Many years ago I came across an article that was an interview with a professional athlete that really inspired me. While it was so many years ago, and I could not tell you the athlete who said this, but the idea that he shared is something I will never forget. He talked about personal hardships, working for what he had, and not taking things for granted due to an injury he had. He has been injured and feared that he would not be able to play again, and this made him start to reflect on his life. He came up with the idea of a "life list," that absolutely connected with me in a meaningful way. It connected with me in such a way, that I would run therapeutic groups around the idea every year. Every time I ran the group, the patients really loved it.
What is it that connects with people so much? Forward thinking, goal setting, dreaming, and stretching our imagination. Both myself, and anyone I have ever had do it, is asked to make a list of up to 20 things that they want to accomplish in their lives. I ask myself, and anyone else to stretch their wants and their imaginations. To think of things that they have dreamed of doing, and they do not have to know how they will accomplish it yet. The idea is to not be limiting, but to be creative and honest with themselves about what they dream of, and what they would not want to leave this earth without experiencing it. There is something about this activity that really opens you up, and makes allows you to believe that anything is possible if you want to accomplish it in your lifetime.
What is always interesting to me, is that I will come across this list every few years, I suggest you put yours somewhere that you can see it often. I will be sure to add getting organized to my list! When I do come across my list, I am never ceased to be amazed that I have actually accomplished at least half the list within just a few years. It is a very rewarding feeling to know that you have accomplished not one, but many of your goals. Being able to see the list on a regular basis has been shown to have even higher levels of success and achievement of your goals as well. So, put it on your freezer, in your planner, on your phone, taped to the side of your computer. Somewhere that you are confronted by it all the time.
The single most important factor is that each and every item on the list is something that is meaningful to you. Something that you just makes you smile when you think about doing it. To some degree, accomplishing something that makes you feel whole, and makes you feel proud for having achieved it. If you want to take things a step further, you can do what I do. When I review that list every few years, and I see that I have crossed half the items off, I go back to brainstorming and soul searching. I fill those spaces back up with new items for the list. New things I dream of, and goals that have developed as I have grown and changed. I look at the idea as one that is never ending as long as I am here on this earth. It is a "life list" of after all, and as long as we are breathing, there is no reason that we cannot keep adding to it, as we cross things off of it. I hope for your new year, that you will take the time to sit down and try this activity out. I think you will find it fun, rewarding, inspiring, and challenging. All the things a great life should be!
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