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Bucket List 

The New Year brings new beginnings. Even if last year was a difficult one and there does not seem to be too much to look forward to, or if life seems to be too busy to enjoy.

To-do lists can be a helpful way to organise tasks and to feel more in control during times of anxiety and overwhelm. Although it can seem as if as soon as we finish one to-do list, there is another one waiting to be written!

A reverse bucket list is a re-energising alternative to an exhausting to-do list. Reverse buckets lists were described by Lyne Dorling in her book ‘Ageing Rewired’. The idea is that we list the things that we have done, our adventures and achievements and strengths. For example, have we come through difficult times? Or have we been there for someone, and what are special moments we have shared with the important people in our lives?

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Questions that can help to get the reverse bucket list going include:

What significant roles have I played in my life for example parent, friend, volunteer?

Where have I shown resilience and strength which has helped me get through difficult times?

How have I maintained what’s important in my life or tried new things?

Focusing on our unique answers to these questions helps us to feel more positive and contented. They foster a sense of gratitude and help us to focus on what we have already achieved, and what is important in our lives.


When to write your Bucket List...


Birthday and the New Year are good times for writing a reverse bucket list, alongside any other life events that draw us towards writing our stories. After a milestone birthday this year I wrote a reverse bucket list to reflect on my journey over the last decade. It was amazing to see my journey in this way. I noticed the changes in my work life, relationships, and family. There has been the trauma of the pandemic that we have all shared and the changes that this has brought to our lives, as well as other loss and change through a whole decade of living.

The world seems to have opened this year and I have been lucky enough to visit some lovely places. However, if I had completed my reverse bucket list for just the years of COVID I would have had much to write about resilience, adapting to new circumstances and the importance of different ways of connecting with others.


Telling our stories. Reverse bucket lists can be shared with others as a way of expressing our life experiences and building a coherent narrative of what has been important in our lives. Sharing with our loved ones offers opportunities to build resilience, connection and focus on where we have been, what we have done, and how we have felt. I hope you give it a go and I know that it is something that I will enjoy doing as a reflection on each New Year.



Contact Debbie on: 01480 473472

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