Balancing The Work/Life Scales

Most of us know about the importance of work/life balance. But, in the modern age of online business and smartphones, many of us are moving further away from the possibility. Instead, we hook our email accounts to our phones and open them as soon as we receive correspondence. We head online to check business social media and such. Before we know it, work eats into our free time.

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And, of course, this works both ways. Some people have taken the work/life balance to the extreme, and their work has suffered because of it. If you let your personal life into the office, it can’t be any surprise when your concentration isn’t as good as you’d like.

If you think you’ve fallen foul to either of these traps, it’s time to rebalance those scales. And, here are a few simple ways to do it.

Separate accounts for everything

In an age where many of us are responsible for our earnings, it’s increasingly tempting to merge accounts. Freelancers or business owners may decide to use their personal email for work. And, the same can be said for phones. Only having one is much more straightforward, after all.

But, these choices can prove catastrophic to that all important balance. After all, you won’t be able to log onto your email of an evening without dealing with business correspondence. And, when you take your phone along for business calls, a few personal ones are sure to slip through.

So, think twice before attaching your business email to your old Hotmail account. Instead, look into the separate business accounts offered by packages like Microsoft 365 Business. And, stock up on a phone just for business. You don’t have to go all out with this, as you’ll only be using it for necessary research and calls.

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Don’t take work home

If you’re in the habit of taking work home, stop. You may think it’ll only take a second to update the business Twitter page, but that’s rarely the case. The chances are that you’ll spend hours replying to customer comments. Instead, leave your business laptop at work. Try, too, not to memorize passwords. This way, there’s no chance of logging on at home. As such, you’ll be able to sit back and relax. If you never give yourself this downtime, you could easily damage your health, or burn yourself out. Then, you wouldn’t be able to work at all!

No personal correspondence through the day

And, remember, this works both ways. Don’t log onto your personal email account during the day. Doing so will only take your head out of the game, and leave you behind. And, when we’re behind, we’re more likely to slip into taking work home with us! For the same reasons, you should always avoid taking your personal phone to your desk with you. Leave it in your coat pocket if you want, or leave it at home. If you have your work phone to hand, going without shouldn’t be a problem.

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There’s Gold In Them There Hills: Finding Income From Property

As you get older, it becomes clear that to really secure your future and live comfortably, one job might not be enough. Those with real financial smarts look for other ways to find income. A second-job is one of the most time and energy inefficient ways of doing it however and just isn’t healthy for most people. Could property be the answer you’ve been looking for, instead?

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Becoming Mr. (Or Mrs.) Landlord

By far the most common thought when it comes using real estate as a source of income is to buy-to-let a property. It’s an industry as old as time and with more people turning to rental properties rather than buying homes straight-up, it’s a growing field with opportunities still out there for the taking. However, how profitable it is depends on how hands-on you are willing to be with it. You have responsibilities as a landlord that have to be fulfilled somehow. You can take care of maintenance, repair, advertising, and finding tenants yourself at little cost. Or you can choose to partner up with an agency that can do much of the heavy lifting for you. If you go down the latter route, make sure you get a thorough idea of how the agency works, not just in advertising, but the quality of tradesmen they use for repairs and so on.

In the biz

You don’t have to rent out to private individuals, either. Depending on where you are and the increase in new business, you could make more money per square foot by renting out space to business owners, as well. There’s a new industry growing around this as well. If you’re willing to run the building like a business and be thoroughly involved in its upkeep, you could run your own co-working space. Many freelancers and small teams that can’t afford their own property will instead come together to share a single working space. As a property owner, it offers you a broader market to target instead of relying on one income source.

Life’s a beach

The final rental property we’re going to look at is the idea of buying a vacation home. Vacation homes are significantly higher value than most other kinds of property. In time, its worth will likely increase so you can always rely on the fact that you can sell it even if it isn’t making much of a return through rentals. As popular as vacation homes can be, after all, they are largely dependent on the calendar. Most will not make even a fraction of what they earn when it’s “in season” for tourism in that particular location. Then again, there is the added perk of owning your own vacation home to use as you like.

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Good soil from growing

It’s not the most traditional option nowadays, but once upon a time land was most valuable because of the income that could be made from farming. There are still plenty of teams like Ranch Marketing Associates, LLC selling high-quality ranches that could end up being a valuable enterprise in their own right. There are more ways to make money from a ranch than by raising livestock or planting crops, however. You can run businesses on the side such as using it a tourist destination, using it to care for horses or rent them out for rides. If the land is picturesque, then that’s plenty of profit potential there alone. Don’t underestimate the value of good rural land.

