Life Lists : Forget the Fantasy

sticky note mind map with questions on a blackboard

Although not a unusual achievement, this time last week I fulfilled a goal of running (or completing!) a marathon. From friends reactions, it struck me that not everyone seeks new experience or challenges but for me its a way of learning about and developing myself. Most people fail at constructing a life list as they see it as writing down your dreams, such as winning the lottery, things you have no control over, but constructing a list using these guidelines can improve your direction in life.

Forget the wishes and list ideas, events and travel that you actually intend to do and are willing to work at. This list will be revised through life and you are not going to wake up speaking Japanese overnight! If the idea of putting the work in doesn’t fill you with excitement or engage you, then its a fantasy and doesn’t deserve to be on the list.

Be realistic. Think big by all means but if you know that an item on the list is going to take am amount of time or capital that you can’t afford to dedicate to then drop it. You can seek to aspire to the type of lifestyle to achieve an item on your life list but you need to way up the cost versus benefit.

Make them clear and make them place, people and time specific. It’s no use listing “Travel the world” or “keep in touch with people” as it can’t be measured or definitively achieved. Avoid anything that requires luck or other people’s co-operation.

Check your motivation. This is a list of experiences you want to have, not a legacy of reasons you should be admired. Would it matter to you if no one knew you had achieved it? Think about it.

Write them down and even better, put them somewhere visible and can make research notes on how you are going achieve them. Go public with them, show people your intentions and you will find their interest will also spur you on too.

I took up running as a way of processing events and clearing my mind and helping raise my fitness and self-esteem whilst I was caring for my terminally ill father. I can’t say I’m much of an athlete but using the marathon as my goal I gained a lot from the experience. Most of my friends will never realise why the run was so important but that’s the importance of good life list.

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To celebrate my completion of the marathon I’ve reduced Goals, Inspire & Notes diaries by MiGoals & the 3 Year Planner by 50%!


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