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  • Natalie Williams

A Beginner’s Guide to Happiness – Step 5

“A great accomplishment shouldn’t be the end of the road, just the starting point for the next leap forward.” – Harvey Mackay

Welcome to step 5 of my series “The beginners guide to happiness.” In my last post I shared 5 tips to help improve your self esteem. In step 3 I listed 30 things I have control over in daily life. In step 2 I challenged everyone to start shifting their thinking to a growth mindset. Step 1 was a simple task of writing down all the things that make you happy on an A4 piece of paper (Click here to see mine.)

I’m going to assume that we have all heard of a bucket list but just in case you haven’t here is a super quick explanation as to what it is. A bucket list is  when you write down all the things you want to do before you ‘kick the bucket’ (a.k.a. before you die.) Every now and then you might tick of a couple of things off your list or even add to it.

A reverse bucket list is a collection of all the incredible things you have already achieved and is the perfect addition to your current bucket list or even to have on its own. A 2015 study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology looked into how “grateful recounting” enhances a person’s overall well-being. The study showed that participants who recalled three good things from the past 48 hours–and briefly wrote about them–every day for a week had an easier time accessing positive memories. And by routinely recalling positive experiences, it sparked an increase in their subjective well-being.

To make this list you need to shift your mind into one that focus’ on reflection and gratitude which can be quite tricky. We have unconsciously programmed our minds to be rather negative so you may find yourself writing down an achievement only to have your inner bully belittle you, so you cross it out. The key is to not let that inner bully get to you, once something has been written down it stays there! NO EDITING!

Think of a reverse bucket list as an exercise in grateful recounting and soak up all of the benefits!

So now its time to make your own “Reverse Bucket List.” Find a space free from distractions and take some time think about your life so far. Below are a few questions to get you started and I have included my own “Reverse bucket list” for some inspiration.

  1. What have you accomplished?

  2. What are you proud of?

  3. Where have you travelled?

  4. Who have you met?

  5. What goals have you achieved?

  6. What experiences have you had?

  7. What makes your smile?

Click here to get your own PDF download that you can start using today!

Once you have written your list take some time to embrace your experiences and take pride in your accomplishments. Celebrate all of your efforts and be grateful for all the opportunities you have been given so far. Use this list as inspiration for when you feel low and as a reminder that you CAN achieve amazing things.

Are you going to make a “Reverse Bucket List?”

Thanks for reading and make sure you share your smile with the world today ☮

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