Resource: Goal Setting Printables from Think.Make.Share.

Need a little help thinking of bucket list ideas? Hallmark’s Think.Make.Share. blog has two free printable resources for you. The first is called “2015 Bucket List” and has prompts to list things you want to do this year in the categories of “2 Do,” “2 See,” and “2 Try.” The second is titled “Goals 2015″ and has categories for “At Home,” “At Work,” and “For Balance.”

Click here to go to the blog and get the downloads.

Interview with Jody Lundrigan at Adventures of a Blond White Girl

Photo provided by Jody Lundrigan (Adventures of a Blond White Girl) - Used with permission

Photo provided by Jody Lundrigan – Used with permission

Today’s interview is with Jody Lundrigan, who loves sharing her travel adventures with the world via her blog. Inspired by Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” poem, Jody makes time to travel while fulfilling the responsibilities of a full-time job. She has been on many adventures, including living in a cave house and going on a 10-day travel double date with her parents and significant other. Below she shares stories of some of her experiences, the thing that makes her know she loves blogging, and the best advice she’s ever received.

Name and blog:
Jody Lundrigan at Adventures of a Blond White Girl

Fun fact about you:
I am a scuba diver. The world under the waves never ceases to amaze me. I love it! My dream is to spend my life discovering new corners of the blue planet.

Funner fact:
Lately it seems I am always traveling on Halloween; spending evenings at fancy restaurants and dive bars as butterflies and flowers. One year, my boyfriend and I thought it would be hilarious to play Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon while backpacking in China. It was…to us. No one else had any idea what we were doing, but we’re the kind of people who think that kind of reaction makes our craziness even more entertaining.

Funnest fact:
I am almost always smiling. I love to laugh. I think you can find humour and joy in any aspect of life. But when something strikes me as particularly hilarious, I can laugh until I lose my breath, which leads to me letting out the loudest snorts. It’s so embarrassing, but you gotta love a real belly laugh.

What do you think has been essential to your success as a travel blogger?
I am still a rookie blogger. With a full-time job and life responsibilities, I sometimes measure success simply by doing a post. That said, every time I do I get such a tremendous and positive response and that makes me happy and makes me feel successful. But the key to that success, I think, is my lack of fear in sharing my thoughts and feelings and sometimes political views in my writing. In this way, when I write people are getting to know about the place but they also getting to know about me. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am an opinionated lady. But that’s not necessarily a negative thing. And I think it serves me well in my blog.

What was something that surprised you about blogging?
How vulnerable it makes me feel. I still get nervous before I hit the publish button…everytime. It is simultaneously super scary and super exciting. It’s how I know I love it.

If you had to describe your blog in 6 words or less, what would you say?
This blond white girl is awesome.

Who or what inspires you?
The people I meet. I love the sights and sounds and sometimes the tastes and smells, but it’s the memories made and moments shared with the people along the way that make it all worthwhile.

What is your all-time favorite bucket list item (of yours or someone else’s)?
Scuba diving (ice diving) in Antarctica.

If you aren’t doing anything related to travel, what are you doing in your free time?
Thinking about how I really should learn to cook even though I really don’t want to.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Live everyday to the fullest because you never know… So while I am always dreaming of my next trip, I don’t live in the future – or the past. I work hard, I love my friends and I appreciate my family every moment of my life.

Thank you Jody for sharing your time and thoughts with us.

Want to keep reading? You can learn more about Jody and read stories from her travels on her blog and Twitter.

Who else do you want to see interviewed? If you have an inspiring person in mind, please let me know using the contact form or comments below.

