THRIVE! in 2015 with a Life List:  Three Steps to help you accomplish your goals before you die!

January 22, 2015

As we approach the month of February, many New Year’s resolutions have already been broken or even forgotten. Maybe you’re included in that group or maybe you’re still going strong on your resolution to exercise more, eat healthier or even make time for the things you love.


New Year’s resolutions have been my modus operandi like millions of women around the globe, but I am here to say screw the New Year’s resolution and do something different in 2015, and do something that I think actually works; start a life list.

Life lists create positive and healthy habits in your life. They are also a way to keep a running tally of everything you want to accomplish in your life and everything you think is important. By following these three steps you will be on your way for a successful, memorable and empowering 2015:

1. Brainstorm: Start your life list with brainstorming and writing down 50 to 100 things you want to do before you kick the bucket i.e. your bucket list. The key here is to remember that anything is possible and to write down all of your hopes and dreams. If you write down “Go on a walk-about in Australia” you will be three times more likely to find yourself in the outback accomplishing one of your life list goals.

2. Create Categories: Next you can categorize or expand on the items included on your list by using the following ten categories. These ten areas are common categories psychologists who are experts in goals setting reference when developing life lists:

a. Health: This category is a way for you to breakdown your fitness and health goals e.g. I will exercise at least three times per week or I will only eat pizza on the weekends.

b. Finances: It is smart to start understanding and setting financial goals while you’re in college. Do you have financial goals for earning and saving money?  Do you want to own _______ by the time you are ______ years old.  Do you want to pay off your student loans by the time you are _____. 

c. Recreation and Hobbies: Do you want to learn a new sport, visit a new place, become better at an instrument, or spend more time with friends or family?

d. Learning:  Do you want to attend a certain graduate school, take time to study something just because it interests you, develop new skills in your professional field to make you more competitive in the job market?

e. Volunteer Work and Charities:  Do you have a cause you are passionate about or a certain problem you would like to help solve in society?  Where and how can you use your talents to make the world a better place?

f. Home:  Do you want to get more organized, redecorate your room or a certain space in your home/apartment to make your environment more pleasant and relaxing?

g. Friends:  Do you want to increase your circle of friends or perhaps get closer to a fewer number of people?  Do you want to try and be a better friend by taking more time to just hang out, being more thoughtful and considerate, or perhaps being less guarded and more open with the friends you already have?

h. Love:  Do you want to find that special someone?  Or do you need to move on?  Do you need to learn to be more trusting and secure?  Do you want to be more considerate, sincere, open and loving in your current relationship?  Do you want to date a different kind of guy than you usually do?  Or do you want to take a break from the jungle of love to work on yourself for a while?

i. Family:  Do you want to be a better daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, or niece?  Express more gratitude and show more appreciation?  Do you take them for granted, or do they need your help, love or attention in anyway?  How can you make sure your family knows how much you care for them?

j. Spiritual Goals:  If you are a spiritual person--are you trying to grow spiritually?  Are you plugged into a higher purpose for your life?  What is your mission and what do you want to be the legacy you leave behind on this world?  If you belong to a certain religion, are you trying to grow in your knowledge and understanding of it?  What are you doing for your soul/spirit?

3. Make it a Habit: By starting a life list versus a New Year’s resolution, you will begin to form the habit of on-going reflection and goal setting. With this habit, each day can bring new resolutions for constant growth and development.  Constant growth and development is what neuroscientists have found causes well-being!

The result of following these three steps and referencing the above ten categories is a thriving life. So here’s to ditching the New Year’s resolution and actually getting shit done in 2015! What goals you include on your life list?