How to use a reverse bucket list to build your new year’s resolutions

Happy new year!

I’m sure a lot of you have already figured out your new year resolutions by now (maybe you already broke them?…). What are you planning to accomplish this year? Your hopes and goals? Are you looking to do anything better this year?

This year, I decided to base my resolutions on a reverse bucket list.

When coming up with resolutions, it’s easy to look at the failures of the previous year and focus on what we could be doing better. Don’t get me wrong, that’s an important exercise in itself. Self-awareness is how we become better people, better partners, better parents.

But it’s also important to celebrate our accomplishments and realize that we’ve probably done a lot more than we think!

What’s a reverse bucket list?

I know you’re aware of what a bucket list is: things you’d like to do in your life – which can range from eating at a famous restaurant to climbing Mt Kilimanjaro.

A reverse bucket list is an exercise in gratitude. Essentially, you list everything that you’ve already accomplished. Highlighting the positive in your life can give you a great confidence boost and make you all-around happy! Starting the year with the negative can make you feel like you’re starting from scratch.

It’s all about perspective!

Jenn over at The Art of Better gives a great short step-by-step guide to building your reverse bucket list.

What about the resolutions?

Once you’ve build your reverse bucket list, making it a point to focus your resolutions on the things you already love doing will help you stay motivated.

For example, if you went on a hike last year and loved it, you can add “I want to hike more” or “I want to go on 5 hikes” to your list. You could also check off the “exercise more” box that everyone’s got on their list this time of year 😉

For me, the key to resolutions is not to overwhelm myself. I don’t have to add 10 things to my list. I’d rather focus on one or two things that I know I’ll accomplish throughout the year. And then next year, when I build my reverse bucket list, I’ll see that I’ve most likely accomplished a lot more than what was on my list. 

Below I share four top items that are on my reverse bucket list and how I use some of them to plan my 2019 resolutions.

I gave birth to another human being

I would say that this was definitely the highlight of 2018. Giving birth is quite the experience and I can’t believe I did it a second time. The little bundle that came out of it has brought me one of the greatest joys of my life!

We took the two kids to Disney World

With the right expectations and an exit strategy, we had such an amazing time and won’t hesitate to go on a trip with our two young kids again!

In 2019, I don’t want to be stuck in the house because I’m too scared to take the kids out. Simply remember: plan ahead, set expectations, have an exit strategy.

I got comfortable with baby wearing

This might not seem like much for some moms, but baby wearing is definitely something I’m proud to have done in 2018. I was so intimidated by the whole thing with my first. But now, I can’t imagine my life without a baby carrier for my second! We decided not to invest in a double stroller. 7 months later, we haven’t needed it because of baby wearing.

For 2019, I’m hoping to move on to the back-carrier so that I can go on more comfortable hikes with Little N while I’m still on mat leave.

I went on a solo hike with my newborn

We are lucky to have such great trails in the Outaouais region that are so close to the city. Last summer we took the boys on a few hikes (including one brave solo hike with my newborn) and the whole family loved it! In 2019, I’m hoping to discover at least 2 new trails!

Once you’ve got your list done – make an inspiration board to remind you of the things you’ve accomplished and to inspire you for this year’s goals. Hang it in a common room or somewhere you can see it often!

How are you grateful for 2018?

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