January Bucket List Life Dare: Habits for the Dream Life

For 2016 I plan to read two books each month.

Habits for the Dream LifeThat’s not all I plan to do. And it’s not even really a bucket list goal. But setting that intention for the year, I believe, is going to be pivotal to the realization and enjoyment of most of the bucket list goals I hope to accomplish over the next twelve months.

Why is that? I have two main reasons for making reading a priority for this year:

  1. It means developing a regular habit and habits are one of the surest ways to reach your goals. I’ve learned over the past few years that small steps taken on a regular basis build up to big goals achieved. I’m always on the lookout for what day-to-day habits I need to incorporate that will bring me closer to the life I want to be living (habits for the dream life). I noticed last year that I was missing the joy I’ve always gotten from reading. I love to read books, but had let other activities displace that (like mindlessly surfing online). I want the joy back on a daily basis.
  2. Reading stimulates learning and growing, which also happen to be part of living out bucket list longings. And while we can’t all be achieving bucket list goals every day, we can be moving toward them through learning and growth (often, by reading). I have so much I still want to learn and experience. My bucket list reflects that. But with what I hope to accomplish in 2016, I can see where spending time reading in advance of going out on adventures can make them more meaningful. For example, I’m taking my husband to Italy this year for our anniversary. Understanding the history and the significance of the art and architecture we’ll encounter will bring more life to what we’re seeing. I also feel like I’m not as engaged with social justice and being compassionate toward the poor and oppressed – something I hope to remedy in part through reading.

This month’s bucket list life dare isn’t about creating a reading plan for 2016 (although if you do, please chime in. I’d love to hear what’s on your list). It’s about building a habit that brings you closer to living your dream life.

So think about it. What is one simple action you could take every day that will do that for you? If you don’t have any ideas, why not use the step-back approach (it’s one I turn to on occasion for finding a starting place toward a big goal)? Here’s how it works: choose a big goal – something you would like to achieve or a way of living you want to reach. Then ask yourself, what would you be doing just before you reach that end state? And what would you have to do right before that? Keep stepping back to the previous action until you get to where you are today. Then make that first step the one you will choose for this month’s goal.

The January Bucket List Life Dare: Choose a habit that will lead toward a life goal. Practice it today. Then repeat each day for the rest of the month.

Photo by Kate Williams on Unsplash via CC License.

  • http://everydaymomlife.com/ Emily Neal

    I love this, Lara! My goal is to read or listen to one book each month. (I’m thinking of subscribing to Audible now that I have bluetooth in my van!) I would love to see the list of books you want to read. I’m looking for some ideas.

    • http://www.larakrupicka.com/ Lara Krupicka

      I love listening to books while I drive (especially with a commute several days a week now). I’m currently listening to Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn. I’m reading the paperback version of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. Both are very good. Here is the rest of my list, so far:
      Overcomer by Audrey Sampson
      Faking Balance by Lela Davidson
      Rising Strong by Brene Brown
      Justy Mercy
      A Concise History of Italy
      10 Travelers’ Tales of Italy
      The Hole in Our Gospel
      Girl in Translation
      The Kitchen House
      A Tuscan Childhood
      Born For This by Chris Guillebeau

      That leaves me room to add new books as they are released. And I’m always open for suggestions!

      • Sue LeBreton

        Loved Faking Balance- have handed it to a girlfriend (see I did like the odd book in 2015). Will be interested in your impression of Rising Strong-took me well into the book before I related- liked her previous books better. I also really enjoyed Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert- think the podcast may even be better than the book- another listening idea while you commute.

        • http://www.larakrupicka.com/ Lara Krupicka

          Big Magic is going on my list then! Thanks, Sue!

  • Sue LeBreton

    I have not put a number goal for 2016 but have said I will give myself permission to read more. 2015 I felt like most of the books I read fell flat, so am hoping for some books to fall in love with this year.

    • http://www.larakrupicka.com/ Lara Krupicka

      I’m not surprised, Sue! :) Have you read The Night Circus? That was one of my favorites that I read last year. I’ll be curious to hear what you end up choosing to read this year.

      • Sue LeBreton

        I have not read that but have heard good things about it. Thinking I need to keep a list so at the end of the year I remember what I read!