We hear so much today about ‘living your best life’ that, without the benefit of age and wisdom, it would be easy to imagine that everyone around us was managing to do exactly that.

In fact, the clue in the phrase is in the word ‘your’. Quite simply, understanding what triggers off those unexpected feelgood moments really is a personal thing.

In fact, as we age, most of us realise that happiness comes less from those big events and more from the small achievements and minor changes we make to our lives, but there’s still no such thing as one size fits all.

So, the first step has to be investing in some serious soul-searching to find out what makes you tick. Start off by thinking carefully about your existing hobbies and interests and whether there are any skills you have always wanted to develop.

Try to also identify what sort of environment you feel most comfortable in, how sociable you are, and how much you enjoy being nudged out of your comfort zone.

After that, creating a feelgood list is a wonderful framework for moving forward. Items need not be expensive or too time-consuming. Remember, you can always add, edit, and delete!

Activity and Adventure

Hot air balloon flights, zip wire flights, and parachute jumps crop up over and over again on traditional bucket lists. But remember, a mountain climb doesn’t necessarily need to involve Mount Kilimanjaro.

Set your sights slightly lower, say, on the Alps where a hike on Mont Blanc may still be challenging and will certainly be unforgettable.

hiking the Alps

Better still, you can also squeeze in a ride in the gasp-inducing Skyway Mont Blanc cable car, often dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World – the perfect add-on if visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the World is already on your list!

Learn a New Skill

Learning a new skill at any age is so satisfying, and excellent for our mental and physical health. Challenge yourself by learning a new language or instrument, perfecting your baking skills or growing fruit and vegetables. Mastering yoga, resurrecting a talent for painting, and discovering a love of wild water swimming are all worth a try.

Revisit the Past

Are you curious about where you come from? Researching your family history can be absolutely fascinating, and the results are a wonderful gift to hand down to future generations.

Or what about reconnecting with an old friend? While we inevitably leave friends behind as we move through life, getting in touch with someone – or a group of people – with whom you have precious shared experiences might leave you wondering why you ever went your separate ways.

Another way to step back into the past is to revisit old haunts. Go back to childhood locations with a sibling or friend, or perhaps organise a surprise trip for your partner to a place that is special for both of you, such as a honeymoon destination.

Treat Yourself to a Decadent Experience

If you adore good food and wine, there are so many ways to indulge this passion. Although you may be limited at the moment by local restrictions, can you enrol in a local cookery class or splash out on a fabulous meal? Thinking further ahead, why not start planning a foodie-based trip?

For example, our Tuscan Harvest trip isn’t just about hiking – you’ll also get to dine in one of Italy’s few 2-Michelin star restaurants and finally learn how to cook perfect al dente pasta.

Creative Experiences

Getting started on a creative project, whether it’s re-decorating your house or landscaping your garden, can be hugely rewarding. It may even be as simple as planting a herb garden. Or, although not something you can do yourself at home, think about blending your own wine or designing your own fragrance.

We like to think of these feelgood moments as little spikes that punctuate our daily lives, so less of a bucket list and more of a series of experiences to look forward to and, once accomplished, be proud of.

That way, the list never ends – simply keep adding things as your interests develop and feel free to delete them from the list when something more inviting pops up!

Are there any feelgood moments or experiences you would particularly recommend to others which have brought you happiness in 2020? How important to your wellbeing is learning new skills or taking on new challenges? Do you have a feelgood list of things planned for 2021? Please join the conversation.

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