Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Sharon Cain
Time for Life Correspondent
1:01 AM 24th February 2024

Not Living Your Life Your Way? - What's The Delay?

Follow your dreams, not the crowd: Images by Steve Hare
Follow your dreams, not the crowd: Images by Steve Hare
Spring - when blankets of daffodils and crocus burst into colour and stretch towards the sun - is a symbolic period and the perfect time to revisit your bucket list.

Aptly named because it sets out what you want to achieve, see, and do, during our precious lifetime, a bucket list can be life transforming in many ways.

Our Time for Life Correspondent Sharon Cain, who swapped a deadline driven lifestyle for one which has included climbing Ben Nevis, camel trekking in the Sahara and ascending new heights in a hot air balloon in Turkey - says there’s no time like now to follow your dream.

If it’s Written, Its Real

World Class monument: The Alhambra
World Class monument: The Alhambra
Every day our minds are bombarded by around 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts relating to work, family, dreams, goals and aspirations - all vying for our attention.

Never a great fan of making copious lists - and invariably missing things by not doing so, I now appreciate there is nothing more grounding than committing goals and dreams to paper to make them a reality as opposed to whimsical pipe dreams.

The wise words of Turkish author Sercan Leylek : “If it's not written, it never happened. If it is written, it doesn't matter what happened” resonate as a call to action.

There are no rights and wrongs about your list – providing it is realistic and achievable. A great framework I learnt when setting goals to meet business objectives is the SMART formula – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely.

This outline ensures your goals consider practicalities such as financial and health constraints to help prevent your bucket list being purely aspirational.

Alhambra: Transforming dreams into reality
Alhambra: Transforming dreams into reality
For example, the opulent and world famous Nasrid Palaces of the Alhambra in Granada had been on our bucket list for many years. A truly sensational monument, the Alhambra dates back to the eighth century, reflecting the glory of the Islamic Golden Age.

In the adage that the nest things are worth waiting for, the pleasure and excitement of absorbing its magnificence in every aspect including the magnificent gardens, was enhanced by the anticipation.

Our list had also included being swept up in the emotion of flamenco. The art form symbolising Spain originated in Andalucia which in 2010 was recognised by UNESCO as part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.

After a recce of Granada and the various shows being touted, we discounted the commercial and ‘gimmicky’ for one in a small intimate theatre setting. Powerfully passionate, we were transported into the world of the fiery performers who poured their hearts and souls into an emotionally charged show.

Where to Plan Your Bucket List

Be inspired by nature when making life plans
Be inspired by nature when making life plans
The outdoors is a great environment to think about what you want from your life, personally and professionally over the coming months, years and decades.

Make waves and follow your dreams
Make waves and follow your dreams
I personally find that walking barefooted on the sand is beneficial for feeling connected to the earth or being ‘grounded.’ Immersing yourself in the fresh air - whether by the coast, countryside or in the local park - is ideal for clearing your head and focusing on your goals.

If getting started sounds daunting, break down your bucket list into short, medium and long term plans. Start with bite size steps and consider what you want to achieve in 2024.

Open Your Mind – and Your Heart

Are sensational sunsets on your bucket list?
Are sensational sunsets on your bucket list?
A great lesson we’ve learnt is to grab opportunities while you can – because none of us know what lies around the corner.

In doing so, we’ve exceeded our wildest dreams and made lifelong, like-minded friends who have richly enhanced our lives and adventures.

The theme of the heartbreaking, poignant film Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman is about two terminally ill men on a road trip making their way through a wish list of things to do before they "kick the bucket".

For us, bucket lists are about the here and now. They’re about grabbing life by the horns and turning aspirations into reality - because there may not be a second chance.

In the countdown to the first day of spring on March 19, why not give yourself a deadline to compile your bucket list and plan your first adventure – whether it is a new hobby, learning a new language or a short break to somewhere you’ve talked about for years but not got round to booking.

We wish you every happiness, both now and in the future, in making your own unique and magical memories.