A couple of days ago, a friend and I were talking about Istanbul, a vibrant cosmopolitan city I was lucky enough to visit for a conference where I gave a talk at one of the Universities. My friend had never visited and said it was on his bucket list.

Bucket list.

As in a list of things to achieve before you kick the bucket, that is before you die. I may be wrong in that ‘bucket’ is a metaphorical container that you plan to fill with lots of positive experiences. What is clear is that both ideas suggest a list of activities, hopes, wishes and desires etc. that you put off until later, much later.

But when?

I was inspired by another friend approaching her retirement who is steadily planning her retirement list, a pre-bucket list if you will.

Here, she is gradually creating a To-do list for this period of her life of all the things she plans to do once she retires and is sensibly categorising them into big and small activities such as:

  • decluttering a whole house,
  • travelling,
  • learning a new skill,
  • volunteering (big);
  • taking up a favourite hobby,
  • going on walks,
  • going to the cinema more often,
  • baking (small).

These activities will give her the needed daily structure and sense of purpose in-between enjoying not having to commute and work.

But why wait?

One reason, I suppose is time and not having enough of it but lists like a bucket list and retirement list put off what you can be experiencing and enjoying today when you are financially more sound and physically able.

My message to everyone is to kick the bucket list out of the way and create your Living List.

In other words:

  • Change your To-do list to To do now list
  • Write down your goals under the headings Big and Small for each activity and then give yourself a realistic Do by date so that you can achieve these in your current day-to-day life and not let them become pipe dreams.
  • Tick off each one as you experience it and give yourself a treat along the way (- my favourite is afternoon tea).

Life really is too short so experience all you can now rather than put off until later.

By Marina Lambrou

 

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