THE PROBLEM WITH BUCKET LISTS (AND WHY WE SHOULD WRITE THEM IN REVERSE!).
As great as it is to have goals and dreams, and writing bucket lists can certainly inspire you to take initiative, sometimes staring at a list of things you haven't yet accomplished can make you feel overwhelmed and underachieved.
Personally, this year, I want to launch a recipe book, volunteer, complete a counselling course, double my client base for my massage business, relearn the piano, learn Spanish, go to a retreat in Spain, create more art and did I mention I want to launch an online shop as well?!
(*takes deep breath*)
It's all inspiring stuff, but gee does it make me want to run and hide under a pillow at the same time!
So to counteract this feeling of "shit, I've got so much yet to do, it's tiring to think about and am I even making progress?!" it's extremely beneficial to write a reverse bucket list to outline how far you've come.
What is a reverse bucket list?
If you hadn't guessed already, it's simply the exact opposite of a regular bucket list. Instead of writing down an enormous list of the things we hope to do one day, we jot down everything we have already done. This could be from the previous year, week or even a reflection on your entire life.
Why should I write a reverse bucket list?
In our society, there's so much emphasis on what's next that we rarely give thought to what we've already accomplished.
As we're constantly focussing on what else we want to do, see, and have in our lives, we're missing the greatness in all of the smaller things we do in between.
When we take a moment to write down each and every thing we've already done, we begin to recognise our success. We can feel a sudden sense of progress which positively affects our wellbeing; increasing confidence, self-worth and self-esteem.
When we look back on our achievements, we're also tapping into our sense of nostalgia which can further boost our wellbeing. Just like the chills we can get when we hear a meaningful song, revisiting positive memories can have great power over your mood.
So for me, yeah I have these big ass goals for 2018 and seriously, they kinda scare the crap outta me...but when I look back at what I actually achieved in 2017, I realise I should be patting myself on the back...
I got myself out of debt and have started saving, I swung over the city of Amsterdam, rode camels through the Sahara Desert, took more surf lessons at a retreat in Morocco, realised my vision of wanting to run a retreat, went to study Thai Massage in Bangkok, had a man fall asleep on me in Vietnam, rode into the sunset on a scooter on the island of Phu Quoc, re-designed the website, started my massage business, got a caring job with a family friend, signed up as a volunteer at a local counselling hub as well as opting to take a counselling course in January, I've enjoyed having counselling myself (I knew I needed to invest in my wellbeing and this was a major factor of staying back home) I've been running and attending a gym, eating well and sharing it all on here!
It would be such a shame for all of this to go unnoticed, and to head into the New Year simply just looking ahead.
So take a few minutes yourself, before the 1st of Jan hits, to recognise how far you've come too.
How to write a reverse bucket list?
Well it's a pretty simple exercise...to write down what you've already done, but sometimes it can be easier said than done.
My advice would be to start with a specific time frame so you're aware of where you were, who you were with and the sort of things you were doing in your life at this time.
If you find yourself struggling, ask a friend or family member as they may find it easier to reflect on your success.
You don't have to think big, these achievements could be as small as taking a walk on the beach, visiting your grandma, or signing up to a gym.
You should find, once you're on a roll, that you'll begin to remember more. Anything goes, so get scribbling, your list can be as long or as little as you like!