As I reflected on my previous years’ adventure list goals, I noticed that there were still adventures left on my list by the end of the year…and that’s ok.
When I was provided with the opportunity to cross something off my list, I took it. Some of my adventures that weren’t on my original adventure list were later added and then crossed off along the way.
It’s important to recognize the moments that are once in a lifetime, that you can only experience if you take action, at that moment, that time, that place.
Why I Try to Live Without Regrets
If you have been a reader of mine for a while, you know that a big motivation for me to live to the fullest is because of the death of my brother and mom. (“Why Death has made me want to live”)
A conversation with my mom on her deathbed has also fueled me.
In her final weeks of life, she shared that she had always wanted to go to Hawaii…but it was too late for that now.
You have to understand that she was full of life but the circumstances of taking care of my brother for years, all four of my grandparents at various points in time, and her own cancer chipped away from her time and zest a bit.
During my mom’s final months, she began painting again. She was an incredible artist but she had a new challenge. Her right arm had cancer in her bones which made tasks extremely painful. So she took up painting with her left hand.
Her paintings created by her non-dominant left hand displayed more talent than I’ll ever know. In her final weeks, she shared her talent and her prayers with those she came in contact with.
No More Excuses
So let’s take on this year and let our challenges become opportunities to be intentional to still seek adventure when we can, while we still can.
Time and health are not guaranteed for anyone.
1. If you want to do something bad enough, you’ve got to overcome the fear of going alone
Several of my most popular pictures over the years were from explorations by myself.
It gave me time to think, be grateful and FEEL ALIVE.
For example, there is a historic cemetery in our area that I love to walk and take pictures of.
I also love to take photo-walks downtown because street art always puts a smile on my face.
You may not always have someone available to go with you, so why not test the waters and try going alone?
There are also some adventures that you can only experience solo, like the time that I jumped off the Stratosphere.
That was a moment!
It doesn’t always have to be so extreme. It could be as simple as riding your bike on a “new to you” trail.
2. Do it Scared
Confession: I’m actually kind of a wimp.
I’ve become braver over the years but I was definitely a late bloomer.
I didn’t even start riding REAL roller coasters until I was in 8th grade! I’ve progressively gotten braver/crazier over the years as I’ve gotten older which doesn’t make sense.
Each time has given me more confidence for the next BUT there always has to be a FIRST TIME.
I wasn’t very confident and struggled to keep up with the guide… but I did it!
3. Don’t put limits on your dreams
You don’t have the extra income for some of your goals.
That’s where creative “FUNancing” comes in.
One of my all-time favorite quotes is
“If you want to do something bad enough, you will find a way, if not you”ll find an excuse.” -Jim Rohn
How many times do we talk ourselves out of something that we want to do?
Sometimes it’s timing, but other times it’s just because we don’t want to put the work into it or budget for it.
Most of the time it’s easier to make an excuse than to make a plan.
I admire the people who travel the world for months at a time (like Connie) because they decided that the experience trumped the excuses.
Many years ago, I was able to get last-minute tickets to see Oprah Winfrey tape a live episode with members from “The View.” That moment was once in a lifetime.
Those people gathering together during the last season of Oprah’s show was an experience that could not be replicated.
There were logistical challenges on my end to make it happen.
My friend lived 6 hours away at the time, the kids needed childcare arrangements, and there was a short window of time for us to make it happen.
We figured it out and I have no regrets.
There was a bit of a financial sacrifice too but again I have no regrets because we recognized the value of that moment.
4. You are not too old to start
Ok, so there are some things that you can’t go back in time to do.
Like little league or becoming a gymnast if you are 35 …..but there is so much you CAN do.
A few years ago, I took a snowboarding lesson for the first time. I was concerned about being too old to start.
I FELT OLD compared to the kids that I saw on the slopes.
My snowboard instructor told me something that shattered that mindset. He said his oldest lesson-taker was in his 80s!
80’s!!!! He valued challenging himself to experience new things over the excuse of why not.
Don’t limit yourself based on the number of times you’ve been around the sun.
5. Don’t allow fear of looking stupid to stop you
I look stupid all the time, and I’ve come to embrace it. I actually enjoy laughing at myself when I try new things.
…Like the time I was the only one in our group who wanted to do the crazy hot sauce challenge. I was bound to look stupid but I had been training for this moment.