Land with value

In general, don’t underestimate the value of land itself. When people think of real estate, they think of buildings, but sometimes the land can be significantly more valuable. If you’re able to get your hands on a large portion of land in the right place, it could be one of the most passive, hands-off forms of income you might ever find. As BWAB says, your mineral rights alone could make you a lot of money from oil and gas companies. Then there are other ways your land might be valuable such as logging offers if you own woodland or selling it to a real estate developer down the line. Of course, it’s not a good idea to buy land based on the speculation it might one day be valuable. It’s better to choose land that already has value, such as a ranch, with the knowledge that the volume of land might provide extra value down the line.

From flip to flip

Flipping houses is a high-risk, high-reward way to invest in real estate. It’s all about purchasing homes at well below market price, developing them, and selling them for a significant profit. Becoming a real estate developer takes a lot of work, so it’s not likely to be a side-gig or an extra source of income as opposed to a particularly lucrative main source of income when you get it right. But you have to know not only how to add value to a property or negotiate. You have to know the market with pinpoint precision, being able to tell which markets are up-and-coming and which potential buyers they best appeal to and how to target them.

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Get those dividends

Most of the examples above demand that you think of real estate not like any other investment, but rather like an asset that you use as a tool to make money or that you improve before selling. However, another way of taking a hands-off, passive income approach to real estate is to use investment platforms like Realty Shares to join up with other investors and developers. Rather than being responsible for the property yourself, you use some knowledge of the market to choose the right investments, often providing capital to a developer, and hoping for a return. Some people see it as a riskier move to make yourself less responsible for the property, but it’s a good option for those who don’t want real estate to take up too much of their time.

There are a lot of ways to supplement or even get your base income from property. Renting might be the most commonly used option, but it’s not the only one. Real estate is a broad market, with plenty of opportunities for enterprising minds. Could it be the revenue stream you’ve been looking for? Could it be where you thrive?

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10 Ways Your Job Could Be Damaging Your Health

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Your day job is more dangerous than you may realise. Whilst you may not have the imminent dangers that a firefighter or bomb disposal technician faces, there may be more long-term and hidden health risks within your line of work. Here are just a few ways that you could be doing damage to your health in the workplace and how to minimise this harm.

Sitting down too long

Got a nine to five desk job? Sitting down all day could be doing all manner of physical harm to your body. Too much sitting down can waste away the muscles in your stomach and cause you to get overweight. Those craning over a desk meanwhile can cause damage to their spine and neck over time, whilst constantly bent knees can lead to these joints getting affected. Physical inactivity all day meanwhile has been linked to cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

There are ways to combat some of these health risks. The simplest solution is to force yourself to get up more. This could include putting a phone on the opposite side of the room so you have to get up to answer it. There are even standing desks, which can allow you to use your PC whilst standing up. Another option could be to simply exercise more out of work hours. If you commute to your workplace by car but live nearby, you could even try walking or taking a bike. There even options whilst you’re at work – deskercises are exercises that can be performed behind a desk that allow you to stay active and can combat all the various health risks of sitting down all day. There all exercises out there for people with driving jobs that may see them sat behind a wheel all day.

Standing up too long

Those that don’t have a desk job and are constantly on their feet may also be putting their bodies at risk. Too much standing up can cause excess pressure on the hips, knees and ankles. This has been linked to musculoskeletal disorders such as heart diseases. Like sitting down all day, it can also cause heart problems.

Whilst these jobs may not give you the option to sit down frequently and take a break, there are still ways to limit the physical damage. Wearing comfy orthopaedic shoes can relieve the pressure on your joints. There are shoes in all professions that can ease this pressure. Heels are definitely not recommended for a job that requires you to be on your feet all day – these will speed up the damage to your joints. Taking the pressure off your feet whilst not at work can also help give your joints a rest (you can still do sat down exercises!).

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Noise exposure

Many jobs can leave workers exposed to high levels of noise which can cause hearing loss. Whilst some workplaces have to provide ear protection by law such as airports, construction sites and shooting ranges, other workplaces such as nightclubs and busy pubs don’t. Wearing ear protection is advised in any job environment which regularly exceeds 85 decibels, which includes nightclubs. If you don’t want to wear earplugs, you should at least consider taking a noise detox after every shift (i.e. not playing music loudly in your spare time or going to noisy places). This will give your ears time to recover and potentially allow damaged cells to rebuild.

