Category Archives: Goal Accomplished!

Stories of my accomplished bucket list goals, always with at least one resource to help you do the same

2017 Bucket List Year in Review

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I’ve never really made New Year’s resolutions, but every year, I do make a list. It has the bucket list items I accomplished during the previous year (2017), and a subset of items to work on for the current year (2018), as a way of both reviewing and looking ahead.

In 2017, I went to Alaska on a cruise, completing two things on my bucket list (I’ll add links as I write the posts).

I also made a little progress on two long-term list items:

And… I did a few more things that were bucket-list worthy but not actually on my bucket list (added to the retrospective list), but for the first time since 2003 (when I started my list) I didn’t add any new items.

I’m kind of disappointed in myself, both in my progress and in how little I made new dreams. I feel like this has been a year where I didn’t really focus a lot on personal goals and I think I felt it. (It’s kind of like a closed-in, stuck feeling.)

Also, I didn’t really spend as much time on the blog as I wanted to, but I think these things were pretty cool (and after writing this list I now see why I didn’t have as much time to blog!):

Most popular post:
This year, the most popular post on the entire blog was “Writing letters to strangers” (in case you want to feel warm fuzzies: based on search terms, it seems a bunch of people suddenly wanted to know how to write encouraging letters to perfect strangers!)

Fewer, but higher quality posts:
Overall, I wanted to write fewer posts, but focus on making them more interesting and/or more useful. I’m particularly proud of the one about me facing my fear of spiders.

Couldn’t do it without help:
I’m so grateful for all the support! Some posts were possible with the help of groups like the Woodland Park Zoo (read: Tarantulas feel like puppies) and the Western Montana tourism board (read: I wrote off an entire area as “not for me” but I was wrong). Other posts, like the interviews and the 4 Steps to Accomplishing Your Goals series were made possible by people willing to share their stories with me (and you). And of course, a blog without readers is really just an online journal. So thank you for reading!

Writing in other places:
This year I had the opportunity to write or be featured in several blogs and online magazines, both for professional and bucket list/travel related writing. Here are some of my favorites:
Learning to Love the Lobster Roll in Boston – Lyf&Spice
What To Expect When Going To A Plant-Based Burger Joint – Seattle Greenlaker
7 Tips for the Best Stargazing – All Mom Does

Facebook group:
I enjoyed seeing the growth and camaraderie in The Goal List Community, a group of people who love travel and goal accomplishment. We had discussions, did the Intentional Life 5-Day Challenge, made a crazy round-the-world itinerary, and even had a virtual coffee date! I’m excited to see where we go in 2018 and beyond. Join us today!

The 2018 Bucket List Subset

In the past, I’ve chosen a subset list of 10 items for goals I want to give myself a little extra pressure to finish before the year’s over. But this year, I want to choose just two, not because those are the only two I’ll do this year, but because they seem doable given all the other (non-bucket list) things I’m planning on doing.

So, here’s the (very short!) subset bucket list for 2018:

  • Plan a plus one event
  • Complete a photo project

What’s on your bucket list this year? Let me know in the comments!


Join The Goal List Community, a free Facebook group for those who love bucket listing, travel, and goal achievement, and want to support and be supported in their goals and adventures. As mentioned, we do lots of cool things throughout the year!

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2017 Bucket List Subset + 2016 Review

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As part of my New Year tradition, I make a list of the list items I accomplished in the previous year, and I pick a subset of items to work on for the current year. This past year was especially fun because in one road trip I did 5 things on my list. I’m also happy that although it wasn’t an official list goal, I had a personal goal to post something at least once a week on this blog for the whole year – and I did!

In 2016, I accomplished these 8 things from my bucket list (I’ll add links as I write the posts):

  • Learn to surf
  • Live in a mansion (I stayed one night each in two separate mansions during the road trip, so not really “living there” but given the likelihood of it actually happening, I’m counting it)
  • Go on a road trip with friends
  • Go skydiving
  • Visit Hollywood
  • Have coffee with a stranger
  • Learn a magic trick
  • Make a Youtube video

This is still in progress:

  • Learn Japanese and visit Japan (started learning in preparation for Hokkaido trip, but actually went before I was functional in the language)

I also did many more things that were bucket-list worthy but not actually on my bucket list (added to the retrospective list).

And I added 5 new items to my bucket list this year (and one’s already done!):

  • Learn to fence/sword fight
  • Make a YouTube video – Accomplished! See link above
  • Learn to do the splits
  • Stay in an ice hotel
  • Complete a photo project

The 2017 Bucket List Subset

Every year I make a subset list of 10 items for goals I want to give myself a little extra pressure to finish before the year’s over. The purpose is to move me closer to the chosen goals, even if I don’t complete them that year. These aren’t the only goals I work on during the year, and they may not even be the most important goals to me. They also don’t include any goal I know for sure will happen this year (that’s almost like writing a to-do list with things you’ve already finished!)

So, here’s the subset list for 2017 (as with my full list, some are hidden until I complete them, and this is in no particular order):

  • Ride in a train (travel by train)
  • Act in at least one movie
  • (hidden)
  • (hidden)
  • Eat rabbit
  • Ride a motorcycle
  • (hidden)
  • (hidden)
  • Get a sponsor for at least one thing on my list (click here for general inquiries)
  • Learn to do the scorpion pose

What’s on your list this year?
If you have a list or bucket list blog of your own, please let me know in the comments!


If you’re excited about joining me on this journey, click here to join the Insiders list, where you’ll get summaries of blog posts, cool surprises and printables throughout the year, invites to insider-only online events, and chances to be featured in the blog.

3 Easy magic tricks to impress friends, family, and strangers

magic

I remember doing a magic show for my family when I was young. I pulled candy out of an empty paper bag by layering two bags and placing the candy between them, showing the empty inside bag, then reaching between the bags to get the candy in the outer bag. It was super obvious, but my parents were happy to humor me by being in the “amazed” magic show audience, and while my brother wasn’t impressed with that trick (“I saw you have two bags there. I know how you did it”), he got candy so he didn’t mind too much.

Now that I’m older, I’d like to be able to have a few tricks that I can do with common objects and regular playing cards, because then when I travel I can do them as an ice breaker.

So… Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: step right up to read about the Incredible Shelly’s masterful tricks:

{Click to quick jump to your favorite trick, or continue reading to learn them all}

Read all the magic tricks