Top 4 Vegas Entertainment Suggestions

Looking for some ideas of what to do in Las Vegas? Here are four entertainment options (three shows and one museum) that I went to see during my trip in March. (Bonus: They’re family friendly.)
Please leave a comment and let me know your top Vegas entertainment suggestions.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

Titanic Exhibition Store, Luxor

Gift shop replicas of artifacts recovered from the Titanic (photos aren’t allowed in the museum itself) – Photo credit: InSapphoWeTrust on Flickr – Used unmodified under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

You’ll feel really close to this tragic event when viewing artifacts from the Titanic, stories of the ship and the people on board, and exploring the museum structure, which is a walk-through simulation of parts of the Titanic. Each admission ticket comes with a boarding pass with the name and class of one real-life passenger, so as you go through the museum you can see the type of room they would have stayed in and then at the end, you reach a board with the names of survivors and victims so you can tell if your passenger survived or not. This was a really interesting museum, and takes about two hours to go through if you read everything. For those who loved the movie, you will love the museum. For those who hated the movie: fear not – the museum is strictly about the real-life events, no Leo DiCaprio pictures present.
At the Luxor, open 10am to 10pm daily (last admit at 9pm). Pricing available online, discounts available for seniors, children, and locals. Discounted tickets also available from third-party sellers.

V – The Ultimate Variety Show

This was filled with comedy and amazing talent. I remember seeing a YouTube video of Wally Eastwood a long time ago, so it was fun to see him perform live as he hosted the show. A rotating cast makes this show different each time you see it. Highly recommend!
At Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile, shows nightly at 7pm and 8:30pm. Pricing available online. Discounted tickets also available from third-party sellers.

Jeff Civillico Comedy in Action

Juggling comedian, with plenty of physical humor, stunts, balancing tricks, and audience participation. A super entertaining and very funny performance from one of the youngest headliners on the Vegas strip.
At the LINQ (formerly the Quad), shows at 4pm most days (some exceptions, see site for details). Pricing available online. Discounted tickets also available from third-party sellers.

KA by Cirque du Soleil

Two royal twin siblings get separated when the rival fire nation attacks. KA is the story of the difficulties the twins face as they fight their way back to each other and take back control of their kingdom. You can expect acrobatics, gymnastics, martial arts, tumbling clowns, pyrotechnics, and great music.
At the MGM Grand, 2015 showtimes Saturday through Wednesday at 7pm and 9:30pm (some exceptions, see site for details). Prices available online, discounts for children 5-12, children under 5 not allowed. Discounted tickets also available from third-party sellers.

What do you think of these suggestions? Got any of your own? Leave a comment and let me know.

Interview with Iryna Yeroshko, photographer

Photo provided by Iryna Yeroshko - Used with permission

Photo provided by Iryna Yeroshko – Used with permission

Iryna Yeroshko, a Ukrainian photographer, came to my attention when I saw a striking photo she posted on Flickr. When I read more about her, I found out she is working on “Second Home,” which she calls her “first serious photography project about immigrants from well-developed countries who came to live and work in Ukraine purposefully.” Below, Iryna tells us about what surprised her about photography, why she doesn’t have a bucket list, and the best advice she’s ever received.

Names and blog:
Iryna Yeroshko at Reaching the Goal

Fun fact about you:
This summer I tried frozen yoghurt for the first time.

Funner fact:
Oh that’s getting challenging…I don’t cut watermelons myself, because I’m afraid to cut my hand off.

Funnest fact:
I don’t know, I guess I’m not that “fun” person
[Not true! Here’s another fun fact, from her blog: “I speak 3 languages, but mostly think in English” and every post on her blog is written in both English and Ukrainian]

What do you think has been essential to your success so far as a photographer?
I don’t think I’ve reached “success” so far, but positive feedback from some influential people and professionals as well as support my family definitely contributed to my personal growth as a photographer.

What was something that surprised you about photography?
That, while being a still media, it is very live and dynamic, and can have a great emotional impact.

If you had to describe your blog in 6 words or less, what would you say?
Personal story depicted in photographs.

Who or what inspires you?
People and positive things that they create.
[Iryna has written a blog post about her inspiration, if you’d like to read more about her answer to this question.]

What is your all-time favorite bucket list item (of yours or someone else’s)?
I’m not a bucket list person. I try not to take life for granted and enjoy every moment, every opportunity I’m given.

