A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

20 minutes to change your life

20 minutes just for U

If bucket lists make you feel a bit overwhelmed, then you might like this 20 minute version I found. The idea is to help you find direction in life and get in tune with your true goals. It’s worked a treat for me.

You’ll need a timer, a piece of paper, a pen and some peace.

Set the timer for 20 mins and write down 100 things you really want to do, be, achieve, places to go, people to meet, things you want to feel, anything goes. I know I instantly thought, I can’t do that, I need more time, I need to research, but you do know the answers really, you just have to trust yourself.  By putting a timer on it, aka the Pomodoro technique, you free your subconscious and stop your concious self from censoring itself. You will hopefully find that instead of looking at other people’s lists and goals for inspiration, or writing what you think you should write, you write what’s really important to you.

Leave the list for a couple of days, go back to it and then make a note of things you might do to achieve the goals.

I realised a couple of things that surprised me.  Currently I would say my furthest away goals are to write something for The Guardian, or finish my novel, yet I spend no time actually moving forward on these two goals currently.

It’s also helped me to see that most of my things that make me happy are very easily within grasp.  My favourites?  Keep chickens, bake beautiful stuff, float, make theatre, curl up with a book, dance, refurbish my doll’s house, climb a mountain, camp lots, welcome people, blog what I like, be in forests. I’ve even ticked a few off already.

I’ve also just noticed I have claimed climbing a mountain is easier than getting published in The Guardian, which I think is pretty revealing about my inner demons given I write stuff all the time, but rarely get the chance to climb more than a slight incline here in the flat Midlands.

Since I made my list my priorities are also on my radar, helping me prioritise and make decisions, something I have been struggling with. Now when faced with a choice I am finding I think about my list, and whether I am moving towards my goals, or towards somebody else’s.  Although it’s not all about me, random acts of kindness and nurturing friendships are amongst my goals.  And sharing the good stuff…hope someone else finds this as helpful as I did.

13 thoughts on “20 minutes to change your life

  • Peter B. Steiness

    I’m a devoted “list-person”, but let’s not go there. It is essential for us to have goals, it’s the drive that moves us forward. Einstein said about life, that it’s like bicycling, if we stop pedalling, we’ll lose our balance. I’m all for your suggestion concerning a major “stuff I want to do” – list and have one suggestion for a pre-list. We have a tendency to forget all the great stuff we have already done, so start with that. It can be about our education, achievements in career, having children (a major one or many), relationships, travels, purchases of importance, and so forth. When we realize what we have already accomplished, making the bucket-list (in my age, the bucket is getting too close to reality) a list of stuff I would like to do, it becomes part of the bigger picture and some of the stuff we put on that list becomes much more attainable. I mean, bringing up kids and still stay fairly sane in the process is way up there in grand accomplishments. So my suggestion is two lists: pre-bucket and bucket…
    Penny, concerning your mountain-climbing and submitting writings to papers, The Guardian or what have you, that is the same situation here in the USA. Seems like that whole business is so guarded concerning input from the outside. I have tried and only succeeded a few times, but even basic communication with papers is a joke or non-existing. Self publishing is available concerning books and articles (amazon, etc.) so that’s what I’m doing.
    So get your lists together; you’ll find that it is not a frustrating process (shouldn’t be), but a heck of a lot of fun and gives you a lot of fresh air and space to move into right away and forge forward. And that’s exciting – really.

  • Áine

    I love this idea, I’ll definitely be doing it! I’ve tried the ‘bucket list’ type thing before but long-term isn’t always such a good idea & who knows if we’ll ever manage to visit a particular place in the world…anything could happen. Big things (getting published etc) & what seem like little things (baking etc) are equally important. Looking forward to setting my timer! You need a plan or goal of some sort & a practical way of working towards it, otherwise we’d get sidetracked by the mundane stuff forever : )

  • Mary

    Oooh, love this idea. Will have to bookmark it and come back to it though, as I’ve just set a 5 goal list for April and I think if I try to balance anything else precariously on top of it it may just topple over, taking me with it!
    Look forward to hearing some progress reports from you on your list

  • But why mummy why?

    This is great Penny! Thanks for giving me a nudge to read this, just what I needed. We’re off to the in laws in the New Forest on Thursday for a week, so it will be the perfect time to go off for a wander into the forest with a note pad and give this ago. It might be just what I need xxx

  • Michael

    I’ve been practicing the Pomodoro Technique for quite a time now and I know that this will be an effective method to use when doing introspection like this.

  • Aaron

    This article is very interested, Hmm this is something to definately think about! This might just help my work outs in the future!

  • Emma

    Have been feeling slightly overwhelmed with stuff recently, so I will definitely be giving this a go! Thank you 🙂 Emma xx

  • Becky

    Oh cracking idea penny. I am going to give this a go too.
    I can totally see you writing for the guardian ..that piece about your grandfather was gorgeous. You just nneed to subnit your fab ideas to features. Lovely writer

  • Narrowboat Wife

    I am definitely going to do this twenty minute one. I recently read a book called Your Best Year Yet, by Jinny Ditzler, which was a great way of focussing on your goals, but it took me 3 evenings to work through them and make a plan! Like you I found out one of my top goals is to get more freelance writing and finish writing my book; but I don’t actually spend any time on working towards those at the moment…

  • helloitsgemma

    I have a bucket list but I may try this and start another one.
    We should so do a trip to Wales and climb a mountain…..
    I even have a couple in mind.
    Are you thinking walking type climbing or rock type climbing. Am too rubbish on the second but maybe I can find a woman/man who can?
    Tryfan. Google it. X

  • Helen Spencer

    Great idea. I am currently working on a personal mind map, similar idea ( but more than 20 mins4 me!) goals, likes, wants, etc. Very revealing indeed. Good luck with the floating?!!!!!

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