Poor lighting

Working in a dimly lit environment can put a strain on the eyes and cause damage to your vision. This is especially the case with tasks that involve reading or looking at something closely. Contrasts in lighting can also be bad for the eyes. For example, staring at a bright computer screen in a dark room can cause strain.

Make sure that there’s always sufficient lighting in the work environment. As for computer screens, programmes such as Flux are useful to download, matching the lighting on your screen to the time of day to minimise the contrast. Try to minimise screen glare from the sun in summer as this too can cause eye strain.

Repetitive motions

Many jobs can cause people to develop repetitive strain injuries resulting in joint diseases such as tendonitis and arthritis. The most common RSI (repetitive strain injury) is tendonitis in the fingers as a result of too much typing on a keyboard. Many manual labour jobs may also come with their own unique RSIs.

Most of these repetitive strain motions aren’t easy to pick up until body parts start hurting. In cases, such as typing, it may be difficult to regularly take a break. There are programs out there such as Albion StopNow which can tell when to take breaks from typing to protect your joints. These breaks could be used to do other jobs such as using the phone, researching – or even doing some deskercises!

Poor air circulation

Poor air circulation indoors can lead to respiratory diseases such as asthma. With nowhere to escape dust and vapours from chemicals are more likely to enter the lungs and cause damage. Unclean air conditioning meanwhile can cause serious health problems and has been linked to the deadly lung disease Legionnaires.

An easy way to combat poor air circulation is to always keep the workplace well ventilated by keeping a window open. If the office faces a busy road, it could be worth fitting an extractor fan instead – this will stop pollutants from outside getting in the office. Air conditioning units meanwhile should be regularly cleaned out to avoid dust and dirt building up in them. Professionals can be called in to do this job.

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Unclean equipment

Many tools in the workplace can get regularly handled but never cleaned. These tools can often end up carrying bacteria which is spread amongst colleagues. This can cause illness to be easily spread. A common culprit is computer keyboards. All it takes is someone who is ill to sneeze on a keyboard and for another colleague to then use it. Computer keyboards meanwhile have been found to carry other bacteria as a result of crumbs falling between the keys and going mouldy, consequently causing illness.

It’s worth always giving such equipment a quick clean. It may even be worth giving your keyboard a deep clean once a year by taking all the keys off and wiping beneath. You can buy special cleaning kits for these items.

Chemical exposure

You don’t have to work in a scientist’s laboratory to handle chemicals. Many workplaces use chemicals for cleaning, although may not always use correct health and safety precautions. These chemicals can cause reactions in some cases that may result in rashes or respiratory problems.

You should always refrain from mixing cleaning chemicals and ideally use gloves when using such chemicals to prevent rashes on the hands. COSHH offer various health and safety laws concerning the use of chemicals – it could be worth talking to your employer if you do not think these rules are being put into place.

Too much coffee

Okay, so few jobs require employees to drink coffee. However, for many a regular cup of coffee comes part and parcel with the job. Too much caffeine however can cause high blood pressure, which can contribute to various cardiovascular problems. It can also cause dehydration and insomnia.

Try drinking less coffee throughout the day and more water. Whilst this may not wake you up like a hot cup of Americano, it’s far healthier and good for your concentration. Herbal teas may be a solution for those wanting a hot drink that’s healthy.

Work related stress

Constant stress at work is thought to be as bad for your body as smoking. Stress increases the blood pressure and leads to all manner of cardiovascular problems (it’s thought to be one of the biggest causes of heart attacks). It can also affect sleep and digestion, whilst muscle tension from being stressed can cause the body to feel tired and achy.

If your job is stressful to the point of being unenjoyable, it’s generally a good decision to find another job – even if it is well-paid your health is more important. If you can cope with the stress and otherwise find your job rewarding, it could be worth focusing on different ways to relax in your spare time. Taking a bath at the end of each day, drinking herbal teas, listening to music and meditating can all relieve stress. You should also consider how you get to work – commuting for many can be a stressful process that can often be made less stressful by taking alternative transport or doing a relaxing activity whilst commuting.

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Converting Your Home To Business Premises: 5 Crucial Considerations

When you’re in pursuit of turning your business dream into reality, you have to think big.

