15 minutes happier

15 Minutes to Happier: Reverse Bucket List

15 Minutes to Happier: Each month, I’ll share an activity to make you happier.

Why 15 minutes? Because anyone can find at least 15 minutes in the day for themselves. Why be happier? Well, why not? To make a business case for this investment of your time, several studies have shown happiness drives success, not the other way around. If we want to succeed in building fulfilling and purpose-driven lives, a good place to start is to make sure we’re doing things to make ourselves happy.

Each exercise is designed to be done anywhere and at any time. I like to actually leave my desk for a lunch break a few times a week – not too much to ask! Find 15 minutes in your schedule, and let’s get started.


Happiness Exercise #1: Reverse Bucket List
It’s easy to get caught up in the rise and grind of daily life. Focusing on what needs to be done next becomes a habit to make sure nothing really important gets missed. It also means what hasn’t happened – yet – gets more attention than past accomplishments. Your Reverse Bucket List is dedicated to giving yourself credit for your wonderful achievements. 

  • Supplies: pen or pencil, paper, timer
  • Instructions:
    • Set timer for 10 minutes
      • List anything you’ve already done which make you proud
      • After 10 minutes, read through your list and pat yourself on the back
    • Set the timer for 5 minutes
      • Write down the skills, characteristics and lessons learned from what you’ve already done.
      • Post the your list of learnings in a visible place. Use the second list to remind yourself of all the skills, decisions and experiences you already have that will fuel your future.

A note: Do not limit yourself in what is considered an achievement. Now is not the time to censor yourself! Whatever memories you look back on and think “I’m proud of that experience…”, write it down.



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