HTWYL: Never Set Goals

I remember how excited I was as we bought our tickets. Sitting in the car, watching the sky curl into itself as the stars began to pop out, just before the massive screen illuminated our faces with a soft flickering glow. To anyone else, it was another night at the drive-in theatre. To me, I was in awe of living one of the things I never thought I would get a chance to do in my life.

It may sound silly, that going to a drive-in would mean so much to me, and I don’t know that I had a reason for why I wanted to go so badly, but after more than two decades of wishing, I was finally accomplishing something my heart just really longed to do.

I bet you have dreams like this too. Things you’ve always known you would love to experience but assume you’ll never get the chance to do. It might be as simple as going to a drive-in, it might be as difficult as climbing Mount Everest, it might be traveling outside of the country or trying a new food.

Something I’m learning about myself, is that when I dream about the things I really want to do, they stay right there, in my dreams. But dang it, those lists I make about getting the laundry done and going to that meeting, those things get accomplished. So how do we close the gap on that disconnect between dreams and doing?

My reaction is to say, “make a plan, and go do it.” But I think that is a few steps beyond the actual starting point. For me, it all begins with writing it down. Admit those dreams you have within yourself. Solidify your hopes in ink (or in pixels on a screen if that’s more your style). There are some heavy repercussions from seeing that whisper of a hope actually documented in front of you.

So go do it, right now. Write down one thing, just one thing, you’ve always wanted to do. It doesn’t matter how insignificant or how outrageous it may seem. Just write it down.

I’ll wait.

I’m serious. Go. Write.

[Insert Jeopardy music here…doo DOO doo DOO, doo DOO doooo…]

Have you got it? Great! Do you know what you just did? You turned your dream into a goal.

Now, don’t let yourself be overcome with pressure. Goals aren’t completed overnight, some take a lifetime, but you’ve just taken that first step that almost all of us fail to do. When we don’t turn our dreams into goals, we have zero chance of ever completing them, but that simple act of writing them down creates a snowball-effect of action that is hard to be ignored!

And yes, things happen and you may not get a chance to complete your goal, but you’ve already gotten so much closer by merely writing it down. That’s the first step of planning!

So keep that goal within sight; the more you see it, the more it’ll sink in as a goal instead of a dream. Eventually, you’ll come to a place where you don’t just wish for it, but you can’t exist without completing it. That’s when the real planning starts.

That’s where goals turn into action. That’s where dreams become done.

Go. Do. Live.


So what got me here?

A few other bloggers have posted their bucket lists online. I was inspired to create one of my own. There have always been dozens of things I have wanted to do in my life but I never felt like I would actually accomplish most of them.

The mental transformation I have experienced through merely putting these hopes into words on a page has been astounding. Seeing these dreams in a list, somehow makes them seem more within my reach. I am inspired to make my dreams a reality in the story of my own life, instead of resigning them to an, “oh, I’d love to do that,” in response to someone else’s actuality.

So I wrote down my bucket list. Or at least, what I could think of so far. I doubt I’ll ever stop adding to it. And I’m going to share it with you, because I think the second step after goal-making, is to have accountability. So what follows is my current list, and I will be posting the entire list on a page of its own, so you can see when I add to it and check things off.

I’d LOVE to hear what dreams you have turned into goals today. I would LOVE to hear if you have a bucket list and what you’re putting on it and what you’ve already checked off. And I would LOVE to hear what your thoughts are about the things on my list. Please take the time to leave some comments–y’all inspire me so much!


My List of Bucket-Type-Things:

