Your bucket list for a legacy worth leaving

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
 – Barack Obama

Many people have a bucket list – a list of goals they want to accomplish before they “kick the bucket” – to make sure they live life to the fullest. But your bucket list can include more than just the usual seeing the world and going sky-diving. When you plan to live your life well, you can also plan to leave a legacy when you go.

When you’re making your New Year’s Resolutions for 2016, why not make the following resolution?

A legacy that changes the world, or changes the world for one person.

“I think there’s a mythology that if you want to change the world, you have to be sainted, like Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela or Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Ordinary people with lives that go up and down and around in circles can still contribute to change.”
– Jody Williams, human rights political activist behind the banning of landmines.

A bucket list that counts

  1. Register to donate your organs when you go. Hey, once you’re worm food, other people will need your heart and kidneys more than you do. Find out what will happen to your organs on the government’s Donate Life
  2. Sponsor a child in a developing nation. You will be giving that one child nutritious meals to eat, lessons in school that will help them get a job one day, and medication so they can grow up strong.
  3. Invest for your own kids. Did you know 72% of Aussie seniors plan to leave something behind for their kids? It’s up to you how you choose to invest a lump sum for your kids, such as making them the beneficiary of your super fund, a term deposit, a share trading portfolio, or a simple savings account.
  4. Plant a tree. It’s a good form of ethical investment, since you’re investing in the air you breathe every day.
  5. Lose those extra kilos so you can live more days in health and happiness. If you have private health insurance, your insurance provider might offer a health improvement program that you could get involved in.
  6. Mentor primary school aged kids in the Kids Hope Aus One hour, once a week, every week for a year. Chatting, playing board games, or doing homework together. That’s really all it takes to turn a disadvantaged or troubled kid’s life around. Plus, it’s the most fun thing you’ll do every week!
  7. Leave a bequest to charity in your will. Choose a charity that really means something to you. I usually choose Christian Blind Mission because I wear glasses.
  8. Learn a language, then travel to that country and have conversations with real locals. You’ll reduce racism in the world, the more you have experiences like this and share your stories with other people. Don’t forget to buy travel insurance before you go.
  9. Go stargazing, to appreciate how big the universe is and how amazing it is just to alive as a speck in that universe. A trip to your local observatory (mine is the amazing Brisbane Planetarium) can be helpful in answering your deepest questions about how the universe works.
  10. Introduce a pet into your life, so that you have someone to care for who will consistently give you love. And get pet insurance to help you cover any vet bills they may need.
  11. Take dance classes with a loved one or just with friends. Trust me, it’s great fun! If you’re past the days of moving your hips and knees that way, geriatric aerobics is still fun and it’s kinder on the joints.
  12. Say thank you to the people you love, and the people who have given you great customer service, and anybody else who has grown you into the person you are. Gratitude is one of the most priceless things we can give to others.
  13. Plan your funeral in advance. That way, nobody you love gets lumped with the sad task of making extra decisions during a time of grief. Besides, you know what you would like the most in a memorial service – so why not get it written down and paid for now? Or sign up for funeral insurance to help ensure it won’t be a financial burden for you and your family.

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