Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we looked at the advantages of having a bucket list in helping us play more and reaping plays benefits of light-heartedness, flexibility and optimism. This week we discover the essential questions to ask yourself when creating your bucket list.

 

The main questions to ask yourself when compiling your bucket list are…

 

  • What have I always wanted to do?
  • Where do I want to travel?
  • What events would I like to go to?
  • What activities would I like to try out?
  • What classes would I like to take?
  • What hobbies would I like to adopt?
  • What skills would I like to have?
  • Which sports would I like to try out?

 

After realizing many of my problems were a result of a lack of play in my life (causing me to be inflexible and have a reduced resilience to stress) I have to admit that I cannot wait to embark on more play this year and focus on my 40 before 40 bucket list.

My anxiety is gone now but I am grateful my body signaled to me that for a few months my lifestyle had become unhealthy. The experience has served to show me how I can improve the quality of my life by integrating play. As a bonus, it’s highlighted to me that my preventative attack on stress which incorporates play & fun needed to be re-established back into my lifestyle. I had still been using other preventative measures such as meditation but limiting my repertoire was unwise nonetheless. If you constantly feel stressed please read my article on stress management ‘Tis the Season to be Stressed; How to Leave Stress Behind You for Good’ so you too can bounce back quickly.

 

Even as I write this I cannot help but be embarrassed that I had postponed fun and relaxation in favor of work despite knowing its equal importance, but taking time to play is certainly not a lesson I will ever forget again! Most importantly, without this experience I would have missed out on valuable insight into the wide range of benefits play offers – benefits that reach far beyond basic stress management and what I initially expected. And all in all I feel quite fortunate to have a problem where taking action towards the solution is actually enjoyable and fun.

 

If you think your life may be deficient in play, fun and relaxation why not try scheduling these activities into your diary so you too can feel the benefits of being more creative, adaptive, flexible, optimistic, light-hearted, empathetic and hopeful for the future. Trust me when I say that the effects of a life without play are well worth avoiding. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, when we prioritize play we actually foster more productivity and success for ourselves. Consider this article your official permission to go and play. Should anyone think it’s not a productive use of your time – tell them play is a serious matter indeed. You can tell them I told you so.

 

What have you got on your bucket list? Does your bucket list excite you? Have you resolved to play more since reading this series? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, support and insight from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

 

Exercises:

 

 

  1. Answer all of the questions and make a list of all the activities that come up.
  2. Take your lists from part two of this series and add this week’s list (as above) to it so you now have a comprehensive and playful bucket list.
  3. If you have decided to have a scheduled bucket list, allocate in which months or years you will do each item.

 

Further Resources:

 

‘Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul’ by Stuart Brown and Christopher Vaughan