  1. publish a book
  2. run a marathon
  3. see the pyramids of Giza
  4. explore Ancient Egypt190667_502925478287_9701_n
  5. travel to Israel
  6. hike the Grand Canyon
  7. go to Mardi Gras in NOLA
  8. have kids
  9. buy a house
  10. change someone’s life
  11. complete a triathlon
  12. do a missions trip abroad
  13. go surfing
  14. backpack through Europe
  15. see the northern lights
  16. ride a camel
  17. scuba dive
  18. travel to every continent [Progress: N. America, Europe, Africa]
  19. go on an African safari
  20. visit all 50 states [Progress: PA, NY, NJ, ME, MA, CT, RI, DE, MD, VA, WV, NC, SC, OH, FL, IL, MI, LA, TX, WI, MN, SD, MT, WY, CO, AZ, UT, ID, WA, OR, CA, NV (+ DC)]
  21. run a 7-minute mile (fastest on record was 7:14 in middle school)
  22. take an creative writing class as an adult10384045_889785283137_6140438575799060774_n
  23. indoor skydive
  24. go to a rodeo
  25. see a Broncos game at Mile High Stadium
  26. go to a Super Bowl
  27. ride an elephant
  28. ride in a helicopter
  29. be able to say, “I love my job,” and mean it
  30. run a Spartan race
  31. walk on the Great Wall of China
  32. stay in a castle in Ireland
  33. run a 5k in every state [Progress: PA, NJ, NC]
  34. travel to 100 countries [Progress: US (I count this because I have intentionally traveled the US as I would countries abroad), Canada, Mexico, England, Germany, France, Monaco, Ghana, Romania, Hungary]
  35. go water skiing
  36. hike the Appalachian Trail
  37. help someone else cross something off their bucket list
  38. help someone else write a bucket list
  39. ride in a hot air balloon (more than a tethered ride, which I have done)
  40. read a new book every week for a year
  41. visit a concentration camp
  42. bike 50 miles1377401_450904851676812_1453830808_n
  43. go on a cruise
  44. be part of a food fight
  45. attend a beach bonfire
  46. see Pompeii
  47. ride in a dune buggy in the desert
  48. ride in an airboat
  49. learn a third language (more than a few phrases)
  50. see Mayan ruins
  51. go cage-diving to see sharks
  52. see a volcano
  53. relax in a natural hot spring
  54. make pottery
  55. attend a foam party
  56. see a flash mob
  57. ride a mechanical bull
  58. set a world record
  59. see a shuttle launch
  60. get a professional makeover
  61. get a deep tissue massage1928947_507508971227_6820_n
  62. get out of student loan debt
  63. make pasta from scratch
  64. have afternoon tea in England
  65. complete a 1000 piece puzzle
  66. attend the olympics
  67. attend an NBA game
  68. learn archery
  69. skeet shoot
  70. go snowshoeing
  71. race go karts
  72. ride a jet ski
  73. ride a segway
  74. ride a tandem bike
  75. attend a luau
  76. climb to the top of a lighthouse27295_10151257481650662_2061848649_n
  77. explore the rain forest
  78. sleep in a treehouse
  79. go rappelling
  80. walk on a glass beach
  81. hike to the hollywood sign
  82. tour the white house
  83. see an opera
  84. see a ballet
  85. see the Sydney Opera House
  86. see Starry Night in person
  87. tour the Colosseum
  88. tour the Taj Mahal
  89. visit Vatican City
  90. see the leaning tower of Pisa
  91. release a floating lantern227147_563360835347_7993752_n
  92. see Stonehenge
  93. visit the Roman baths
  94. go to the British museum
  95. stargaze in Northumberland
  96. tour the Tower of London
  97. ride in a gondola in Italy
  98. attend an NHL game
  99. go to Disney in CA
  100. see a solar eclipse

Things that would have been on my list, except I had already done them before writing it:

  1. swim with dolphins
  2. road-trip across the US
  3. go to Africa
  4. read the entire Bible
  5. do a Tough Mudder
  6. run a half marathon
  7. shave my head (something I always joked about but never thought I would actually do)
  8. move to another state
  9. get married30021_531471516797_756919_n
  10. have coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde in NOLA
  11. go to a drive in theater
  12. drink moonshine
  13. go paddle boarding
  14. hold my own in paintball
  15. ride in a limo
  16. get a tattoo
  17. ride a rollercoaster indoors
  18. celebrate a holiday in a different country
  19. fly first class
  20. go wine tasting at a vineyard
  21. go on a trip by myself
  22. see a Broadway show
  23. have coffee in the original Starbucks in Seattle
  24. see the Mona Lisa in person
  25. tour a slave castle in Africa33406_534349968357_31725_n
  26. hike Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park
  27. tour D-Day beaches in France
  28. go to Disney in FL
  29. see a comet
  30. watch a lunar eclipse
  31. learn a second language
  32. watch a sunrise on the beach
  33. go snorkeling
  34. kayak 80 miles down the Delaware River
  35. go horseback riding in Wyoming

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