Looking Back Wellness

Mighty Life List: What It Is and How to Create Your Own

Mighty Life List: What It Is

Everyone talks about their bucket list, a list of things they want to do or places they want to go. I’ve never written one myself, but have often said ‘that’s on my bucket list.”

That is until StumbleUpon magically brought me to Maggie Mason’s blog (MightyGirl.com) about a year ago and I learned about her Mighty Life List. It’s more than a bucket list with events, activities, or places to cross off.

To me, it’s a list of goals, accomplishments, and personal challenges, and aids in personal development and growth.

A Mighty Life List is Good for Your Mental Health

I’d say finding this article was a complete “Ah-Ha” moment for me. The word mighty conjures images of Superman or Hercules, or some other strong and brave creature. At that moment, that’s what I wanted to be; strong and brave.

So, I started writing my list and quickly realized that for each item I wrote down, I have already done and seen just as many things. Perhaps I have always been strong and brave, capable of leading a mighty life.

I’ve accomplished quite a lot in my lifetime, but never truly took the time to look back and reflect on it in this way. My perspective of myself and my life completely changed after writing this list.

This is why keeping a Mighty Life List is good for your mental health and wellness. Acknowledging your accomplishments, as small as they may seem, forces you to reflect on any obstacles you may have faced to reach your goals. You’ll remember these past obstacles and how you overcame them when faced with future hurdles.

Plus, creating and slaying new goals and completing challenges boosts self-esteem and proves how much you value yourself. I think anyone, especially those working through mental health issues, will benefit from creating their own Mighty Life List, and revisiting it every couple years.

Mighty Life List

At the Earthdance Festival in Laytonville, California.

Mighty Life List: How to Create Your Own

Maggie has 10 simple tips to writing your own Mighty Life List. She makes some very strong and thoughtful points. Here is what I gleaned from her writing:

1. Stop procrastinating. Get your thoughts out of your head, literally on paper or write them digitally, it will clear up a ton of mental and emotional space.

2. Be totally self-centered when writing your list. This is YOUR list, no one else’s. Write down whatever makes you grin, makes your heart swell, or puts a lump in your throat. Have no worries about what other people will think about the things that make you happy. And don’t judge other people for what makes them happy, for that matter.

3. Go crazy with your list! Write down the unimaginable or unattainable. Just the act of writing down a wish, or saying it out loud, makes it half true. Would I have gotten a roomful of balloons for my 24th birthday if I hadn’t told at least one person that was a dream of mine? No.

4. Your list is not set in stone. Delete, add or edit items as often as you change your underwear.

5. Do not approach your Mighty Life List like you would a weekend to-do list. It’s not all about getting your chores done as fast as possible so you can go have fun. It’s a reminder of fleeting thoughts and desires. You write them down so they don’t get away from you. Every once in awhile take a look at your list to see if any of your wishes can be crossed off or done soon. I guarantee just reading the list will put a smile on your face.

5. Your list does not have to make it to 100 or stop at 100. There’s no set number or limit to items you can put on your Mighty Life List. Once again, it’s all yours. Make of it what you will.

Mighty Life List

The order of my reaction to one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. 1) Excited & happy. 2) Double take. Is this real life? 3) I love and appreciate my friends so much, the happiness comes out of my eyeballs in the form of tears.

My Mighty Life List

My Mighty Life List as of July 25, 2013. See the most recent version HERE.

  • Take a ride in a hot air balloon
  • Restore a piece of furniture
  • Go on a cruise
  • Write a book
  • Try a new recipe every week  for a year & write about it
  • Visit as many National Parks & Seashores in the US as possible  (so far: Redwood NP, Arches NP, Great Sand Dunes NP, Cape Cod NS, Point Reyes NS, Bandolier NM, Canyon de Chelly NM, Mesa Verde NP, Muir Woods NP)

RELATED: A Local’s Guide: 4 Beautiful Spring Walks on Cape Cod

Mighty Life List

At Great Sand Dunes National Monument (now a National Park), Colorado.

  • Be a tourist on Cape Cod: Climb Pilgrim  MonumentSee a movie at the drive-in – Camp on Martha’s Vineyard – Go on a whale watch – Take a sunset cruise on the Bay – Watch the sunset from Scargo Tower – Visit the French Cable Station Museum – Camp at Nickerson State Park – Bike around Nantucket – Spend a day in Provincetown – Take the ferry from Provincetown to Boston – Visit Cuttyhunk  Island – Visit Monomoy Island
  • Live in Italy – learn more of the language
  • Visit my grandparent’s & friend’s graves
  • Stay in the penthouse of a hotel
  • Take a train ride across the US and back on different routes
  • Send more postcards when traveling
  • Kiss a celebrity
  • Own a great piece of art
  • Create my own great piece of art
  • Take a picture with the cast of Lost
  • Shoot a gun


Mighty Life List

This is the first gun (the only gun) I’ve ever shot. Fernbridge, California.