Successful entrepreneurs are all united by the driving force of their ambition. Faced with situations that others might dismiss as unworkable, true entrepreneurs are prepared to throw themselves full-throttle into trying to overcome the obstacles in their path– even if that means sacrifice.

Sacrifices Start At Home

One such sacrifice that many business owners find themselves contemplating is a need for business premises… and not having the funds to rent and outfit entirely new premises. It’s at this point that many entrepreneurs may decide to rein in their business plans, or do something different, but a good entrepreneur knows that there are always options to pursue. If their business absolutely needs premises, then they’re going to obtain business premises– whatever it takes.

Unfortunately, what “it” sometimes takes is the home of the entrepreneur. After all, their home is something they are already in possession of. It’s a physical space, with a backyard they can use for storage, and there’s an established gas, electricity, and water supply to the property. When evaluated from a business perspective, there’s plenty of benefits there to consider. It really might work.

The downside, of course, is that their home becomes their office, their workspace. They lose that thing so crucial to a good work-life balance; having their own space.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur who is struggling to afford premises, then you may find yourself considering converting an area of your home into office space. You may have wondered just how much storage you can fit in the backyard; and idly considered how you might need to adapt your property to suit business requirements. Would it be worth it? Is this a step you should take, or a terrible idea from the outset? Let’s dive deeper into the things you need to know when considering converting your home into your business premises…

Know The Difference: Working From Home vs. Premises Conversion

Many people assume that there is little difference between “working from home” and “converting your home for use as premises”. However, this is an oversight, as the differences are actually rather stark. Many people work from home; this requires no adaptation for the most part, just a working internet connection and a laptop.

Conversely, converting your home into business premises is far more detailed and laborious.

So you have to figure out which you really need. Here are a few circumstances in which converting to premises is suitable:

    • You need a space to host customers or clients. Most people who work from home don’t need this; if they do, on occasion, have to meet a client, they will arrange it at a local coffee shop/business venue.
    • Your business requires you to hold large amounts of stock. While it’s possible to run some small ecommerce-type businesses without converting your home, anything more advanced will require larger storage capabilities than the average home can hold.

 

  • You want to offer a retail space. Some people choose to convert an area of their home into a retail space. This happens for various reasons; not being able to afford conventional retail outlets, wanting to take advantage of a good location (for example, if their house is close to an area that receives a high volume of foot traffic) or just out of preference– it’s a pretty short commute if you live above the store, after all.

 

If you don’t need any of the above, then you don’t need to consider a full-scale conversion.

If, however, you do need premises for one (or more) of the above reasons, then read on.

The Legal Hoops: A Guide To Jumping Through Them

The process of converting your home for use as business premises is an extensive, time-consuming one, and the biggest time suck of all will be the bureaucracy you have to deal with.

There are so many different legal areas you need to consider prior to a conversion. Here’s a primer on the areas you will need to investigate, the companies you will need to contact, and the notification you will need to give to ensure your conversion is allowed:

 

  • Call your home insurance provider. If you’re going to change the nature of your dwelling, then your home insurance company needs to know. In all likelihood, you will require an entirely new home insurance policy; one that covers you for business as well as domestic use.
  • Call your local authority. This is particularly necessary if you’re opening up a retail space; you must have permission to trade from the local government. Obtaining this permission can be a long, slow process; you neighbors will have a right to register their displeasure at your plans, and you will need to prove you are insured for business usage and public liability.

 

  • Learn your codes. You’re going to need permission for a material usage change for your home from three coding sections: Zoning, Business Ordinances, and Business Licensing. Hopefully, your initial call to your local authority will have directed your queries in the direction of these offices, but you are responsible for checking this has happened.

If all of the above sounds worrying, well, that’s because it should be. This road isn’t an easy one, and it will take time to ensure you are fully compliant with local requirements. However, there are plenty of steps you would need to take to register for any business premises, so don’t be unduly deterred by the list above– just focus on the paperwork and make sure everything is in order.

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The Conversion Process: What Do You Need To Do?

When you’ve obtained all of the appropriate permissions, you now have to move into the conversion process itself. There are numerous areas you’re going to need to consider.