If you aren’t doing anything related to your photography, what are you doing in your free time?
I am a huge fan of self-education, I love filmmaking, traveling, and social work.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Never take “no” for an answer.

Thanks, Iryna, for sharing your time and some of your life experience with us!

Want to keep reading? You can learn more about Iryna, and read stories about her photos at her blog, on social media (links on her blog), and photo sharing sites like Flickr.

Who else do you want to see interviewed? If you have an inspiring person in mind, please let me know using the contact form or comments below.

2015 Bucket List Subset + 2014 Review

Melody Beattie quote from BrainyQuote

Image made at BrainyQuote

Happy New Year! Every year in January, I make a list of the list items I accomplished in the previous year, and I pick a subset of items to work on for the current year. What are your bucket list traditions? Some people write an entirely new bucket list every year, and others make New Year’s resolutions out of things already on their lists. Please share your traditions in the comments below.

In 2014, I accomplished 10 things on my list (I’ll add links as I write the posts):

I attempted/started one more:

  • Raise $1000 for a cause I’m passionate about (tried to raise it all in 1 month during the fundraising campaign that was going on, but failed. However, this is an ongoing goal so you can still give)

And I added 15 new goals in 2014 (#114-128 on the list).

The 2015 Subset

I make a subset list of 10 items for goals I want to give myself a little extra pressure to finish before the year’s over. The purpose is to move me closer to the chosen goals, even if I don’t complete them that year. These aren’t the only goals I work on during the year, and they may not even be the most important goals to me. They also don’t include any goal I know for sure will happen this year (that’s almost like writing a to-do list with things you’ve already finished!)

So, here’s the subset list for 2015 (as with my full List, some are hidden until I complete them, and this is in no particular order):

  • Build a bottle rocket
  • Eat rabbit
  • Go to a drive-in movie
  • Look out the window of a room in the top floor of a downtown skyscraper
  • Learn to do a magic trick
  • Enter a recipe contest
  • (hidden)
  • Learn to flip/twirl a pen
  • (hidden)
  • Ride in a convertible

What’s on your list this year?

Resource: The Don’ts of Writing a Bucket List by Lesley Carter at Bucket List Publications. Lesley is a bucket list blogger known for her yearly pushing-the-limits lists. In the post, she shares 10 suggestions to help make your bucket list the best it can be.

If you’re excited about joining me on this journey, click here to get each post, interview, and helpful resource by email. If you have a list or bucket list blog of your own, please let me know in the comments!

Resource: Science-Based Goal Setting Worksheet

First page of Science of Goal Setting worksheet, showing the Goal Wheel / Click to go to the worksheet and instructions by Vanessa Van Edwards (scienceofpeople.com)

Science of Goal Setting worksheet, with the Goal Wheel – Click to go to the worksheet and instructions by Vanessa Van Edwards (scienceofpeople.com)

It’s the time of year when everyone thinks about restarting and creating new goals. I’ve already written about the SMART goal technique for writing Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely goals. Recently, I found something similar, that also includes an assessment to help you focus on what goals would most benefit you at this time.

This technique comes from Vanessa Van Edwards at the Science of People. She has also created a worksheet that you can use, but since it does not include explanations, it’s best to first read the instructions in the post titled The Science of Goals, and then use the worksheet.

This goal setting technique is broken down into 10 steps:

  1. Check your emotional temperature (using the Goal Wheel in the worksheet)
  2. Think about what you want your legacy to be
  3. Take ownership/set an intention
  4. Pick an outcome + process
  5. Set MAC Daddy goals (this is similar to the SMART goal concept)
  6. Write it down
  7. Identify blockers
  8. Make your map
  9. Get accountability
  10. Revise, practice, revise
    Bonus: Identify a theme

Go check out the Science of Goals post and worksheet, and let me know if you find it useful or if you have another method you use to help you reach your goals, and be sure to have a Happy New Year!