We fuel our bodies with food, our minds with education and our hearts with love, but new experiences and dreams can nourish our spirit in ways that nothing else can. Whatever your goals or dreams are, there are benefits to turning them into an experience list, a well-crafted one can push you to lead your version of an ideal life.
“Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”
Many people will live their entire lives without having any idea as to what they really want. They will follow societies conventional expectations of getting married, working the same office job for the next twenty years, buying a home and having children – all without giving it a second thought because that is just what they are “supposed to do”. But, if that path is not their true passion then life will end up leading them, instead of them leading their life.
That’s why every quarter, I create an experience list using Trello, then try and plan as many of those things in as I can. Having things to look forward to in life is *important*. My experience list contains small things, simple pleasures, things I can still do despite what’s happening around in the world (in this case, Covid).
Things to look forward to can look like:
- Visit a local landmark
- A day of baking + tunes
- Cook a new recipe from your favourite cookbook / cooking channel (my favourite is Pick Up Limes)
- A “favourite things” day
- A day of doing nothing, just simply be
- A day walking along the beach and listen to an audiobook
- A day dedicated to my personal / business growth
- A SPA Day at home
- Create a book-themed retreat at home – I’ve got two books I really want to turn into experiences, one is ‘Your Dream Life Starts Here‘ by Kikki K and ‘Simple, Soulful, Scared‘ by Megan Dalla-Camina.
The process of writing an experience list (not a bucket-list) forces you to take a close look at what it is you truly desire, to analyse where you are versus where you want to be. It very well may be the career, children and home, etc., but it may also be something entirely different.
When sitting down to contemplate what your future will look like, your dreams and what type of experiences you want to have will be brought to the forefront. By asking yourself what you truly want, setting goals and consistently reexamining your goals, you gain self-knowledge that will propel you in the right direction.
Leveraging anticipation and anticipatory joy are often greater than the joy brought to us by experiencing the very things we anticipate. Anticipatory pleasure is so important to my sense of well-being, in fact, that I now plan my life in such a way that I almost always have something to look forward to. For me, this can be finishing an interesting blog post, curating content for my Instagram, recording a podcast episode, going to a movie or a play with Khushi (these days it’s planning a proper movie night or afternoon at home), reading a good book, getting errands done, decluttering and organising my home.
I’ve learned the activity needn’t always be meaningful or significant or be large – just something I look forward to, even a little bit. What’s something you could plan to look forward to?