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101 Things To Do Before I Go

ParadeI’ve had a Life List since high school.  It gets added to, deleted from & tweaked every year- but it wasn’t until I read the book Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide that I understood why I worshiped my list so much.

“Edwin Locke, the codeveloper of goal-setting theory, studied the traits of what he called “prime movers”… people who had “moved the world” with their passion, vision, energy and perseverance.  Over many years, Locke refined his list of “prime mover” traits down to the essential seven, two of which are vision and action.  Becuase of their abundant vision and action, the men and women Locke profiled were all renowned goal setters…”

Yes!  Vision.  Action.  I’m a woman with a purpose!  Even if that purpose includes having a color coordinated closet with a mini chandelier in it!

There a million other fascinating connections between success, happiness & life lists (goal setting) discussed in the book.  If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you know I’m slightly obsessed with the science behind happiness and this book is one of my new favorites. Let me just share a one last excerpt from authors Caroline Adams Miller and Dr. Michael B. Frisch:

“We see happiness in a new and exciting way: as a character strength that, if persistently cultivated, will give you greater zest, persistence, and energy for accomplishing your goals.  Our program doesn’t take a get-happier-at-all-costs and check-goals-off-your-life-list-now approach that glosses over what research tells us about optimal well-being, however.  We believe that positive and negative affect are both necessary in one’s life, and that both are important barometers that play a role in optimal well-being.  Following our life list approach will result in a richer and deeper level of happiness- an elan vital that will give you not only enthusiasm for life, but also a deep sense of excitement that will allow you to have more success with your goals than you ever thought possible.”

When I set out to write this post, inspired by Andrea’s post from Wednesday, I wanted to share some items from my List as well as some inspirational lists from other women.  As luck would have it — I found a post called What’s on Your List? from one of my tribe members, Carrie at Girl and Coconut, linking to some fabulous life lists out there! Thanks Carrie for reading my mind in advance.

So that leaves us with my List…

After re-reading it about a month ago, I was slightly chagrined with some of my choices.  Did I really want to own a designer gown?  Did I really need to win a volunteer award? (Isn’t volunteering a reward in and of itself?) Did I honestly want to meet James Franco? What exactly was I trying to prove?  And to whom?

I’ve spent the last month or so really thinking hard about how one would go about creating a meaningful list– one that would inspire you to live an extraordinary life– instead of one that just listed adrenaline rushes, cools things to own, and awards that prove something to someone else. With the help of “the book” and a lot of trial and error-  I’m getting closer!  My List is starting to reflect a life that I’m ridiculously excited about, one that I’m proud of.

I’m not going to share my entire List here (though I will after I capture the list in gorgeous vision board or memory book at the event on August 29th) but here are some highlights!

15 of my 101 Things To Do Before I Go

Win a gold medal (Junior Olympics Pole Vaulting 1996 or some such)

Have a piece of writing published

Travel around the world (made a full loop from Central America to Europe to South Africa to Southeast Asia and then home)

Complete a masters in positive psychology

Ride naked in the Fremont Parade (Seattle tradition- I was a ravishing, fully painted Jungle Princess in 2008)

Attend Burning Man

Start investing (Timing was wrong, but that’s life…)

Plant and nurture a herb garden

Go dog sledding in Alaska

Sit on a board for the Arts

Host a Oktoberfest Party complete with picnic tables, steins & sauerkraut

Speak conversational Spanish

Spent 3 months alone in Nature

Meet James Franco (He was allowed to stay on the List after much deep thought)

Learn to play pop songs on the piano

Event Alert!

If you are in Seattle and you don’t have a Life List that you love or it isn’t in an inspiring format- I’m throwing an event to help you make it happen!  It will be a relaxed partyish atmosphere as we brainstorm, sip mimosas, cut, glue, color, laugh & share some life goals.

I’m trying to make it as easy as possible for you to leave with an Life List that thrills you to the bone. One that you can’t wait to hang up & tackle.  One that gives you joy, a sense of accomplishment & motivation to create brilliance in your life.

Rock and roll.  Oh, and boys are invited too!

More info & Registration:  101 Things To Do Before You Go: Creating a Powerful, Meaningful, Inspiring Life List

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