  • Visit every US state (I’m about 1/2 way there!)
  • Own a fixer-upper & turn it into a home
  • Attend Loy Krathong, the sky lantern festival in Thailand
  • Work on a movie set
  • Create & keep my own garden
  • Take an extended solo trip once a year
  • Spend New Year’s Eve at the International Dateline
  • Be in 4 states at the same time at Four Corners
  • Make money traveling. Somehow.
  • Teach English abroad
  • Adopt a Maine Coon
  • Adopt a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Display photographs I have taken at a gallery
  • Do something secret
  • Be prepared for an emergency
  • Go a day without speaking
  • Have fresh flowers in the house every week
  • Give a signature gift to newly wedded friends
  • Drink a Guinness in Ireland
  • Write more thank you notes
  • Bake 100 types of cookies (so far: Snickerdoodles, Oatmeal Raisin, Chocolate & Butterscotch Chip, Lavender Cookies, Blondies)
  • Throw myself a big 40th, 50th, 60th, etc. birthday party for
  • Watch the entire Soprano’s series
  • Drive up the California coast in a convertible
  • Visit Area 51
  • Get in the Guinness Book of World Records

RELATED: Minimalism and Travel: My Keys to Strengthening Mental Health

Mighty Life List

I raised a glass of champagne with around 16,000 other revelers ringing in the New Year on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2005/06. That year’s Guinness Book of World Record’s largest group toast.

  • Date a guy from Australia, New Zealand, or Northern Ireland =)
  • Go to the Super Bowl when the Patriots are playing
  • Float in the Dead Sea
  • Get a professional massage
  • Write a will
  • Visit sites where my favorite movies/shows were filmed
  • Learn how to play chess
  • Milk a cow/goat
  • Have pet goats
  • See a tornado
  • Do some sort of cleanse
  • Cage dive with sharks or crocodiles
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Leave a $100 tip for an unsuspecting waiter
  • Ride a cable car in San Francisco
  • Go to Grad School/Get a PhD
  • Ride in a helicopter
  • Hold an exotic, furry animal
  • Have bangs
  • Participate in Burning Man
  • Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Take a watercolor painting class
  • Go to the World Series when the Red Sox are playing
  • Go to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC
  • Attend a Broadway show
  • Attend an off-Broadway show
  • Be involved in a cause
  • Confront the guy who sexually assaulted me
  • Visit the 9/11 Memorial in NYC
  • See a lunar and solar eclipse

RELATED: Build Travel Confidence Through AmeriCorps Service

Mighty Life List

I hopped on a one-way flight with a single suitcase to do environmental volunteering with AmeriCorps in Northern California in  2008.

  • Read the top 5 books from the Modern Library’s Top 100 Best Novel Lists (Board’s and Reader’s Lists top 5: Ulysses, The Great Gatsby, A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man, Lolita, Brave New World, Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, Battlefield Earth, The Lord of the Rings, To Kill A Mockingbird)
  • Write a letter to myself and read it 10 years later
  • Join a bowling league
  • Learn to sail
  • Ride a horse again
  • Plant a tree to visit every year
  • Complete a cross stitch project
  • Fold 1000 origami cranes
  • Learn how to can and preserve food
  • Get a matching tattoo with a close friend
  • Go to a psychic/palm reader/tarot card reader
  • Participate in a fantasy football league
  • Play a full round of golf
  • Go to a rodeo
  • Go rock climbing at a gym, then for real
  • Move across the country with only a suitcase
  • Fly first class
  • Make homemade candies
  • Get scuba certified
  • Go fishing
  • Live on a tropical island
  • Go to a ballet
  • Go to a high school reunion
  • Be a Maid of Honor
  • Be a Godmother
  • Brew my own beer

Now Write Your Own and Be Mighty

Are you strong, brave, capable, or any other adjective you want to be? If you write a Mighty Life List of your own, you’ll see that you are.

I’d love to read your Mighty Life Lists with all your accomplishments, dreams, and personal challenges. Send them to me on Facebook, Twitter, or email me at brittany[at]transformedthrutravel.com.

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A Mighty Life List is more than a bucket list with items to check off. It's your accomplishments, dreams, and goals. Write your own today!


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