 

  • What rooms are you going to dedicate to the business? A common choice is to convert the ground level of your home and “live” on the second floor. This works well, but what about the kitchen? You may want to adapt your home, which will require consulting with an architect and building firm.
  • What about entrances and exits? Firstly, you will be required to provide adequate fire escapes as part of the process you undertake with your local authority. You need to make changes to ensure that all of your business visitors — be it suppliers making deliveries, customers arriving for appointments, or eager shoppers — are able to access your property comfortably. For supplier deliveries, you may need to consider extra wide safety gates to ensure trucks can enter your property boundary correctly to load and unload. For customers, you’re going to need to think about where they will park their vehicles; your neighbors will swiftly turn to anger if the street is blocked up by customer cars.
  • Which security changes do you need to make? Home security is always important, but this necessity moves up another gear when your home is also your business. You may want to consider installing extra CCTV systems, and if you have gates, you’re going to want some kind of intercom system installed.
  • What do you need to redecorate? If you’re converting a space in your home for business use, that space needs to stop looking like a home. You’re going to need to redecorate, install new furniture, and ensure you have adequate lighting. If you’re opening a retail space, you are pretty much going to be outfitting the entire selling area from scratch– so you need to have room for this in your budget.
  • What happens if you want to sell the house in the future? Unless you are lucky and find a buyer who wants a home/business premises combination, you might find that you struggle to set your home for the amount it would be worth if it was still just a home. This is an aspect you’re going to have to calculate into your future financial planning, so be aware of it.

 

One thing that’s important to remember is that the conversion process will not be rapid. You will need to manage the project efficiently, juggling multiple different issues at the same time, and ensure that you keep an eye on your costs, too. It’s hard work, which begs the question… is it worth it?

So Should You Convert Your Home For Business Usage?

The above sounds like an exhausting list of potential problems, issues you are going to face, and more red tape than you have ever dealt with before in your life. Is it worth going through all of that stress?

The answer is probably “yes”. If there’s a reason you don’t want to invest in commercial premises, then the home conversion is the next best thing. Not only are you able to control everything about the process — there’s no landlord whose preferences you have to take into account, for example — but you will also save a fortune on leasing fees in the long term.

Ultimately, the decision is yours. If you don’t mind the short-term hassle, then you may just find that converting your home into business premises is the right solution for your business.

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Is A Career In Medicine Right For You?

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When you’re a kid, and someone asks what you want to be when you grow up, there are always some pretty predictable answers: firefighter, astronaut, movie star. But one of the most common that comes up, again and again, is, of course, doctor. The appeal of working in medicine should be pretty obvious to just about anyone. You get to work directly with other people, saving and improving lives every single day. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be easy or enjoyable. The reality is that medicine is one of the toughest fields out there and if you’re not ready to handle that then you could end up having a pretty unpleasant time. Here are a few important questions to ask yourself in order to figure out if a career in medicine is right for you.

Are you willing to put in the training?

Working in medicine is, for obvious reasons, involves a lot of specialised skills and knowledge. Because of these things, it’s important to remember that you’re never going to be able to work in that field without going through incredibly extensive training. You need to ask yourself if you’re willing to put in the time and effort that most medical schools require of you. Becoming a doctor isn’t something that happens overnight. You need to be willing to put in many years of hard work in order to reach that stage. It’s crucial to ask yourself, are you willing to put in that time?   

Can you work long hours?

Speaking of time, there are few career paths that demand quite as much of your time as working in medicine. This is especially true for doctors and nurses. You need to be constantly ready for anything, and there’s always a chance that you’ll be needed, even when you thought you were having time off. Not only that but the hours can be incredibly long and exhausting. If you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, then that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but if you’re not then, it can leave you feeling incredibly frustrated and unhappy.

Can you handle the pressure?

Some jobs allow you to sit back, relax, and skate by putting in the bare minimum amount of effort possible on a day to day basis. That simply isn’t going to fly if you’re working in a medical environment. The reality of working in medicine is that people’s lives are often at stake and if you’re not ready to handle that kind of pressure, then you could be putting people in danger. You need to think incredibly carefully about whether or not the kind of pressure involved in working in medicine is something that you’re able to handle in the first place.

Of course, this isn’t designed to discourage anyone from wanting to go into a career in medicine. Instead, it’s designed to make you think much more clearly about whether or not it’s the right career choice for you. Because, if it’s not, then you could end up under more pressure than you could possibly handle. Of course, if it is right for you, then you shouldn’t let anything stand in your way.

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Turning A Business Dream Into Reality

Many of us will have some form of dream. It might be to travel the world, tick off all those destinations you placed on your bucket list or simply to have a family and grow old with someone you love. It might have been a business idea you had, or even a career change you wanted to make. Many of us go on to live the reality of our dreams, but when it comes to starting a business, some of us are to fearful of the unknown. I wanted to share with you how you can potentially turn a business dream into a reality.

