The most recent list I wrote was a special one, and I can't remember exactly what prompted me to write it. I made a list of life goals, a bucket list, if you will.
I've made lists such as these ones before and although I have achieved some of my tasks since the last time I wrote one of these lists (eg run the Race for Life, give blood), I realised that some of the tasks I was setting myself didn't fit in with the mindset and frame of mind I wanted to be in. I set myself goals such as achieving an A in a particular subject, as opposed to just passing that subject. I set myself a goal to recover, rather than allowing myself minor slip ups and relapses, realistically, they're going to happen and I need to accept that. That perfectionist aspect of my personality which writes compulsive lists struck again as I set myself goals placing too much pressure on myself and some of which are entirely unrealistic. Matching to my ideal of perfect. Three years on and I've realised I can't be perfect, no matter how much I strive for it, so I need to strive instead for goals and ambitions that I want to do which are achievable and that will make ME happy, not pleasing the ideals of someone else.
I had been thinking for a good two weeks for goals and things to achieve before I processed them into written form. This time, I've simply put 'pass my BA Honours degree in English Literature' as opposed to 'pass my BA Honours degree in English Literature with a first class honours' and that symbolises, for me, how far I've come and how I understand now that not achieving what everyone else has makes me a failure.
I really enjoyed making my list. I wrote down things I had always wanted to do, or learn, or be, no matter how small, stupid or insignificant to anyone else that it seemed. I haven't written things down because they're the norm to write on bucket lists, such as skydiving or skiing in the Alps, just small dreams and ambitions of mine that are perfectly achievable if I put my heart, mind and soul into it.
There can be a danger with these kinds of lists that by focusing too much on the future, you are spending your time not living in the NOW. But by making my list relatively small and achievable, it means I get to place some focus in the present of things that I want to be doing to make my future brighter. And there's nothing wrong with that.
I will be adding to my life goals list as well, life progresses of course, but below are just a few of the ideas I had. It may change through time, but that's okay.
I really urge you all to make some lists of your own. Whether they seem small or insignificant or you feel like you don't have enough on your list, just write it down anyway. It could be anything, from places you want to visit, your dream career, starting a family, things you want to learn/do, anything that you want to do. Look back at that list and if you are struggling with mental health problems, think about how many items on that list you would be unable to achieve whilst battling your depression, or anxiety, or eating disorder, or whatever you struggle with. Writing this list reminded me that life is out there to be lived and I can't waste any more years fighting these beastly illnesses no longer!
Below is my list, you can also access it to the right hand side of the screen on my pages where more frequent updates will be taking place. Enjoy, and PLEASE comment below to tell me some of your life goals and aspirations!
· Marry Nathan
· Complete my BA Honours Degree in English Literature
· Learn to play the guitar (well)
· Run Thames Valley for Mind
· Run the London Marathon
· Have something published (article, novel, journal, etc)
· Visit – Canada
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World
· Pass my driving test
· Go camping
· Learn a martial art
· Own a dog
· Inspire somebody
· Watch a Shakespeare play at The Globe
· Learn how to ice-skate
· Write a song
· Volunteer for as many charities and organisations as possible
· Make an inspiring speech
· Start a project
· Go to a big festival (Glastonbury, V, Reading)
· Launch a book blog
As I say, I have plenty more to add to this list, but the none of the activities on my list are unachievable as of yet and I want to keep it that way. I want to live life to the best of my potential, and you should all do the same.
Have fun writing your lists, I look forward to hearing them!