Tag Archive | bucket list

The Uniqueness of You & Your Goals 

Everybody has had at least one goal.

It may have been big or small…you may have created your goal when you were younger or older.

The best thing about goals is how each goal is unique — and how each goal was created through unique circumstances. Even if two people have a similar dream, both goals are unique and will be accomplished differently. Each individual crafted their dreams and goals – and each goal or dream will contribute and positively effect each person’s family, friends, and sphere of influence.

Since goals and dreams originate from each person’s individual life purpose, life experiences, influence, and perspective, it truly is uniquely wonderful and sweet when a person finally reaches their goal. It can greatly inspire everyone around them.

I know of someone who was disappointed in life, so they made a goal to lose 100 lbs and to further their education. By the end of this year, they’ll have met their entire goal after years of hard work.

Another person I know had a goal in their 20’s of owning a dance studio. Marriage and parenting took over – and even though they sure have enjoyed the last 20 years – they are now finally pursuing their forgotten dream.

While growing up, I had some very strong goals and dreams. I had long forgotten about them…until I had a major health crisis last year.

Some of the goals, I am incredibly happy I chose not to pursue them. They wouldn’t have been a good fit now. Other goals, I figured out that it’s not too late to accomplish them.

Whether you’re a teenager, young adult, middle-aged, or elderly, we all have had dreams and goals. Some have met their dreams and goals head-on…others have neatly tucked them away in a closet of their heart.

But did you know it’s never too late to pursue your goals and dreams? No matter what age you are, your goals and dreams – from the past or present – can be crafted, created, drafted, pursued, adjusted, improved, or completely changed so you can accomplish them…even if you already failed while trying to accomplish them.

One of my friends had a dream and goal of getting married and having a large family. Growing up in a very small, and very chaotic dysfunctional family, she would dream of how awesome it would be to have a warm, happy home and family filled with love. Looking forward to the big holidays she would eventually have and enjoy…especially the whole family celebrating together…brought a smile to her heart. It was all she ever wanted.

She eventually got married, and two months after the wedding, she had to have an emergency hysterectomy. With her hopes and dreams of a large family destroyed, her husband left her. Her dreams seemed to be forever crushed.

She could have chosen to be deeply bitter…instead she chose to reconstruct her dream and is now helping children just like her. She is now a foster parent and has hosted dozens of children, who – like her – have lived in chaotic dysfunctional homes. She said she loves holidays and celebrations because she knows she is making a greater impact and difference.

When we refuse to allow life to get the best of us during trials and challenges, new goals and dreams can be created and accomplished — some goals and dreams…when placed in God’s hands…will actually serve a bigger purpose, too.

Earlier last year, I went through a major health scare. The radiologist suspected I had a very rare cancer…a cancer that only 5-15% survive. The odds didn’t look favorable.

After thoroughly reading my medical reports, my very first thoughts were of how an illness would affect my family and my grief ministry. My next thoughts were about everything I wanted to experience and do in life…especially in my marriage, parenting, and family goals, spiritual/ministry goals, life-purpose goals, writing goals, health goals, travel opportunities, etc.

After thinking about everything for a long while, I asked myself what lifelong goals I held in my heart that I never accomplished.

When I thought about my loved ones, my life, and my goals…both childhood and current…life was greatly clarified for me. Crazy how when you’re faced with a major obstacle, loss, or illness, that’s when life, relationships, and choices become black and white…crystal clear.

I also could clearly see how short life truly is…and how much of life is wasted.

I couldn’t clearly tell what all was a waste or a foolish misuse of time…until I thought my time was about to run out.

For me, God, family, friends, and my grief ministry was all that mattered ultimately. I also thought about future memories I might not get to be a part of and all of the experiences on earth I’d miss.

Seriously think about the following and ask yourself which of these need pruning, improved, or prioritized in your life:

  • time
  • activities
  • relationships
  • money
  • opportunities
  • social media
  • computer/phone time

I thought I was living a good, productive life, but when I was faced with potentially having 18 months to five years left on earth, it fiercely sifted my entire life — and everything in it. Being faced with a major illness showed me extreme truths about my life.

I’m thankful the radiologist was wrong, but I will forever be grateful for the wake up call I was provided. While going through infusions, I used the time to truly think about life, as well as my relationships, goals, dreams, purpose, everything. It was an extremely eye opening, clarifying, and sometimes tough experience.

Are you satisfied with life? Are there goals or dreams you regret not fulfilling? Are you wanting to make the world a better place for your loved ones and future generations?

Think about your life.

Think about your relationships.

Think about your life purpose.

Think about your goals.

Think about your time.

Think about your dreams.

Deeply consider your legacy.

