Wanting to inspire yourself? Here are some great ideas for simple but effective lists to make – they will help you gain perspective and motivate you.
Have you ever written a really satisfying list? Not a boring ‘to-do’ list of chores, or a list of what you need from the supermarket.
But a list that motivates you, makes you feel productive, determined and challenged. A list that will fill you with confidence, inspiration and hope?
Because that’s exactly what the following types of lists will do for you.
You can write them as quickly as you like, or ponder over them. Either way, that can boost self-awareness and provide clarity and direction for an even more inspiring life.
1. A Reverse Bucket List
A reverse bucket list is great for building confidence and for reminding yourself of what you are capable of. Because sometimes, we can easily get caught up in a lack of motivation or a swirl of self-doubt.
But every single person has accomplished great things in their past – sometimes we just need to write a list of them in order to remember them!
So, jog your memory of all the great things that you have done and seen, places you’ve been, things you’ve overcome and goals or accomplishments you’ve achieved so far in life.
Have you completed exams, high school or a university degree? Have you saved for a prized possession or an overseas trip? Renovated a home, moved across the country or stood up for your beliefs? Have you lost weight or completed a 5km? Written a great short story, maintained amazing relationships or are you raising kind children?
It doesn’t matter what these ‘things’ are – big or small, they should be included on your reverse bucket list. You may not have even felt like a big deal at the time, but you know when you look back that you are proud of it – so write it down!
2. A Bucket List
Now that you’ve looked back…. it’s time to look forward.
What are the things that you still want to do, see, places to visit, things to overcome, goals or accomplishments you want to achieve?
Be brave and bold.
Do you want to see a certain balance in your bank account, raise children, swim in every ocean, learn to salsa or travel around the world? Get a promotion, write a book, go on a shopping spree, be mortgage free or donate 25% of your income to charity?
You will get the best success with this if you write quickly and without filtering or thinking about limitations.
Done correctly, this list should make you excited and motivate you! If not, you probably need to stop filtering yourself!
3. A Happiness List
Happiness is an inside job. Despite things that you can’t control, you still have an enormous ability to control your own happiness.
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The purpose of a happiness list is to write down all the things that work for you in boosting your own happiness.
Does spending time with your pet improve your happiness? Baking a cake for somebody, calling a loved one, meditation, reading every night or getting your nails done? Or does a swim in the ocean, a walk in the fresh air or a gym session boost your happiness?
This is a unique list for you, but an enormously powerful list and one that is often overlooked.
Life isn’t always cupcakes and rainbows, but the process of physically writing out this happiness go-to list will increase your self-awareness and the next time that you need a little boost, you can refer to it and proactively alter your own happiness.
4. A List of What You Want to be Known for
There is nothing like considering your own death, to inspire you to improve your life. It may be morbid, but thinking about what you would like to be known for can improve your self-awareness and allow you to focus on how you truly want to be living your life.
Do you want to be known as someone who was generous, kind, enthusiastic, loving, supportive, honest, caring, strong, etc? A great mother, a great friend, a thoughtful family member, a hard worker, a disciplined person, a loyal partner?
Write down all the things that you want to be known for in your life, and then think about how you can live your life more in touch with these types of values. It can be a game changer.
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5. A List of Things You Need to Complete
Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I write a list.
A list of everything that needs doing, that is outstanding or incomplete. It’s therapeutic and helps your brain to really chill out. Because all the constant, competing demands on us can sometimes get a bit too much. And leave you depleted of inspiration and motivation.
Think of it as a brain dump or a list of things you have been putting off. And off. And off.
Because it was too hard, too boring or confronting? These are usually things that aren’t extremely urgent, but they need taking care of before they become urgent.
Do you need to chase up that insurance paperwork, finish your taxes, organize your paperwork, backup those photos? Make an apology or clear something up?
Write them all down in one list and get them out of your head by reassessing the importance of them – can they be outsourced, completed quickly, scheduled or crossed off?
Your brain will thank you for it. And as you get some of these checked off, you will find your motivation soar.
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6. A List of Habits You Want to Start and Stop
We all have habits that have crept into our lives that we would really like to stop. Or new habits that we would like to create. To better ourselves.
Even by writing your bucket list above, you will become aware that in order to actually do these things, then there are some habits that need to start or stop in your life:
e.g. travelling around the world will be hard if you keep exceeding your budget, and a marathon will be harder to complete if you smoke cigarettes, eat junk food for breakfast and don’t do any exercise.
The purpose of this list is not to have all the answers right now, but to simply write down all the habits that you need to work on. Deep down (or not so deep), you will know what they are, so again write these out quickly and without filtering.
Related Post: How to Set Up A Habit Tracker
Now that you have these powerful lists written, take a break (but not too long) and then come back to them to start putting them into action!
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