Let's face it: bucket lists and goals are completely different. Goals are accomplished and celebrated; the end of a bucket list means death. So let's kick the bucket list and make some goals instead, yes? Here's how.
1 What do You Care about?
I'm a runner, so naturally, my goals list include some running-related goals, like "run a marathon" and "run a race in every state." Who are you? What are your hobbies and interests? Base a few goals around those things.
2 Include Travel
So yeah, I want to run a marathon, but it's important to add some travel to your goals, so that's why I'm also going to run a race in every state. It doesn't have to be every state, though - it could be every country, every continent, every county in your home state... the possibilities are endless!
3 Include Family
It's also a fantastic idea to include your family in some of your goals. For instance, you could add a goal of taking a road trip to the place your grandmother was born, or better yet, take that trip with your grandmother!
4 Include Friends
This idea of including your friends on your life goals is probably where #squadgoals came from, and for good reason! Build in a couple of goals with your friends - you'll be so glad you took the time to build memories with them!
5 Include Lovers
I have a friend who has (had?) the goal of enjoying a lover who didn't speak her language. She travels a lot, so this wasn't such an odd idea, but I'm sure there are lots of goals you can think of that could (and should) include a lover.
Some of your goals ought to be just for you, alone. Example: I'm running most of these races by myself, though in states where I have friends and family, I'm running short races with them.
7 Track Your Progress
Goals need to be written down to feel real and tangible and to give them import. Write them down, and look at them often, then cross them off (mentally, even) as you attain them.
8 Be Flexible
So many fantastic books have been written about goals that didn't always happen as planned (Cheryl Strayed's "Wild" comes to mind). Be flexible in your goals, and achieve them even when things don't go exactly as you planned.
9 Make It (somewhat) Realistic
If you love mountaineering, your heart might tell you to set the goal of climbing each of the tallest mountains on every continent. That's amazing... but probably not realistic, not just from a physical standpoint, but financially as well. Your goals shouldn't be easy, but don't make them impossible either.
10 Keep Mementos
I keep all of my race bibs and finish-line photos. My partner, whose goal is to visit a micro-brew in each state, keeps a pint glass at each one. Keep mementos of each stop along your journey - notes, photos, and such - so when you're an old person, you'll have something to look back on to match your memories.
11 It's Not a Checklist
Here's the thing about goals: they're not checklists (like bucket lists are). Goals evolve, and should require a little more reflection and soul-searching. For instance, when I first started running, my goal was "run a 5k without stopping." Now it's "run a marathon without stopping." Don't just visit the Eiffel Tower to tick it off your list and move on. Savor each experience, build on each one and celebrate your success before you proceed.
Do you have any goals? What are they? What else would you add to my list of tips?
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