bucket list

Happy New Year 2017

Courtesy of Shutterstock

Courtesy of Shutterstock


As I see in the New Year I always reflect upon the year past and the year yet to come. I think it’s human nature to contemplate life like this, especially on bench-mark occasions. But what do you do if the year past was filled with trials, heartache or even unfulfilled dreams?


I have had many New Years when the year past felt like a dead-end, when the life I had and the life I wanted were miles apart. Times when the New Year didn’t bring with it any relief or hope; when I was desperately sad at how my life had unfolded.


At New Years when most people around us are happy, our pain can feel especially isolating, and, whilst there is no quick fix, there are things we can do to ease our pain and look to the New Year with hope.




Think of five highlights for the year past. If you can’t think of five think of just three. It could be things as simple as having a coffee and a laugh with a close friend or someone you love. It could be as small as receiving a meaningful gift. Whatever you can think of, so long as it’s a fond memory write it down. Put your list down and then re-read it in an hour. Then re-read it again, recalling all the happy memories.


Bucket List


Another way of bringing joy into your life is to create a bucket list of everything you’ve ever wanted to do but just haven’t for whatever reason. Your bucket list can have big items on it like Skydiving or going to the Maldives or small items like learning to ride a bike or taking a cooking class.


It can be made up of skills you’d like to learn, hobbies you’d like to try, places you’d like to go and projects you’d like to finish. Try to create twelve items for the year ahead, committing to do one each month and remembering to make them financially viable. The general rule is if it makes you scared or excited, do it (and if it feels like work, ditch it).




Whilst a bucket list is super fun, creating meaningful goals is a sure fire way to ensure you feel positive and optimistic for the year ahead. I review my goals every New Years day to revise them as needed, making certain that they are S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timescaled) for the year ahead. This allows me to feel like I am on track and exactly where I am meant to be in order to achieve my dreams.


Indeed having a sense of progress in life has been linked to increased long-term happiness. To create goals that are meaningful to you please read my article titled ‘How to Turn Your Dreams into Reality’.  And to create a budget that supports your financial security and life goals please read my article titled ‘Why spending could be damaging your dreams; How to create a budget that supports your life goals’.


As the New Year dawns I wish you all a truly special year ahead, filled with renewed hope, optimism, fulfilled dreams and the happiness you so greatly deserve.


Join me in making 2017 the best year yet!


Wishing you a peaceful and joyous day,


x X x Jenny x X x

How to Avoid Problems by Integrating Play Part Four

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.


How to Avoid Problems by Integrating Play Part Three

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock


After thinking more about the role play had in my life I realized I needed to make a play action plan. My strategy was two-fold, first I would force myself to take one day off a week and play with friends or family, the second was something I had already been working on – my 40 before 40 bucket list. When I looked over the bucket list after having realized what adult play was, I saw that almost 90% of it was actually play.


My list was packed with holidays, classes, hobbies and activities that I had never tried before but always wanted to, it was the perfect solution to my recent lack of play! I couldn’t have actually planned it better; the novelty factor would serve to add to my sense of fun and engagement whilst the holidays would add an element of adventure too.