by Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CPPC, APPC

I have an affinity for lists.

I love their simple form, the structure and thus the relief they offer.

Lists help us navigate the chaos of life that’s pulling us in fifty-one directions.

If you have ideas, desires, and unfinished tasks swirling about in your head, you need lists.


Because not much depletes your mojo faster than trying to hang onto all those thoughts swirling in your brain.

And what happens when you attempt to prioritize those ideas, desires, and unfinished tasks while simultaneously holding them in your head?

You become a train wreck of overwhelm. And we know that overwhelm can easily lead to procrastination. Because who would blame you for taking a nap with all that you have to do?

Or maybe that’s just me.

One of the most common challenges (next to fear and doubt) my clients experience is trying to juggle all the tasks required to keep their dreams and projects moving forward.

And our inability to juggle all the tasks is the result of not having a plan, a written list of next steps toward achieving our goal.

It became very clear to me on my way to San Diego that this is exactly why Joe and I haven’t visited Nashville.

About five years ago, I expressed a desire to visit Nashville, TN. Joe agreed he did as well.

And we’ve reiterated this desire approximately 59 times since.

It’s an easy 4.5 hour drive, a long weekend.

Nothing is stopping us except for planning it.

And yet we haven’t gone.

The other day it came up again.

My friend’s husband, Peter, and I were talking in his kitchen. They live in San Diego. Peter expressed a desire to visit Nashville and asked how far Nashville is from Cincinnati. I told him it’s a 4.5 hour drive. He was shocked that we haven’t been. Especially after I expressed my yearning to visit Nashville as well.

Frankly, I’m shocked too. Because, what the what?? How can I keep saying year after year, I want to visit Nashville and not do it? Who’s in control of my life anyway?

It was then that I had the startling realization that while I’ve had awesome experiences in my life, many of them have just presented themselves. In other words, I’ve been allowing life to happen to me rather than being intentional about my desired life experiences.

And then it dawned on me.

I should intersect my love for lists and adventures and create a list of experiences I want to make happen this year.

I know. Duh!

It’s kind of embarrassing that it’s taken me this long to realize I needed a list. But better late than never, right?

I wrote my ‘Personal Experiences to Make Happen in 2020 List’ on the plane ride home to Cincinnati.

What’s on my Personal Experiences to Make Happen in 2020 List?

  • Visit 3 museums
  • Attend 2 inspiring personal or professional events (one accomplished with HPX)
  • Spend a month at the lake
  • Visit Nashville
  • Take a river cruise to travel from Amsterdam to Switzerland (planned)
  • Eat three new fruits or vegetables
  • Fly first class
  • Sponsor a table at the HRC Color Ball and attend with our children
  • Participate in a book signing event with my family to promote The Love Project (Finishing the book is on my business experiences to make happen list)
  • Use my Stand Up Paddle Board to travel around the lake (I asked for a SUP for my birthday – that’s tomorrow. I hope I get it so that I can make this experience come true;) And yes, my husband reads my articles. Do you like how I did that? Making things happen, my friend.

What is the biggest upside of creating my Personal Experiences to Make Happen in 2020?

Motivation to get started.

You see, as soon as I finished my list, my mind catapulted into a, Let’s get moving on action steps to make these things happen mode.

I may not fulfill all the experiences on this list in 2020. And that’s okay because I will certainly enjoy the process of working toward making them happen.

If I parachuted into your home today and asked you what experiences you are going to make happen this year, what would you tell me?

Do you have a list?

Write your list and feel the excitement that courses through you.

Do not wait to take the reins of your life adventures.

Then let me know what’s on your list. I’d love to hear it.