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Start off with a business plan

It is so important to sit down and work on your business plan if you are serious about making this dream possible. It may seem like a pointless task at this stage, but this is your secret weapon when it comes to the later stages of your business launch and the future. You will be able to outline where money will be spent, projections for future sales, and how you plan to launch your business. It can help iron out some of the more difficult hurdles you could face in the future. There are plenty of tutorials online to help you create your business plan from websites like entrepreneur.com however, if you don’t feel comfortable, you can always hire someone to do it for you.

Secure some funding for your business

Funding is a huge part of any business launch, and of course, the upkeep of it moving forward. So it is vital to secure some funding and your business plan can aid you with that. You could choose to find investors who may want a percentage of your business profits. You might also want to look at other options like loans or capital investors like swiftfinancial.com who can advise you on products that might suit your business. If you have the capital, you could invest yourself and use savings or speak with family members. This can often be the point where people seem fearful, but if you have a business plan and are confident, then this shouldn’t be your stumbling block.  

Harness your idea and focus on your unique selling point

Once you have your plan and the funding in place it is simply about fine tuning your idea. This is when you can focus on the brand and distinguish a unique selling point. Perhaps enabling you to outshine any competitors you may have in the industry. Focus on what makes your business model or product different from other options out there on the market.

Have the courage to take a leap of faith

Finally, you may find that the only thing stopping you now from turning your business dream into a reality is you. Don’t let a lack of courage bring you down and take that leap of faith. Doing all the necessary groundwork in advance should help give you the confidence that what you have is a solid business idea. So just go for it.

I hope that this helps you turn your business dream into a reality.

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A Guide To Creating The Perfect Bucket List

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Have you made your bucket list? The process is simple. Basically, it is a list of everything you want to do before you die. Sounds a little morbid, we know, but as we only have one life to live, the bucket list is a great tool to inspire us to live this life to the fullest. One of the most famous examples is this bucket list created by John Goddard. Sadly, he is no longer with us, but he checked off 109 of his 127 goals. Truly incredible. So what about you?

We can’t tell you what to put on your list. It is entirely dependant on your tastes and lifestyle, so you need to take the time and brainstorm, writing down your ideas on a piece of paper or your computer. Admittedly, it’s difficult to know where to start, so consider the following headings.

New experiences – is there anything you have never done before, but would really like to? This may be playing a particular instrument, taking part in a daredevil activity, or driving a fancy sports car around a race track.

Travel – is there anywhere in the world you would like to visit? From sailing the British Virgin Islands to exploring the Australian outback, think about the places you are desperate to see.

Relationships – for many people, getting married often rates highly on a bucket list, as does having a family and making new friends.

Career – we spend most of our time at work, but this can still feature highly on your list. You may want to progress up the career ladder, make more money, or even change your job and work somewhere that has more meaning to you.

Physical endurance – most of us resolve to spend more time keeping fit at the start of the new year, but your list should be more adventurous. You might want to climb a mountain or take part in a marathon, pushing your endurance to the limits.

Don’t be limited to our examples. As we said, you may have ideas of your own, whether they are big or small in scope. However, making the list is the easy part. Many people’s bucket lists go unfulfilled, for one very simple reason. They aren’t achievable. Items such as ‘going to the moon’ or ‘become a famous movie star’ are possible, but not within most people’s reach. You need to make a list of items you intend to do, rather than a fanciful wish list which is mainly fantasy.  Consider the following:

Be realistic – think big by all means, but choose things you actually intend to do, and not a list of daydreams.

Don’t be vague – writing down items such as ‘getting healthier’ is okay, but it is rather vague. Be specific, and include items of relevance, such as exercise ideas or particular foods you want to try.

List your passions – don’t write down anything because you think you ‘should,’ such as reading every play by Shakespeare or watching the entire directorial works of Ingmar Bergman. You want to be excited by the things on your list, and not be put off from doing them.

Don’t worry if your list changes over time. You can add or take away from it as appropriate. Your life will change, which may mean you won’t be able to do certain things, or you may replace items according to your lifestyle as you get older. It doesn’t matter. The key is ensuring you get to achieve as much as you can over your lifetime, living a life where you can be proud to say “I did that” and be glad about it. The rest of your life begins here. What do you want to do? We wish you every success and happiness.

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