Resolutions, Bucket Lists, Hopes And Dreams

I’m already two weeks behind in my resolution to make some New Year’s resolutions.

This is exactly why I shouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions.

running out of time for resolutionsIt seems that I’m not alone. Yes, we all have goals and dream to be the best version of ourselves. But one grand statement of action, commencing on January 1st and likely cast aside by January 18th may not be the best way to inspire ourselves.

The brilliant and hilarious Lin Brehmer from WXRT radio in Chicago summed it up best in a “Lin’s Bin” piece about New Year’s resolutions.

Lin’s advice?

One should always wait at least a week before implementing new year’s resolutions because by that time, the impulse will have passed and we can all continue with our lives unencumbered by the sort of promises so ridiculous that we can only make them to ourselves.

Check out Lin’s entire essay here.

So what to do, then?

Yesterday in yoga class (by the way, returning to yoga class would have been one of my resolutions for the year – Yay for me!), a gal mentioned that rather than one big resolution for the year, she breaks it down into monthly plans.

Keep it simple, she advised, but keep it up so that the resolution becomes a habit and one builds upon the next. Theoretically, by the end of the year, she will be practicing 12 new behaviors which she feels will mark improvements in her life.

Not a bad idea.

In the blog world we hear a lot about picking a word which will act as inspiration for the year.

One of the best I’ve read so far comes from my friend Dana at Kiss My List.

Dana’s word of the year:


As in, embrace yourself – flaws and all, embrace your friends and family with warm hugs and, yes, even embrace the challenges that might come your way this year.

As I told Dana, any word that means both “a hug” and “to accept” is pretty powerful.

Here’s to a 2016 with more hugs and more acceptance!

Then there is the whole concept of a bucket list. A compilation of all the outlandish things that you’d love to do but the successful completion of which is unlikely or nearly impossible.

Another blog pal, Eli from Coach Daddy, introduced me to the concept of a reverse bucket list. (Giving credit where credit is due, Eli learned about the reverse bucket list from Tessa of Nothing Was Said.)

A reverse bucket list is made up of all the things you have already done that are pretty darn amazing. Sort of an itemized list of your accomplishments to remind you how great/lucky/blessed your life has been thus far.

I’m definitely going to create a reverse bucket list and will refer to it whenever I need a little boost.

My very favorite notion in the personal goal setting genre, however, is one I learned about from my daughter, Annie. Again, giving appropriate snaps to the original source, Annie got this idea from her dear friend Heather.

Heather created a list: 30 by 30. Thirty things she wanted to accomplish before turning 30. She crossed off the last item as she spent her 30th birthday on Machu Picchu. Pretty impressive, eh?

Annie wanted to give herself a little more time, what with having a full-time job and a one year old, so she made her list 35 by 35. Many are things she wants to do as a family with her husband and son. None involve a trip to South America.

I like this idea of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), recording a list of all those things I’ve said, “someday I/we should do this”.

Nothing crazy. I’m going to treat my list not as a high-bar challenge but rather as a reminder of experiences I’d like to add to the story of my life.

My next big birthday is coming too soon to have that as my target date. Accomplishing 60 tasks in 21 months seems a bit ambitious and might cause me to temper my dreams.

So I’m going to make mine 65 by 65.

I’ve decided to break my list into categories. I will set my sights on things to do, things to see, things to learn, things to try, things to taste, places to go and people to meet.

I will let you know when I’ve come up with the entire list and keep you posted on my progress.

Of course, this entire conversation will be moot if I win the billion dollar powerball jackpot. Just sayin’…

How about you? Did you make resolutions? Choose of word for the year? Any suggestions for my 65 by 65 list?

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Thanks for stopping by!


  1. You have several great ideas and points to ponder here. The reverse bucket list is quite compelling and I’m almost afraid to start for fear of seeing mundane accomplishments like “I am a great brusher and flosser.”

    My resolution this year was a specific skill I want to learn; baking the exact biscuits my Grandmother did. Don’t laugh, it’s harder than you think, and on top of that, I’ll gain ten pounds trying.

    Thanks for the inspiration and good thoughts. I’m going to check out some of the links you provided.
    Leslie Anne recently posted…Comment on Mary B’s Tea Biscuits by MoMy Profile

    • Trying to replicate Grandmother’s recipe is always a daunting task and surely a noble goal! Don’t sell yourself short re the reverse bucket list. Check out Eli’s post for inspiration. It reminds us that the little things in our lives can be the most important.
      Mo Lux recently posted…Chimney Rock Rocks!My Profile

  2. I do need to refresh my memory on my own reverse bucket list. It’s easy to let the day’s rubbish wipe the shine clean off of life. Thank you so much for including my post in this!

  3. Can’t wait to see your list – I like that idea!

  4. Mo, these are all such great ideas and tweaks to setting a resolution on January 1. That feels a bit like celebrating love on Valentines with red roses and baby’s breath, wearing red to dinner out and a stuffed animal. I’ve tended on the last couple of years to reflect and set goals on my birthday. It’s my personal marking of another trip around the sun.

    I love the reverse bucket list idea too, for the precise reason you mentioned. And the twist from your yoga instructor to make monthly plans feels much more approachable to me.
    Barbara recently posted…Who shares your dream?My Profile

    • I’m hoping that writing down my reverse bucket list will help me to come up with my 65 by 65. I love your idea about making my birthday as the landmark date rather than January 1st. Surely I should be able to develop my full list of 65 by 65 by October!
      Mo Lux recently posted…Chimney Rock Rocks!My Profile

  5. Am embracing the fact that I’ll be participating in one of your goals in the not to distant future! Tee hee! Still pressing that fast forward button …
    Kelly L McKenzie recently posted…Show Me How To MoveMy Profile

  6. I’m so glad you liked my word – thank you so much for the shout out, Mo. I would include something on your list that you have always wanted to learn how to do. I’d love to see your list – I’m sure it will be inspiring!
    Dana recently posted…And the word of 2016 is…My Profile

    • Learning to do new things is something I need to challenge my self with more. But it’s also one of the many things I love about having the blog since I’m constantly having to figure out how to make things work!
      Mo Lux recently posted…Chimney Rock Rocks!My Profile

  7. Last year I chose a word, but since I forgot it about two weeks into the year, I’d have to say it didn’t work any better than making a resolution.

    When I was doing my original blog (completing one new activity every day for a year in anticipation of turning 50) I kept an Excel spreadsheet with ideas for things to do and activities I’d completed. I still refer back to it now and then and try to add things as I think about them.
    Kathy G recently posted…Time To De-LurkMy Profile

  8. I don’t make new year’s resolutions or bucket lists, because I don’t need any additional stress or pressure in my life.
    Could any of these items be on your 65 by 65 list: Run in a 5K race, learn how to bake bread, eat in a 3-Michelin-star restaurant in France??

  9. Love the idea of a reverse bucket list!
    Nina recently posted…Dropped By Their Couple FriendsMy Profile

  10. We’re going to make a whole new list when we’re in SLC!! Something like 3 glasses of wine in 30 minutes… etc. Woohoo!!! Can’t wait!

    • Other goals: go the entire weekend without getting kicked out of class, latch onto a couple of sweet young gals who will take us under their wings for social media contests and make friends with the hotel bartender.
      Mo Lux recently posted…Chimney Rock Rocks!My Profile

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