I love lists and tools. I’ve used a number of different tools this past year to aid in creating and implementing my retirement lifestyle – a 52 new things challenge, seasonal bucket lists, vision boards, word-of-the-year, a jolts of joy listing (crafted versus my values), and out-of-my-comfort zone challenges. As we near the end of the year and I look towards next year, it’s a good time to review to see what worked and what didn’t. And it’s a great way of taking stock of the whole year – like a year in review. (And hopefully that leaves me feeling good about the past year.)
52 New Things
This challenge was one I learned about from Joanne at My Life Lived Full. It felt do-able as it was just one new thing a week and new things were defined very broad. Joanne encouraged you to consider travel, local stay-cation, recipes, experiences, personal development, learning/classes, foods, restaurants, or creative expression. Since she challenged you to also look to the scary and audacious, I started to note when things were also out-of-my-comfort zone. That challenge was made with Leslie’s (Once Upon a Time Happily Ever After) Out-of-my-Comfort Zone challenge. I really enjoyed creating this list and it was delightful to review it towards the end of the year to see what I had done.
First off, my final 2018 list has 100+ items on it, well over the one per week goal! Of course there are 30 new restaurants we tried. It’s becoming a challenge to find a restaurant we have not been to for my monthly Mid-week Foodie Friend dinners. And also in the food camp were 7 totally new foods (the pig’s eye topped this list), 5 new recipes (including buying a new Dutch Oven), and trying a series of the Cooking Club deliveries (my favorite was Blue Apron).
There were lots of mini-adventures including a glass-blowing class with hubby, cooking classes with girlfriends, lots of foodie events, two mid-day movies, various museum events, and lots of live theater. A couple of favorites were a day spent wandering downtown Cincinnati looking at all the art murals and a food tour of downtown St. Petersburg. I explored a number of new things including Thai massage, Tarot cards, and on-line 21-day Mediation Experiences.
There were not too many out-of-comfort zone activities. I did join a philanthropic organization, overcome fear to get a motorcycle license (big out of comfort zone!), do a full hair & make-up photo-shoot (new blog photo!), buy a car on my own, and finally get my book ready for publication.
I do like this tool. It fits with my love of lists and is a great way to keep track of all the fun things I’m doing. My question is what is my goal for 2019?
Seasonal Bucket Lists
A Seasonal Bucket List is another link-up from Leslie and it fit my planning approach, which was a hold over from my work life where we often did quarterly action plans. Shifting from an AMJ Action Plan to Spring Bucket List was easy-peasy. Way back in the spring I was very ambitious, with over 25 items. By fall, I had fallen off to only 10 things. I even did a “30 things for 30 days” in Florida for a visit there!
The key for me on these bucket lists was learning to not feel bad if everything was not done. I need to use it as a way to recall the things I love to do each season – from the fall farm visit for a corn maze to the Christmas traditions I don’t want to miss (our local Zoo’s light display). And a reminder to schedule in those mini-adventures I love. Yes, I’ve got a list started for our Florida Snow-birding Adventure.
Word of the Year and Vision Board
I was successful in my chosen word-of-the-year this year. It was SOAR – savoring, optimistic, activating, and resilient. (Blog link) It covered two things I wanted to do and two I wanted to be. I do feel like the above tools helped me in both activating (I had to fill that new things list) and savoring (I was enjoying almost all of those new things).
I like having my vision board visible also. (Blog link) While mine this year was not specifically about SOAR, it was complimentary. My vision board is placed where I do my daily journaling and helps remind me of my retirement lifestyle vision. And it is especially useful on days when I’m feeling a bit down. I’m planning to do both again for 2019.
Jolts of Joy
The build this year on my Jolts of Joy list was re-crafting the list linking items to my values. Not only is this new list linking the value-based simple pleasures I can add into my daily life, but I also added a column of “things to do when there is nothing to do”. Here’s what one row of my list looks like:
|Joy Ideas/ Simple Pleasures||
To-Do Items When Nothing to Do
|Be Active – Turn Intention into Action; Get Out & About
Measures: FitBit steps; FitBit activity tracker; New Things list; Mini-adventures list
|Arts & Crafts shows; Local Festivals
Break a sweat – Yoga; Zumba; SUP
Walk & Talks
Eating out; Wine with friends
|Go bike riding
Call someone to walk
Go to Jungle Jim’s
Plan next trip
Book next mini-adventure
Explore YouTube – Yoga by Adriene
Explore YouTube – Sugar workout
Do an Artist Date
Find a book club
Yes, this list satisfies the planner in me who’s learned she needs planned spontaneity. Having this list (printed in my morning journal) helps me immensely on days when I’m feeling at loose ends.
So finishing out this year? It started on a challenging note (cancer treatments) but there were many other retirement lifestyle milestones. We sold our large house and settled nicely into our downsized one, even if it’s been a challenge to get grass to grow. I finished my book and it will publish early in 2019. I’ve passed the 2-year mark on blogging and continue to enjoy this community – reading and writing and interacting. Hubby and I did an Iceland trip (unfortunately my search for the Northern Lights was unsuccessful – this was a long term bucket list item too), visited with my family, and did 3 trips to Florida plus planned of our first snowbird experience. I’ve continued many of the activities I’ve come to enjoy in retirement, and continue to look regularly for mini-adventures. I still struggle with feelings of Compare & Despair (they are doing it great and I’m not), a feeling I should have a bigger life purpose, and worrying about the “should”.
My new quote of the year is definitely:
The vision is not the path. The path is not the journey.
Create the vision. Plan the path. Live the journey.
My tools help me create a vision for my retirement lifestyle, lay out the path to achieve it, and then live every day as a joyous journey of life.
What tools do you use to help you live your journey?