Make it hap­pen! How to turn your bucket list dreams into re­al­ity

WHETHER IT’S SKYDIVING, SEWING OR SEE­ING THE NORTH­ERN LIGHTS, MANY OF US HAVE A ‘MEN­TAL’ BUCKET LIST. HERE’S HOW YOU CAN TURN THOSE DREAMS INTO A RE­AL­ITY

Good Health (Australia) - - Contents -

Ev­ery­one has a ‘men­tal’ bucket list – an idea at the back of your mind of what you want to see or achieve in your life­time. Or maybe it’s sim­ply that re­cur­ring day­dream about be­ing on a trop­i­cal is­land far, far away. But how of­ten have you put those dreams down on pa­per? Not only does writ­ing a phys­i­cal list make you stop and think about what you ac­tu­ally want to ex­pe­ri­ence, it also re­minds you that life is short and should be lived to the fullest. On top of this, it helps to fuel those es­sen­tial feel­ings of cu­rios­ity and hope.

A bucket list means you’re tak­ing ac­tive steps to­wards mak­ing that wish­ful think­ing a re­al­ity. Want to visit the Great Wall of China? Al­ways wanted to learn how to sew? Or even pick up a team sport? If you don’t know where to start, try this five-step plan.

‘what­ever your dreams are, take them very, very se­ri­ously’

» Ask ‘What ex­cites me?’

Write down the first three an­swers that pop into your head, and ask who, when, and how? For ex­am­ple, if one of the an­swers is ‘travel’, ask ‘who is in­volved? Am I fly­ing solo or with a com­pan­ion?’ Then ‘when do I want to go – next month, next year?’ and fi­nally ‘How can I make it hap­pen?’

» Sur­round your­self with like−minded in­di­vid­u­als

You can catch ex­tra willpower from your friends – psy­chol­o­gists have iden­ti­fied this ef­fect as ‘so­cial con­ta­gion’ – so if you want to achieve your list, make friends with peo­ple who are ac­tively pur­su­ing their dreams too.

» Make a time­frame

Ask your­self what has a time limit. Once you’ve noted it, break it down further to ‘this year’ then ‘this month’. This way you’ll have a clearer idea of when you want to achieve some­thing, rather than hav­ing a ‘one day in the fu­ture’ list. Or think in terms of what you want to achieve be­fore your next birth­day.

» Keep it re­al­is­tic

Put things down that you can do for less than $100. For the big­ger ideas, price out what it would cost and bud­get ac­cord­ingly. An­tic­i­pate po­ten­tial prob­lems or bar­ri­ers and write down ways you could work around these.

» Talk it over

Share and com­pare your list with your part­ner or friend. Ver­bal­is­ing your ideas will mean you’ll have some­one else ac­count­able in the plan­ning, as well as the op­tion of split­ting ex­penses for any­thing that matches up.

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