Bronnie Ware is a palliative nurse who spent years caring and counselling dying patients. She recorded their last wishes and when she questioned whether they would do anything differently, Bronnie noticed common regrets and themes surface again and again.
One of the most common regrets was recounting their unfulfilled dreams and missed opportunities. Quite often many of them regretted the things they didn't do rather than the things they did.
So often, people can live their lives with a 'if only' mentality. 'If only I travelled more, read more, laughed more, took more risks'. Instead of seizing opportunities to make every day count, they choose to live their lives waiting for 'someday' to arrive, only for a new set of excuses to show up causing them to live a life by default, not design.
Are you making each day count? Or are you guilty of living with a 'someday' mentality? Learning how to live a life with no regrets starts by transforming your state of mind:
Take a moment to press the pause button on your life and reflect on your existing regrets. If you could turn back the clock, what things do you wish you could or should have done?
Make a list of your:
I should have read those books that are sitting on my book shelf by now
I could have learnt how to play a new instrument
I should have travelled to_________
Seeing things in black and white is the fastest way to remind yourself of the things that you may be holding yourself back from, allowing you to consider transforming your mind set from 'if only' to 'I'll give it a go'.
2) Make a bucket list
Making a list of all of the things you want to do before you die is a great way to identify what you'd like to experience. It could be filled with smaller experiences like seeing your favourite singer in concert and learning how to cook a certain cuisine or with bigger goals such as advancing your career or moving abroad.
Make a list of 25 things that you would love to do! Doing so, not only helps you to have clarity, it also fuels you with inspiration to take action and make things happen!
What are the first things you are going tick off your bucket list?
3) Design a vision board
A vision board is a collage that is made up of pictures and phrases that reflect what you would love to create in your life. You can fill it up with images that allow you to visualise your dreams and hang it up somewhere that you'll be able to see it every day. Having a vision board somewhere close to you not only leaves you feeling inspired, it also exercises your mind to expand its focus and subconsciously move towards the things you want.
What will you put on your vision board?
4) Review your values
Your values represent your core beliefs and guide the life decisions you make which create the foundation of how you choose to live your life. Writing down your values is a great way to understand yourself and your choices better.
Asking yourself the following questions can help you to define your values:
What is important to me?
What drives me?
What are my priorities?
Notice what you've written down and whether your current values are in alignment with your actions. For example, if you want to run a marathon, do your current values reflect an emphasis on health and fitness?
Reviewing your routine to notice where and what you are spending your time on helps you to review whether you're moving towards or away from your desires, helping you to re-evaluate your priorities.
5) Take Action!
Everyday choose one action that moves you closer to whatever you want to do. If you want to read more, commit to reading for 10 minutes a day, if you want to travel more, consider where and when your next holiday will be.
What motivates me to take action?
What resources do i need to support me along the way?
When can I get started?
Whether it's on your bucket list or your vision board, every day take a small step towards the things you want. Turning your someday into today!
Along with making a note of the things you want to achieve, remind yourself of the things that you've already achieved. Celebrate how far you've come and give yourself a pat on the back for overcoming any setbacks and achieving your goal(s)! Celebrating your good news not only builds your confidence it can also inspire those around you to go after what they want too.
Make a list of all of the things that you're proud of achieving and remember that although it's great to know what you want for the future; don't let that stop you from enjoying the present moment too.
So what are you waiting for? No regrets living is about going after what you want so that you can make every day count.
"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make" ― Lewis Carroll