At the end of your life, what will you want to look back on — and know you gave it your all? What is most important to you? Who is most important to you? What memories do you want your loved ones to have? How can you bless or inspire others?

You have to ask these questions so you’ll better know how to live your life so you won’t waste it.

For me, the answers were easy.

When you’re faced with health issues or the end of your life, most will not care about how much money they have (or don’t have) in the bank, what kind of house they lived in or what kind of car they drove. You don’t care about past hurts. You don’t care about bills…schedules…calendars…or anything mundane or replaceable.

You care about meeting God with a clear conscience, and you care about your loved ones, your legacy, and the difference you made. You care about the goals and dreams you accomplished that inspired others.

Whether you are 13, 23, 33, 43, 53, 63, 73, 83, or 93, please consider all of your goals…your spiritual goals, your serious goals, your goals of helping others or making a difference, your relationship goals, and even your fun goals.

You were created by God to fulfill a very specific purpose. Your influence, and all you bring to the table, is not replaceable. Whether you are healthy or sick, young or old, no matter the circumstances, if you have a heartbeat, then you have the powerful ability to create, pursue, reconstruct, or fulfill your goals and dreams.

Your goals and dreams may be scary big or seemingly small…all can make a huge impact and difference. Especially to your loved ones.

It’s never too late.

Whatever goals or dreams you have, you truly can accomplish them with God’s help. I hope you choose to make a difference in others lives through your goals and dreams…and when you meet your goals, I hope you will celebrate with your loved ones.

Here’s to the uniqueness of YOU & your individual goals and dreams. May God richly bless you and your goals!

Gratitude & many blessings,

©2017 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

For more encouragement:

❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles/1112403330?ean=9781449725617

❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

❤️Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

Grief & (Post)Holidays—helpful tip #10

Christmas has now come and gone.

Those who are deeply grieving thought they could finally breathe a huge sigh of relief…yet some woke up today and didn’t feel the relief they thought they would feel. Some even woke up and felt worse.

Something I wish someone would’ve told me about the days following a holiday is that some tough emotions can follow along with them.

Today’s holiday tip? Be prepared for the depression, anxiety, and other surprising emotions that can follow Christmas, holidays, anniversaries, and other big life events…and come up with a plan for relaxation and how to best get through those times.

Many grievers will feel relieved that Christmas is now behind them, while others are confused why they now suddenly feel worse.

Emotions are so heightened before holidays, big days, or special occasions —in day-to-day life as well as grief—so after the holiday, event, or big day happens, those feelings can suddenly crash down…leaving you feeling depressed, anxious, a “void,” or defeated more than usual.

Depending on how big the aftermath was, the feelings that accompany big events can take you by surprise and throw you for a loop.

Always be kind to your heart, as well as compassionate and patient with yourself. Realize you’re not alone and what you’re feeling is normal.

Be prepared for crashes, as well as any random feelings, and practice seeking God, peace, and times of relaxation when the feelings become overwhelming.

There are many thoughtful ways to get through the tough emotions of grief, as well as many ways to relax. Try one of these 15 ideas – or creatively come up with your own:

