Make Your New Years List – Bucket List Vs Resolutions Vs Goals ?

I’ve got my long-term life list (of things big and small that I want to do throughout my life.) Then I’ve got my annual goals list, which in fact very likely does not resemble a “bucket list.” These are the things that I want to experience and achieve in the coming months.

Make sure those goals tie into your overall happiness and ideally your mission in life if you know what that is.

The world now knows how Steve Jobs would look in the mirror and ask himself if he would do what he was doing if it was his last day. Who knows if it is–and when you live with intention, you won’t be quite as stressed out…because you’ve lived your life with meaning till that point.

Life List vs Bucket List vs Resolutions vs Goals

First, let’s cross resolutions off the list.

The problem with resolutions is they’re just so darn negative. They are always about “not” doing something or un-doing something.

Bucket lists have to do with dying.

This whole expression came about from a movie. What do you want to do before you “kick the bucket?” It is simply your top 5 or so goals in life. The ones you want to look back on while lying on your death bed.

At first glance, racing through the desert or appearing on TV with your award-winning cupcakes may seem like the ones that will top the list.

But when you really think of lying on your deathbed, it’s very likely your thoughts will turn to topics such as the impact you had on the world and your family. How you shared and created love and good–such as in this photo when I randomly met this couple couch surfing the world and shared a rollicking pizza with them at the Cheeseboard in Berkeley. The difference you made on earth.

(I make no claims about knowing the meaning of life, but it’s probably not for us to be able to go hang gliding or visit 100 countries.)

Instead make a list of Positive Yearly Goals (PYGs).

Ideally you have a long life list from which you will pick out some plum big ideas. Then add a few others to balance it out.

Think about all of your life dimensions: financial, relationships, health / fitness, work, fun, spiritual, learning / eduction etc. You might end up with a list that even combines some of them.

Make the goals very specific with the date and any other details for you to visualize the goal.

  • Find meaningful, lucrative work: Get a fulfilling leadership position with a minimum $90,000 salary within 25 miles of home, by January 31st, that enables me to use my talents in a fun, supportive environment where I am instrumental in helping the organization exceed its goals.
  • Feel hot and confident: Have a flat stomach and fit in my size 6 clothing comfortably, feeling healthy and vibrant, by January 31st by running 2 miles every morning, eliminating “white carbs,” and doing 30 minutes of core exercise a day and eating mindfully without distraction.
  • Create love and community connections: Be involved with Meetups related to my goals, volunteer, and offer my home as a community meeting space.

You might define bigger goals, with sub-goals as strategies for achieving the big goals.

Each of the above examples illustrates more the ultimate result with goals that will help you achieve the result you want.

For example net $200,000 after taxes and expenses. How are you going to do that? The $90,000 job is one way.

  • Set up a consultancy charging $400 per 3 hour session to do XYZ. (Along with this you would then need to determine how it would fit in with your job, how to promote it, etc.)
  • Rent 3 rooms for $50/day through Airbnb. Again, you’d need to detail out how the arrangement will work.

Whatever you do, make a list of things you really want to do not just that sound good on paper (or pixel).

Next Steps

happy 2016, the best year of your life!