I was recently a participant at the Healthy Aging Conference – Taking Control of Your Life, hosted by the UCLA Longevity Center. Since I am a boomer and a senior, Dr. Gary Small, Director of the UCLA Longevity Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, thought I would be a good a good candidate to serve on a panel titled Bucket List: Setting and Focusing on Goals.

Needless to say, I was excited about speaking on a subject that would be important to boomers and seniors as they continue to develop a healthy mental and physical lifestyle.

Identifying tools for creating and executing a plan for lifelong vitality and setting up a personal Bucket List are fascinating and sometimes perplexing.

You all know that life doesn’t come to you; you create the life you want and deserve. And I’m pretty sure every human on this planet wants to live life to the fullest.

We Need a New Way of Looking at Aging

As a motivational speaker and yoga and meditation instructor at UCLA, I was 24/7 concerned about maximizing our human potential. After all, isn’t that idea the centerpiece of our lives?

When I speak to audiences, I like to shake up the myths about growing older and turn those perceptions upside down. Aging requires a different mind-set about engaging in the exciting opportunities ahead of you.

What’s on Your Bucket List?

The concept inherent in the bucket list is that life is not always about what happens to you, but life is about what you do with what happens to you.

It’s about making choices that claim the highest level of your well-being and that includes having the ability to realize your dreams and passions no matter your age.

Let’s face it: we’re living longer and the idea that boomers or seniors are going to sit around participating in some ancient retirement ritual is simply not applicable or relevant in the 21st century. There is a new sense of freedom knocking at our door.

Use these 5 Tools to Build Your Own Bucket List

I suggested to the audience five simple, effective tools to ascertain and prepare for selecting that all-important bucket list. I was sure everyone in the audience had entertained these five tools at some point, but perhaps they hadn’t thought of using them in the context of what was most important to them in life.

If we spend some time getting to know ourselves, our capabilities and desires, the choices we make to fill our bucket list will be the right choices for us. Remember not to limit your thinking.

Here are the 5 suggestions that I mentioned:

1. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude and create inspiration and positive energy for living.

2. Be vulnerable and recognize vulnerability as a way to create and innovate.

3. Learn to adapt and seize the opportunities for growth and change.

4. Find your passion and never limit yourself by conforming to someone else’s idea of who you are.

5. Practice forgiveness as a way of releasing negativity in your life.

So take the plunge and make a list that is perfectly outrageous and meet me at the top of Kilimanjaro where I’ll be doing a headstand!

What’s on your bucket list? Which of the 5 suggestions for building a bucket list did you find most helpful and why? Please join the conversation.

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