Making a Life List: Put your Dreams to Action!


For the last year or two, I’ve been reading the blog of a woman named Maggie Mason, who has been encouraging the world to make life lists.

The idea behind it is simple: in order to live a full and happy life, you need to put into action plans to do and see the things that you want to do and see!

The first step for putting your dreams into action is to make them real.

So often, we see an epic trip to Africa or an annual celebration in Thailand and think “I’d love to do that.”

But then we forget, and we never go.

Writing it down can make it real in a way that just thinking about it can’t. Writing it down is a resolution. Writing it down is a plan for action!

Last year, at the behest of Maggie, I made my life list, and while I don’t have enough money for extended travel right now, I have been progressing through the smaller things.

And I know that this should not have been a huge revelation, but it totally was:

Doing things that make me happy has made my life better! More fun! Full of adventure and excitement!

All because I made a point of writing these things down and began focusing my energy on actually making them happen.

Not everything on my list is exciting and glamorous. “Learn to play backgammon” rubs elbows with “Go to Loi Krathong and Yi Peng festivals in Thailand.”

The things I have accomplished thus far have not all been big and life-changing. Some are tiny. Some are just for me. Some are for my husband. Some are for my health. Some are for my friends.

Things that I have completed and/or started thus far include:

  • I got a dog!
  • I purchased a bathing suit that is flattering and will last a long time!
  • I took 100 portraits of people I loved!
  • I got rid of 100 things! (and then I started on the next 100)
  • I began paying off my credit card debt!
  • I got health insurance!
  • I got glasses!
  • I had a clothing swap with my friends!
  • I passed Statistics!

Some of my goals are long-term.

For example, one of my goals is to send flowers to twenty of my friends for no reason at all.

So far, I have sent flowers to three.


These things all sound so simple, but I may not have done any of them if I hadn’t bothered to write the list, committing my ideas to paper (or at least computer screen) instead of letting them waft away with other fleeting thoughts.

Some of the bigger things on my list include:

  • Travel to Mauritius (a tiny island nation off the coast of Africa and the only known habitat of the now-extinct Dodo Bird)

There are a lot of things I want to do, and only one life to do them in!

So today, traveling ladies, I challenge you to make your own list!

It can be three things or three thousand! Dream big! Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t think you can do it, just write it down.

And don’t be mean to yourself.

These are things that are supposed to make you happy, not make you feel guilty. Have fun. Invite people over and make your lists together! And I want to hear all about it!

What do you want to do?


About Author

Kat is pretty awesome. She has spent most of her life in California, but has both driven and Greyhounded across the U.S., zigzagging hither and thither, come hell or high water, snowstorm or hurricane or heatwave. She is a Sales & Marketing Assistant by day in the heart of the tourist industry of San Francisco, slam poet and wife and superhero by night. You can check out her personal blog at


  1. Ooooh, I did two of your life list in 2010: stayed in Grand Daddy in Cape Town (it rocked!) and did the turtle thing in Borneo. Not the actual turtle park, but every dive we did, we’d see up to 20 turtles! And we happened to be there when a new group of them hatched, so we got to release them into the ocean. You can see some of them here if you’re interested:

    Also, I know Maggie. She lives near me in SF and we have mutual friends. Such a driven person!

    • That’s awesome that you know Maggie. She seems incredible, and I’ve only read her blog.

      Did you stay in the rooftop trailer park at the Grand Daddy? I have seen pictures of it and fell absolutely, madly in love.

      What’s on your list?

      • Get them first of all to manage to build porepr stable house on their own individual land, than get them into education, than ones the children are grown up, send them abroad to earn more money, than they can come back home and spend all that money on their parents, and fix up their villages with better planting systems and shops etc,avoid mac donalds and fast food chains in general

  2. I really needed to read this today! I’ve been having all of these ideas in my head about all the places I want to see and things I would like to do, but I’ve never managed to write them down. Just from starting a blog I’m realizing the importance of writing down all the goals you want, it makes them more concrete. I’m going to start compiling a life list (I totally prefer that name to bucket list btw lol!) today!

    • So exciting, Sheryll! I want to see your list when you’re done with it (not that you ever have to be done – just sayin’).

  3. I totally agree that it’s so important to write this stuff down and focus on them! I also wrote a bucket list awhile back and it’s been really fun crossing things off. Too bad I am always add more things than I cross off as I come up with new ideas!

    • get them into ediactuon and higer ediactuon and that will be thier success for life! thats defiantely 1 heck of a money making project that will be rewarding and successful and then they can be teachers and help others and pass down knowledge etc and work too. also, stop cheap labour. they are humans just as much as every other human in the world. no1 is superior than the other. not even the kings, queens and presidents!

  4. Pingback: Top 10 Reasons to Visit a US National Park

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