not going to say we should just forget everyone and do what we want, because the reality of life is that we DO THINK ABOUT IT and it DOES AFFECT US.

So how do we honor ourselves, our wants and desires?  This is not easy, especially when we want to make big life changes like a change in the way we eat and approach exercise.  

Many times what is holding us back from big transformative life loving change is that we are afraid to lose our relationships with others. And that is hugely important–but we have to honor ourselves first.

When you decide to change what you eat, or how often to exercise to feel better, to look better, to get over a disease or condition–it will affect everything in your life–especially your relationships.

Our relationships are going to change and sometimes it is going to hurt. People you thought were with you were only with you as long as you were like them.

People you thought would cheer you on just want to tear you down. People you thought were in your life out of love and acceptance will turn their back on you the minute you don’t conform with the pigeon hole they have placed you in.

Still you should honor yourself.

So, I am not going to say “What other people think does not matter” because that would not be the truth. It does matter or we would all be in different places in our lives by now.

What I will say is that you should do it anyway.

Better your health, reach for your goals and your desires for a physical and internally healthy self.  

The people that are meant to support you will be there and the others will fade away. It will hurt sometimes but in the end you will be healthier, surrounded by those that contribute to that health and you will be so much happier!

Honor yourself–you are worth it! And have fun every step of the way!

Condition Yourself For Success

Condition Yourself For Success

Just like we condition our bodies when we physically work out, we can condition other parts of us.  We can condition our brains, our hearts and our attitude. We can even condition our success.

So conditioning our body is easy right? We eat healthy foods in moderation, cut out sugar, and exercise….well I know none of that is easy but it is a choice and it is doable. And we know that the more we do those things the better condition our body will be in–inside and out.

We can also condition our minds. We can read and write, work on puzzles and do many creative things that stimulate our brains. In fact the more we do anything–it stimulates our brain–and the task or fact or idea–takes better root.  

Sometimes the best way to condition the brain is to turn off all the noise of your world–ie. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Email–and just observe the world around us. It trains our brains to notice the details that we have been overlooking and it stretches our brains.

Our hearts can be conditioned better as well. We can practice having more compassion for people–not to mention more compassion for ourselves. We can practice being empathetic instead of critical and seeing things from other people’s point of view.

Our hearts can be conditioned to feel better by being genuine in who we are and treating others with respect.

Attitudes can also be conditioned. Lord knows many attitudes walking around in the world could use some conditioning!  

We can practice positive intentions–if not to improve your attitude towards other people–but just to improve! It takes practice! And it takes consistency to create the kind of positive attitude that impacts the attitudes of others.

And just like we can condition our hearts, our minds and our attitudes we can definitely condition ourselves to be successful in everything we want to be successful in.

Like everything else, it takes practice and stick-with-it-ness!  We have to really know what we value being successful in and then work at that everyday.

We can condition ourselves not to accept failure–not because failure is not an option–but because a failure just means we need to find another way of doing something. No excuses–look for another option.

If we condition ourselves to think in this way and act in this way there is nothing that can stand in our way.

Too many times we say we want to be successful–at whatever it is in the moment–a diet, our careers, a relationship–and then at the first sign that things are getting hard, we give up!

In order to make your success muscles strong–you have to push through the self doubt and the setbacks.  You have to lift and bend and keep trying.

Success is not an easy thing in our lives–especially if you do not condition yourself to reach those goals–but if you are not reaching for your goals, then what is your life about?

Practice, move forward, accept defeat when it comes. And keep moving forward. Condition yourself for success, we only have one life folks–let’s do this!

Comment below if you have some tips on how to condition yourself to be successful in everything you do!  I look forward to your ideas!

And as always–have fun!

The Joy of Living by My Calendar

The Joy of Living by My Calendar

One thing I have implemented for myself this year that has helped me grow–is my calendar.

 

I’ve gotten a new calendar every year and usually by February I have stopped putting “important” dates and “to dos by” dates on it.  But this year, I’ve taken a new approach and it has been working extremely well.

As I have been making plans for building the life I really want I realized that I cannot live the life I would like to live if I do not honor my time.

Time after all is that one commodity that no one seems to have enough of yet some people seem to get a great deal of important things done and these are things they truly love to do. And we have to realize that all of us have the same 24 hours each day.

Please understand that I am not suggesting that you fill your calendar with more events and tasks so that you are busy all the time. What I am suggesting is that you only put things in your calendar that have true meaning to you.

