Monday, March 9, 2009

Creating Your Life List

I’ve been researching Life Lists and goal achievement for nearly four years and I’m convinced having a Life List is one of the most empowering things a person can do to get focused on what they want from their life. Life lists have been around for years in one form or another. People all over the world have lists of things to do, lists of things they dream of doing. A Life List acts as a roadmap for people to achieve their dreams.

I’ve met many people who have amazing dreams but fail to write them down and they never seem to make them happen. Studies show that when you write your dreams down, and engage others to support you, they become achievable goals. This is why we created, which provides a structure, and uses the power of the latest social networking tools, to help people achieve their goals and inspire others.

One life list story that I find personally satisfying is from an ex-colleague who had just finished studying. She created her life list and realized she had the ability to accomplish all the things on her list within the year. She’s now climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa, started a new career and has run in the New York City Marathon. As she celebrates one experience she meets new people who expose her to new experiences, which she adds to her list and the cycle continues.

Create. Act. Celebrate.™ is the name we give to our methodology that supports and encourages people to be aware of the sequence of events that can be created by simply accomplishing a life list goal. Everyone has some idea about what it is that they would rather be doing, however sometimes they lose focus or get sidetracked by what I’ve heard referred to as the ‘Weapons of Mass Distraction’. These weapons are designed to hold us back and are the manifestations of our fear.

When people ask me what is the best thing they can do to create an inspired Life List, I recommend they share a story of a significant and successful experience they have had in their life that they are proud of. The process of reflection and celebration will create a story of success from their own life that they can use as a reminder of their having achieved a significant goal.

Another strategy I recommend is to seek out people who inspire you and find out about their significant life experiences. Hopefully after this you will see that a life list is not a laundry list of 101 things you would like to do, but a list of significant experiences you intend on having in your life. Experiences that you will someday look back on as changing or confirming the direction of your life!

How To Get Started:

1. CREATE: - What’s on your Life List?

Travel & Leisure: Where in the world have you always dreamed of going but haven't been able to get to yet?

Relationships: What experiences do you want to have with the people who are important in your life? You may want to fall in love, get married, become a parent or organize a family reunion, re-connect with a long lost relative, get in touch with a former partner… the possibilities are endless.

Personal Development & Community: Do you want to take a class at a local community college? Lead a more balanced life by learning to meditate? Volunteer with a local group? Get involved in politics? Become a Big Brother?

Career & Finance: This doesn't only apply to your career goals, but also to things such as home ownership, retirement planning and investing.

Lifestyle & Culture: Do you want to lose weight or stop smoking? Learn to paint in Italy? Go to the ballet? The possibilities are endless and may include expressing yourself through learning a new language.

Sports & Adventure: Parachuting, bungy jumping, hiking… the list goes on! What sports or adventure experience have you always dreamed about having?

2. ACT: - Build a plan to achieve your goal.
The second step is to select 3 goals you want to take action on immediately and add these to the Top of Your List. The 3 goals you put on the Top of Your List should be the priority goals you want to focus on and build a plan to achieve. You may even want to share one or all of these goals with your friends who can give you advice and ultimately make you accountable to your plan.

3. CELEBRATE: - Share your story to inspire others
The last step is to celebrate your achievements by telling the stories to highlight the significance of your accomplishments and to inspire others. The direct impact of celebrating your success will help you get focused on what your next Top of List Goal will be!

As a final point, I think its important to see a Life List not as a static list to be ticked off within a certain time but a dynamic list that reflects the ongoing changes in your life. While I was young and single I had education sports and career goals at the top of my list. As I got older I added more travel and adventure activities to my list. Recently I have been adding more family and lifestyle activities to my list. The game of life keeps changing as you add new players (Partners, Children) and with each new player you discover new experiences you want to have in order to maintain balance.

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