30/12/2013 10:19 GMT | Updated 01/03/2014 05:59 GMT

The B425 List: An Alternative to New Year's Resolutions

There I was, 21 and curled up on my sofa, staring at a computer screen. I was procrastinating. Again. I was trying to find a break from my university dissertation and had spent the past hour or so just video-hopping on YouTube. I'd just watched a video from a YouTuber that I liked where she and her friends went canyoneering. I'd never even heard of canyoneering. I felt something within me deflate like a sad balloon. I wondered "Why can't I be doing fun things like that?"

Then, some lost voice within me piped up saying "But of course you can!"

I turned my mind to the things I wished I could be doing. It was certainly a nice way to procrastinate. I then started to write down the things I wanted to do in life, the things I wanted to achieve, and very soon The B425 List was created. Named the B425 List, after the P45 list that you receive when you finish working somewhere, seemed apt as I was about to finish my work at university. I needed to know that something good was on the horizon. I wrote them out as a list of things I wanted to achieve before I turned 25. Whilst writing it I found the 30 Before 30 project and took inspiration from lists that other people had written. Once done, I found myself able to get back to work instantly.

My list includes entries like:

  • Take up meditation
    • Stand out in public with a 'Free Hugs' sign for at least an hour just to spread some joy. Maybe do it to raise awareness of/raise money for a charity that helps with mental health.
  • Take up belly dancing
  • Write a song and put it out there. Get together with other musicians to create some original music and release it into the world.

  • Visit at least one of the following places, at the very least: New Zealand, Australia, USA (preferably for a road trip style holiday), Canada, Spain, Ireland. If you hit more than one, even better.

...and many more. You can read the full list here.

I'm 21 now, 22 in a matter of weeks, and I've already started on ticking things off of my list. I'm so glad to have all these goals. What started as a mere exercise in positive thinking is something that is going to continue steering me towards happiness and rich experiences. My hopes are that I'll grow old knowing that I didn't let life and experiences pass me by. I'll know that I went out and actively sought happiness and fulfilment. When I turn 25 and have hopefully ticked off everything on my list I shall simply sit down and write another for the next five years of my life. I'm hoping to vlog my experience on YouTube.

So if you're scurrying around to try and think up some New Year's Resolutions why not also write a list of things to do over the next five or ten years. Have goals specifically for 2014 but think and plan what you want in advance for the next chunk of your life that lies ahead. Set yourself a bunch of goals, begin to plan and start thinking about what you want from your own life. Who knows? It could be exactly what you've been missing...