Phoenix FM Happy Club: How to make your Bucket List work!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be playing catch up with some of the radio interviews I’ve given over the past few months, including my ‘Happy Club’ slot of Michelle Ward‘s show on Phoenix98 FM.

This week we rewind the clock to April of this year when Michelle and I talked about Bucket Lists – and more importantly how to make them work. Click the big play button in the image below, or here if you’re reading this in an email.

We chat about the film ‘The Bucket List‘, how I decided to write a Bucket List of my own, and why I call mine a ‘Now List’. We also talk about the importance of starting your list even if you have no idea what you’d put on it, and how having a blank, ‘ready-to-go’ list seems to be a magnet for Bucket List ideas.

If you’ve already written a Bucket List then you might be interested in a couple of my other posts such as…

Want More Tips?

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TGGGTGTG drop shadowDuring the show Michelle briefly mentions my debut novel, The Good Guy’s Guide To Getting The Girl, and I casually forget to tell her that it wasn’t actually published. Well the good news is it is finally available!

The official launch is September 12th 2014, when the ebook will be less than a quid for a very limited period, and I’ll be personally delivering copies to anyone who wants one (that last bit might not be true). Subscribe to this blog to be reminded of the launch nearer the time, but if you can’t wait to flick through the contents of my imagination, click here now.

What the **** have I been doing?

Last week I received an email from my brother. Here’s an excerpt:

Will and I were talking about your book and we both agree that while the book is good, the blog is rather boring!

I don’t mean that to be cruel, but I would expect a guru like yourself to be posting some ‘bonus’ material or better yet a continuation of YOUR story! If you’re truly a guru then don’t you want your followers to be lead by your shining example?

A monthly feature I would like to see is ‘what the **** have I been doing?’. A more subtle title might work – but seriously, the only thing I remember seeing is the zoo keeper thing. I think that’s great, but if I don’t see some sunset in Skiathos picture, or a picture of you swimming with jellyfish sometime on the blog soon I’m going to start losing my faith in my guru.

Come on Peter Jones, author extraordinaire, and happiness guru, inspire me!!

It’s a funny thing. I’ve noticed that people tend to gravitate to different elements of the book. You can see this as you flick through the reviews on amazon. Lots of people like Boxing Day – that’s why it’s at the start of the book – whereas some think I’ve re-invented Saturday. Occasionally someone will comment on how they like my approach to Wishes, and Goal Setting – where others think they’ve ‘heard it all before’. And some folks, like my brother Simon, get all excited about Now Lists.

Indeed, Simon was the original inspiration for the Now List. It was Simon who told me to rent the movie the Bucket List. And it was Simon who – a year later – asked me if I ever got around to creating a Bucket List of my own. All this whilst he travelled around the world, adding items to his list, and ticking others off, on a daily basis. Simon doesn’t just tick items off either, he takes photographic evidence – and uploads that evidence to his website

In Simon’s mind this blog should be something similar – entry after entry of me time ticking another item off my Now List. And maybe he has a point.

So, as requested, this time next week sees the start of a feature cheerfully entitled ‘What the **** have I been doing?’ or WTFHIBD for short. You’ll be able to see all the WTFHIBD posts by clicking the WTFHIBD category over on the right, or typing into a browser. But I’m afraid my brother – and all you Now List fans – might be in for a disappointment, because I can tell you right now that’s not what I’ve been concentrating on these past six months. But to find out more you’ll have to come back next week.

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A few months back I stumbled across the rather wonderful website

If you’ve read the book (or seen the movie of the same name) then you’ll be familiar with what a Bucket List is. You’ll also know that rather than create a list of things I’d like to to do before I “kick the bucket“, I have a list of things I want to do RIGHT NOW.

I call it my Now List.

I keep my now list here on this blog for all the world to see, but if you don’t have a blog allows you to do pretty much the same thing. More than that, it allows you to write a little about each item, insert photos and videos, share it on facebook, twitter, google plus… basically the whole social meeja thing.

What I really like however is how you can browse the site for ideas, or search for someone who may have done something that you have on your list. Finally, I might be able to find someone who can tell me how to go about driving a tractor, bottle feed baby tigers, or countless other things on my list that I’m struggling with.

You can find me on here.
If you decide to add your own list feel free to post a link to it in the comments below.

List Freak

Guest blogger Zoe Homes explains why she’s a ‘list freak’, and why that’s ok.

Before I read How To Do Everything And Be Happy I was already a list freak.  I simply cannot cope without lists.  I have lists for work, lists for home, lists for my blog, lists for things I want to buy, and of course I have my ultimate “things to do” list – my bucket list.  Lists are important to me because I think in colours and music and pictures – I don’t think in words – if I don’t write it down, I don’t remember it.  But not just for memory’s sake.  I also need lists because I feel the need to know what is happening, for things to be predictable, organised and planned, and most importantly to be able to look back and remember what I have done – knowing what is about to happen and what has happened makes me feel in control, and ultimately, happy.

Before I read How To Do Everything And Be Happy I knew I was not alone in my freakish list making.  My mum has lists.  Budget lists, shopping lists, meal lists, to do lists (probably where it started).  A ex-colleague and good friend of mine also has lists for everything, and panics if there is no list to work from.  That’s just two people, I know there are many more.  Lists are integral to us functioning normally.  Without them life melts into uncontrollable chaos – or that is the fear.

Now I have read How To Do Everything And Be Happy I know I am, in fact, onto something here.  Peter Jones confirmed to me in this chatty and incredibly helpful book, that being a “list freak” is actually ok.  It’s ok to feel the need for a series of lists – using paper and online services.  It’s ok to have a colour coded diary showing everything that’s going on.  It’s ok to want to do that in order to feel in control of my day to day being.  And it’s ok to use lists to feel like I’ve achieved something at the end of each day, week, month, challenge.  In fact, I am getting it right!

Ok so I know I am not normal, but at least I know that happiness can actually be borne out of writing down my plans and sticking to them.  Go on… make your list now (start with your “now list”).  Oh and get a diary!

Now Boxing Days are another story.  An unplanned day a month?  In my review I said I thought it was a really great idea, and I still think it is.  But I’ve not been brave enough to try one yet!

Zoe Homes, author of Splodz Blogz, is a lover of music, gadgets, fashion, food, mad challenges, and all things happy. She’s all about the journey and trying to get the most out of life. 

Find Zoe’s blog at
Read Zoe’s review of How To Do Everything and Be Happy here.