One of my favourite ways to cultivate gratitude is to make a reverse bucket list! In this post, I will chat a little bit more about what that entails and how it can boost our mental health!
The good ol’ Bucket List. We have all made one before in our lifetime. It is a to-do list with things we wish to eventually experience or achieve. It is so easy to set our minds free and dream of all the possibilities that are out there in our grand and beautiful world. I, for one, always encourage those around me to write all their goals and dreams down so that they can easily visualize their potential successes and achievements.
However, as the list grows year by year, we also grow older. The expectation of “checking things off” becomes more pressing and we suddenly feel as if time is running out. We start to undervalue ourselves and feel overwhelmed by all the “what ifs” and “maybe’s”. That is NO way to live!
“A bucket list is what you want to do; a reverse bucket list is what you’ve already done.” – Marelisa Fabrega.
We spend so much time focusing on what we haven’t done, what we don’t own, and who we haven’t met that we don’t spend enough time reflecting on what we have achieved so far. We lose sight of all of the opportunities and experiences that have already passed. We constantly are striving to do more and be more every day, but it is important to take a step back and be grateful for what got us here today.
I, for one, do not quite enjoy talking about myself or what I have achieved so far in my twenties. Sometimes, I even catch myself belittling my accomplishments or comparing my successes to others! If you are like me, you understand how unhealthy that can be to our mental state and mindset. However, when I came across the notion of a reverse bucket list, I made one for myself and instantly felt better about who I am and what I have experienced so far in my lifetime.
Making a reverse bucket list is easy. Grab a piece of paper and some colourful pens, and start writing down things that you have accomplished so far that you are proud of. Size and impact do not matter. Write anything down from places you have travelled to, things you have seen, people you have met, events you have been to, and even things that you bought for yourself! You can put it all on one big list or separate it by years – it’s up to you how you want to design your reverse bucket list! Once you are done, take a moment and look back at all those memories you have made. THAT is the blueprint for your life.
TIP: If you want to dive a little deeper, write down under each “reverse bucket list item” why it makes you feel happy and appreciated! How did it help you grow into the person you are today?