LIFE LIST What’s On Yours?

2013 was a big year for me in a lot of ways. At the start I absolutely dreaded it due to a looming birthday, until a friend inspired me to make a bucket list for the year. It was a surprisingly uplifting exercise to think about what I wanted to accomplish personally and professionally, for just plain fun and for growth. Because of that proactive outlook, I got to check off a lot of items big and small on my list, and felt really good about it all by the end of the year. (And I got to add some great memories in my little black “Now or Never” book!)

Recently another friend told me she calls her bucket list a “life list” — I really like that! So while I have some big ticket items on my life list, here are a few manageable ones that I’ve got up for 2014…

1. Improve my French
This is one I did not get to check off last year. It’s been many years since I’ve taken French, and although I can read it somewhat and pass by if I had to, I’d really love to become fluent (also Italian, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves!). Community college course, here I come…

2. Changes in my business
This I’m keeping to myself for now, but know that some big changes are in the works for 2014! I’m actually pretty nervous about it, but the time is right. (I promise all will be revealed by summer, although some pieces are being implemented as we speak!)

3. iOrganize my life
I know that I can be better organized with all the online tools out there. I’m working on syncing up all of my schedules, timecards, calendars, contacts, and tasks lists on all devices to be more efficient in everything I do — work-wise, family-wise, socially.

4. Purposeful travel
I got to take a lot of FUN trips last year (with some work-related bits thrown in). This year my travel will be about learning new skills and/or developing new business. Currently I’ve got six weeks in Miami in the works, which I’m super pumped about!

5. Become a better leader
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m on leadership with the Junior League of Orange County, CA. I’ve learned so much this past year, and I hope to continue in a role where I can help develop better volunteers and leaders. It’s such a worthwhile experience that has made me a better person and business owner all around. I highly recommend joining a similar organization in your area!

6. Entertain more
I love to have people over for good food, wine and company. I will host a brunch, a dinner party, and a wine tasting this year. The first is being planned already!

7. Continue my fitness routine
2013 I was determined to be in the best shape of my life since playing collegiate soccer. Despite four knee surgeries and a very loose ACL, I’ve been able to do just that with cardio and weights 3-4 times/week. I’ve worked hard so definitely don’t plan on slacking on that anytime soon! It’s a fantastic feeling that keeps me young.

Of course, I also have some personal to-do’s that I’m working on and am keeping to myself too.

In my lifetime? Italian Riviera, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Savannah, GA, and someday must-haves like a Burberry trench, a Chanel quilted bag, Hermès cuff and scarf, and a pair of Louboutins, to name a few!

So what about you, do you have a life list? What’s on yours for 2014, and beyond? 

Once you make something a priority, it’s remarkable what you can accomplish.

Let’s inspire each other!


Photo and styling by Erika Brechtel
Erika Brechtel

Erika Brechtel

Creative Director

Desiring an online space to explore well-rounded, inspired content in all topics she loves most, Erika created 'The E List' (formerly the Small Shop blog) in 2010. When not enjoying an “occasional" glass of wine and wanderlusting for even warmer climates, Erika can be found sharing laughs with friends and family, and trying her very best to keep up with her 6-year old daughter (yet failing miserably).

  1. I also call this type of list life list!! It gives it a whole new meaning. I’m so excited about your work changes!! I can just begin to imagine what you will announce. You have worked so hard to achieve all these goals. I also have the organize my databases, schedules, photos…all that stuff for my list this year. Let’s get to it!

  2. Love this! On my list is to go to Paris (still have not been!) and a pair of YSL Tributes :0)
    This year I’ll be happy to get in shape and lose 15 lbs. Now that I’ve had my kids, I’m ready!!!

  3. Such a wonderful list! One of my top goals for this year is to learn Italian! I’m half Italian, so number 1 on my bucket list is to learn the language and visit the country – time to get my rear in gear 🙂

  4. Love this Erika! And I’m totally excited about #2 ! Eek! I’ve started a 101 in 1001 days list that I’ll be sharing soon. Goals are much easier to obtain once you’ve written them down for yourself 🙂

  5. This is great, thinking big picture is key! I am improving my French too, have you downloaded the free app Duolingo? It is awesome! You can practice everything from speaking to writing, I feel more polished at the language in the past 5 months since doing it!

  6. I really like this. I may copy and do one on my blog. Life list (decade to do list) go to Dubai. it’s a bucket list but I follow some Dubai residents on instagram and I can’t wait any longer than 9 years. I hope…….no I WILL get there by the time I am 40. also, ski dive later this year and swim with sting ray and dolphins (decade to do).

  7. I love your list it’s very inspiring!!! I have a few on my list as well including learning French, improving on my Cherokee language, finish my mythopoeia book, take more pictures and travel often 🙂

  8. I’ve never actually though about a life list until now! Since I’m based in Dubai now, I think it’s only appropriate I start learning Arabic. Perhaps a floristry certificate, jewelry making and a new fitness challenge like rock climbing!

  9. Great list. If you ever make plans for Jazz Fest, I’m happy to play local tour guide and give you suggestions for food and fun here!