A few years ago, I had some charter guests on the yacht I worked on at the time for a two week trip over Christmas and New Year. After dinner on New Year’s Eve, they called the crew out to the dining table and asked us all to pull up a chair. They had a ritual they wanted to share with us.
Instead of sitting down and listing resolutions they knew they probably wouldn’t keep, this family did something different. They wrote a bucket list as an annual tradition and would then take the top three things they deemed the most achievable in the coming year, popped them at the top and made an internal pact to complete the three items that year.
It was far more impactful than a mere “eat healthier”, “exercise more”, “be kinder” and all of the usual suspects that are thrown around in the early days of January. These were things that were going to be achieved, actual challenges set by each person to conquer before the year was out.
I remember writing mine that year with such confidence, knowing that the year ahead looked promising for my travel prospects - especially given the nature of my job at the time.
- Cross the Atlantic Ocean
- Visit two new countries
- Complete my PADI Open Water Diving course
Sure enough, two weeks into January of that year, I was PADI certified - although it was possibly one of the most terrifying experiences of my life, I overcame what I deemed to be underwater claustrophobia and I did it!
The yacht travelled from Fort Lauderdale, Florida across to Antibes, France in May of that year too and I was lucky enough to be crew on board to check off another of my three bucket list items. We stopped in Cape Verde and then that summer season we visited Croatia, so I confidently crossed off my final feat of the year as they were places I hadn’t been to yet.
The challenges don’t have to be so broad - they can be anything, but sitting down as crewmembers with a family that had enough money to charter a yacht in the islands and, frankly, could therefore afford anything they wanted, really opened my eyes.
It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do or what your background is - we are all capable of fulfilling our dreams and making things happen, so instead of vowing to eat more greens, let’s set ourselves some achievable goals so that we can look back with pride in twelve months from now when we look back at a list we’ve made that’s got lines confidently crossed off!
Lauren Loudon x