  1. Pray—talk to God and share with Him all of your thoughts, feelings, fears, disappointments, worries, anxieties, heartache, etc
  2. Allow music to comfort your soul—listen to soft praise music and soothing sounds, or anything that relaxes you. Consider playing (or learning how to play) the piano, guitar, or other musical instrument.
  3. Breathe deep and relax—sit quietly, take a hot bath, take a nap, or do something that relaxes your mind. Breathing slow deep breaths can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
  4. This one is very important: remind yourself, “it isn’t always going to be like this”—these feelings will not always be as strong or intense. It is very important to remember life can and does get better. It will be different than what it once was…but it can get better.
  5. Call a trustworthy loved one—family, grief support groups, and good friends are so valuable when going through grief. It’s also great to talk to someone who has been through similar grief because they can share wisdom and insight of how they got through their worst days to find better days.
  6. Do an activity that brings joy to your heart—take time to truly enjoy doing a hobby or activity you currently or previously loved to do. You can also learn new hobbies or activities to do.
  7. Cooking and baking can be therapeutic—Invite some loved ones over and cook a delicious relaxing dinner together or bake together, or go out to eat and relax with loved ones as you have a night out. You can also have a quiet afternoon of baking by yourself and then enjoy the treats you baked and pass them out to loved ones.
  8. Sit in a comfy chair with a warm blanket and drink some hot tea, coffee, or hot cocoa—Read the Bible or a good book…something that is encouraging. As you drink your tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, savor this time of relaxation.
  9. Have a mini spa day at home or go out for one—stay home and do a homemade facial, manicure, and pedicure. Or go get a massage, fresh new haircut, or a pedicure at a spa. You could also bring a friend along and go to lunch afterwards.
  10. If the weather is nice, sit on a porch, go on a nature walk, or patio dine, if not, look out the window and enjoy the view—looking outside to relax and reflect on all the ways God has provided for you and carried you, considering the family and friends who have cared about you, and also reflecting on every good thing in your life that has the potential to bring your heart peace and joy…it all has a way of bringing peace to your soul. Sometimes a different outlook becomes much welcomed.
  11. Journal—write down your thoughts, goals, feelings, and life events. Journaling is so very therapeutic. It’s also beneficial to look back one day, read journals you’ve written, and see how you’ve grown – and how much you’ve overcome – and how far you’ve made it.
  12. Exercise or stretch—exercise has been proven to alleviate stress and help depression and anxiety. It also can be very relaxing. It takes your mind off of things for awhile, too.
  13. Organize your home and life—clutter can add to the chaos of grief, so dedicating even 20-30 min a day to decluttering your home and life is well worth the effort.
  14. Enjoy your pet or consider getting a pet—I believe pets are amazing little “heart healers” sent by God. Our family went through a tough grief experience and within a few months, we rescued a puppy. I always looked at our rescue dog and thought, “who rescued who.” Deep consideration should be used when getting a new pet. They’re a 6 to 15 year commitment, and a financial responsibility, so make sure you can handle the time commitment and responsibility of a furry lil friend. To me, they’re totally worth it! There also may be opportunities in your area to volunteer at a pet shelter or to foster pets if you’d like the therapeutic benefits of a pet, but can’t fully commit to a lifelong pet.
  15. Create a Bucket List—I’m a big believer in creating, keeping, and maintaining a bucket list. It helps to focus on the greater picture, as you write down everything you still want to do and achieve, so you purposely don’t waste life. There are many things I was able to do – that I otherwise wouldn’t have done – during times of grief because of goals I wrote in my Bucket List notebook.

I hope these ideas are helpful to you and I hope all of you had a special, meaningful, and blessed Christmas!

Never give up HOPE! Even if things aren’t ideal or good right now, better days are ahead of you. Some of your very best days may not have even happened yet. Hang in there!

Gratitude & many blessings,

©2015/2018 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

©2019 Kim Niles/Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

⭐️For more encouragement:

❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

⭐️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): https://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles/1112403330?ean=9781449725617

❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

⭐️Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5

6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv

7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus

⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance and advice.


Creating a Bucket List–Living Life to the Fullest in Spite of Loss

Although nobody would willingly choose to go through grief or loss, good can come out of both experiences.

One of the most powerful lessons I personally learned from grief was to live life vibrantly, making the most of each and every day, because I painfully found that “tomorrow” is never promised.

People who have experienced deep grief are forever changed because grief completely changes everything.
It can change and challenge your emotions…your thoughts…your beliefs…your outlook…your relationships…your goals…everything!

Something else grief can change is your viewpoint on living life.

Many grievers, after thoroughly going through grief, are no longer willing to float through life or live a life of mediocrity. Other grievers are at the opposite end of the spectrum…they may be genuinely concerned they’ll never want to live life again…they may even believe that life will never be enjoyable or fulfilling.

That’s where a Bucket List comes to life.

Whether a griever doesn’t feel like living or enjoying life, or a griever wants to live life vibrantly to the fullest, a Bucket List is a very useful tool in grief recovery.

No matter where you are in your grief journey, consider buying a notebook and write down:
-everything you currently enjoy about life
-everything you previously enjoyed pre-grief
-any goals you want to achieve
-any places you’d like to travel to
-anything you’d like to
-any dreams you’d like to see fulfilled
-family & friends you’d like to encourage or spend more time with
-any difference you’d like to make
-“life purpose” goals
-memories you’d like to create
-any new skills or hobbies you’d like to learn and enjoy
-any self improvements you’d like to create (spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, wellness, etc)
-any fun events you’d like to do or attend
-anything else God puts on your heart

Having a Bucket List ensures that life, memories, moments, and opportunities are never taken for granted…or wasted…ever again.

Grief takes away & destroys so much.
A Bucket List prevents future regrets and loss.

When life knocks your breath out of you, a previous solid commitment to living out a Bucket List can prevent continually “drowning” in life on your worst days.

Even though it can be hard, and sometimes it takes baby steps, think about how to improve the quality of life. On days when you feel like giving up, you’ll have a Bucket List of goals to press forward in life with.

Grief destroys everything in it’s wake and can make you feel hopeless…it “takes” your life & holds it hostage.
Living life, creating a Bucket List, and choosing to press forward…regardless of circumstances…begins the process of taking your life back from grief and freeing every part of your life!

So who will choose to buy a notebook today and get started?

Life awaits you!