What distinguishes the importance of our time is defining what those things are that are important to you. Those are the things that go in your calendar.

One of my favorite quotes by Franklin Covey is:

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

What are your priorities?  This can be a very difficult question to answer. Depending on where you are in your life, your priorities may be very different.  There really is no right or wrong answer for this.

Priorities, also, are hard to define because we feel “selfish” when expressing what we really want for ourselves–often it is not what other people want for us.  If we only do things that is expected of us by others it will not necessarily make us happy or move us closer to our own goals.

Making the other people in our lives happy is important–especially if it brings you joy. But your calendar should not be filled with tasks and events of or for other people.

So, I sat down and made a list of my priorities.  This was not an easy task. But I was able to narrow it down to 6 things. Then I noted them on the first page of my calendar.  It serves as a reminder of what I want more of in my life.

And since then, before I add things to my calendar–I think about whether the task, event, invitation or effort is going to serve me and my priorities, my goals, and my happiness.

I know–it sounds totally selfish! But guess what?  I have not attended events I did not want to attend, I have not spent time with people I did not want to spend time with and I did not waste time completing tasks that have no real importance in my life.

The results is that I have had more time to spend with the people I really want to be with and I have been more relaxed and happy when with them. (I think they are enjoying the happier me! Or they might think I’m on medication!) I have not had to pretend to enjoy being somewhere I did not want to be and those useless tasks did not have to get done anyway!

Another plus is that I am learning to say no. No to things that waste time, no to experiences I do not want to have and no to people that are not part of my priorities.

Now when I look at my calendar–which I do each morning–I find the things that I really enjoy staring back at me. It helps me clearly plan what is needed to complete necessary tasks and it allows me to look forward to the events coming up because I am so excited about them.

And although it is only February, I have already planned many things well into the summer. Things that match my priorities and that bring me joy. Things I am looking forward to.

What kind of tasks or events that align with your priorities are you most excited about? Do you take the time to schedule these things in your calendar for yourself?  Comment below! And as always have fun!

 

Trusting the Process

Trusting the Process

Trust the Process.  I’ve heard this a lot lately.  On the news,  in a talk show, on a YouTube video, I keep hearing this phrase: “trust the process”.  What process exactly are they talking about? And are the people using this phrase really sure what it is supposed to mean?

When I heard one particular person say it–and knowing who she is–it occurred to me that “trust the process” for her was “just do it the way I want you to do it.”  Hmmm.  

So in my endless curiosity, I went to the Internet.  I know, I know, not everything out there is a good source or even accurate–but at least there is a great deal of information I can sift through to decide what something really potentially is.

So the urban dictionary defines it this way: “Trusting the process involves supporting a team who is tanking on purpose in order to hoard draft picks as well as assets.  Trust the process, also abbreviated as TTP, is somewhat cult-like at times.” (urbandictionary.com)

O-kaaaay?  

Yeah that doesn’t make any sense. Especially in the contexts I keep hearing the phrase.

In a couple of other articles, the gist is a person should “trust the process” specifically meaning trusting a company or employer to address issues within its organization while the consumer or employee waits to see what, if anything will be done regarding the issue, thereby “trusting the process” that the “right” outcome will always win out.

Yeah. That sounds a lot like “just do it the way I want you to do it” also…while issues, disagreements and situations are ignored, swept away and disregarded.

Very not cool.

What’s funny, is that the way the phrase is being used is almost meant to sound motivational.

So I kept searching.  And I found this on conniechapman.com:

“To trust the process means to know and have faith that there is a divine plan moving through you and your life in any moment.”

Ok I can handle that.  I know there is a divine plan out there and I trust that we should trust that. I know that everything happens for a reason.

Having faith in a divine plan also means that you have a purpose in life and I wholeheartedly believe that we do have a defined purpose, but I also believe that reaching and fulfilling your purpose takes work.

And hard work to reach the life you want to live is what it is all about as long as you are not compromising your values. Working towards your true goals in life to create the life you really want to live is–and should be–the most important reason for doing everything you do.

The road may be a difficult one but if your intentions are pure you can have the life you want to have as it was intended. In this sense we should trust the process–our process!

Don’t let others define what you should do or who you should be with a popular and catchy phrase. Be true to yourself, honor your goals. Look for the answers to your next steps inside of yourself and know that your hard work will pay off.

Have a wonderful Friday!  Trust yourself to know your heart and have fun!

Comments are welcome below!