It’s crazy to expect that you will be good or perfect at something the first time that you try it.
I’m scared or intimidated to try A LOT of my adventures but each time I face my fear, I have more confidence for the next thing.
I’ve even witnessed that in my kids as they face their fears and also don’t put limits on their dreams.
We’ve been blessed to share so many incredible experiences that they truly do believe the sky is the limit.
6. Find people who get you and who challenge you to dream BIG
I have people in my corner who understand me, encourage me, and push me when my insecurities begin to hinder me from moving forward.
They get me and how I’m wired because they also share the wanderlust gene.
I don’t have to explain my desire to travel to more places or try more adventures because they are actively seeking more adventures in their lives too.
There will always be people who don’t understand me. They don’t understand why I’m constantly seeking adventure all the time.
Some of those people may even be closest to me, but that doesn’t stop me.
I can’t let their disapproval or misunderstanding of my motives stop me because I’m more concerned about their opinion.
I would have missed out on so many incredible experiences over the years if I would have paused to filter whether I thought everyone would approve.
I’m choosing to enjoy and live my life to the fullest.
That can look different than other people’s visions and that’s ok.
Going back is not an option.
7. When you step out of your comfort zone, you make comfortable people…uncomfortable
When you see someone go for a goal, it challenges you to evaluate what your doing, question why you haven’t gone after your dream, and lean on excuses.
I have a friend that has lost a lot of weight.
Observing her transformation has challenged me to think about what is getting in the way of my healthier lifestyle goals..time, laziness, and excuses.
What you do with that uncomfortable feeling is what matters.
Do you step up and improve your life or do you try to sabotage and bring that person down so that you feel more comfortable?
It happens all the time. Sometimes people might not even realize they are doing it to someone else.
Use that uncomfortable feeling to bring positive change.
8. Stay Curious -Add to your list all year long and be open to new experiences with different subcultures
So many incredible experiences that I had this past year were not on my original list. Be curious about people and places around you. Ask them about their adventures.
I found out about a Wolf Encounter years ago from a conversation with my friend Heather.
We added it to the list and we later experienced it.
Some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met were from subcultures of hobbies that I normally would not come in contact with.
Write Down the Adventures You Want to Experience
There is something about taking the time to write down what you want to do and the satisfying feeling that comes when you get to cross it off.
I recommend having BOTH a local adventure list and an adventures away list.
You can refer back to the list when you have extra blocks of time or want to plan ahead.
You can either download and write down your adventure list on paper or keep a running tab on your phone.
I use the notes area on my phone to keep track of local adventures and adventures away. I can check them off as I go and also add to them when I get suggestions.
9. Opportunities Take Action. Your List is Individual. Live Your OWN Dream!
Should is a lame word because it implies feelings of guilt and shame.
What are your interests and talents?
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Don’t allow comparison with another person to keep you from becoming the best you!
For example, cooking is not something that I’m naturally passionate about.
I LOVE to eat great food, but I don’t have a passion for creating incredible meals.
Unfortunately, I still have to cook for my family, I can try to make the best of it, but I’m ok with not being amazing at it.
When you are passionate about what you do, the work doesn’t bother you as much.
I put A LOT of hours into this blog, but it’s something that I LOVE! It motivates, intimidates, and challenges me all of the time, but it’s my passion.
10. Set Goals BIG and small and share the experience with people you love when you can
ALWAYS have something to look forward to.
It could be as small as taking the time to drink your favorite coffee in front of your favorite landscape or taking the time to plan a game night.
Don’t just wait for a special event or vacation once a year to look forward to.
Find beauty in each day and always have something on the horizon coming up soon.
I wouldn’t have dreamed that I would be able to cross off so many adventures this past year.
I’m continuing to add items to the list because I didn’t do all of last year’s adventure goals.
I still have so many incredible memories from adventures shared with my family and friends because I set goals and took advantage of opportunities to accomplish them.
One of my favorite things to do is share a first-time experience with someone.
It could be something as little as sharing someone’s first time riding an electric bike.
There is magic in the firsts.
“Shoot for the moon and if you miss you are still among the stars”
Even if you don’t achieve all of your adventure list goals in a year, you can still create a lot of incredible memories.
Remember “A Goal is a dream with a deadline.”
Don’t let time get away from your dreams.
What’s on your “shoot for the moon” list?
What should I add to mine? Who wants to join me?