How to Plan to Live Your Best Life

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Living your best life takes work.  I want to spend my life with the people who matter to me the most.  I want a life filled with love, happiness, and adventure. In order for me to live my best life and achieve the goals I have, I make a lot of lists.  I have a To-Do list for short-term goals, a 5 Year Plan for long-term goals, and a Bucket List for dreams.  

I created the 5 Year Plan in 2018 when my husband was growing more serious about becoming a PhD student.  With the average student in his field taking 6 years to earn his/her PhD, I felt overwhelmed by how big of a commitment it would be.  I wanted to be able to imagine what my life would be like during those years, so I started off by writing the next five years on a document and jotting down things that would happen each year.  It started off as more of an outline of the PhD program, but then I started adding in shared major life events that would happen along the way, such as starting a new job and buying a house. Each of the five years are divided into the four seasons.  Knowing that we’ll always have some time off during winter and summer, I have written down tentative travel ideas for those seasons over the next five years. This 5 Year Plan is full of goals we hope to accomplish and dreams we have. It’s a flexible plan, but it’s a vision for the future we want to have.  

I’m pretty sure the movie The Bucket List (2007) inspired me to make my first bucket list when I was a teenager.  At one point, I decided that I wanted to visit all 50 states and spent time during my summer vacation researching cool things to see and do in each state (yep, I’ve always been a huge nerd!).  I have had the same bucket list saved on my laptop that I created when I was at the end of high school. I decided to use the strike-through feature to cross out things that I have done over the years.  It’s amazing to see the things that I put on my bucket list as a teen and to think about how many things I have done in the past 10 years or so since the list was “finalized.”

Some people may wonder what the point of having a bucket list is.  For me, my bucket list is something that always brings a smile to my face.  It reminds me that there are so many beautiful things to see in this world and so many amazing opportunities out there.  I love looking at my bucket list from time to time and trying to plan which thing I can cross off next.  

All my lists serve as motivation and inspiration to help me to always stay focused on living my best life.  It takes planning and taking action on those plans for dreams to come true. What are some of your biggest goals and dreams for the future?

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt


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