Dynamics of modern life leave us under the spell of the idea that we should always be well-organised and follow the perfect routine. We tend to stop planning for new adventures.
Remember that guitar you promised yourself you'd start playing, but never did? Or that bright shirt you bought but never wear? Or all those holidays you planned but never went on?
So many lovely ideas postponed, or outright cancelled. We let ourselves become discouraged or disillusioned. Yet, at the back of our mind we all dream to be spontaneous explorers, more developed, fitter, happier, more complete versions of ourselves.
Wishful Thinking Week is all about chasing those dreams.
We've put together a list of adventures, challenges, and trials that are nearly universally aspired to, yet rarely completed.
Getting the adrenaline levels up and learning something new should always be the priority in life, having experiences and getting fun stories. Investing in ourselves means boosting our confidence and performing better in everything else we get involved in.
From driving the Amalfi Coast to watching a flamenco show in Costa Brava to soaking in the ocean at the Acapulco resort, you have plenty of marvelous trips to choose from.
Travelling is one of the most rewarding activities, which also makes us more tolerant and fearless. Nothing could surpass the profound amount of knowledge we obtain while encoutering new nations, religions, and ways of thinking.
Envisage a trip to Jerusalem, the outstanding crossroad of three religions - Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Reaching the Western Wall is a journey in itself. You'll be offered some of the world's best ingredients, that you'll never find back home. Other vendors will be very persistent and charming while convincing you why their scarves and jewellery couldn't look better than on you. Buy some, they'll be fantastic mementos of your trip.
And then you could continue your cultural trip with visiting the world's biggest Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem.
Offering various art exhibits and commemorative sites, it is one of Israel's most-visited places, and an important reminder of history.
Or maybe you're an art lover? Antoni Gaudi's masterpieces across Barcelona will cast a spell on you. Enjoy the colour explosion at Park Guell. It's iconic with its wonderful views of the city and modernist play areas and fountains. And of course you could admire Gaudi's work while taking some magical photos in front of Basilica of the Sagrada Familia.
There are so many extreme sports you can do. Kitesurfing, for instance, is an explosively popular phenomenon that combines aspects of surfing and paragliding.
Zip lining is another lovely activity to check out this summer. Reach speeds of 50mph while gliding on a rope above forests, oceans, or deserts. The other positive thing is that zip line tours are relatively easy to find in many countries, and can be fun for large groups.
Volcano boarding sounds just as good to boost your energy levels. Ascend a mountain of loose rocks and then start racing down on an active volcano, if you're brave enough. You could even pick if you want to sit down on a sled or stand up on a snowboard.
White-water rafting is yet another way to get your blood pumping. Be audacious and try maneuvering in rough water. It's fun and dangerous! The numbers of people practicing it is getting higher and higher.
Learning a new language
All languages improve our cognitive flexibility. Moreover, when we learn a second language, the quality and intensity of our attachment to people who speak those languages enhances. It lets us communicate and connect with so many more people, which can only be a good thing.
3 billion people use more than one language in their everyday life which demonstrates how interested we are in speaking different languages, and how interconnected we could all be. It's lovely because people are not restricted to a single world-view.
Multilingualism helps delay cognitive ageing and increases connectivity between brain areas. There are so many spoken all over the world: French, Spanish, Mandarin. Or maybe try considering learning Luxembourgish or Icelandic, for adventures in those specific places. Languages are such a good excuse to travel the world!
A language goes beyond vocabulary and grammar. This experience also improves our cultural empathy which lessens racism and xenophobia.
Regardless of whether you prefer going snorkelling at Australia's Great Barrier Reef or you rather relive the Wild West at the Grand Canyon, getting distracted by new adventures is always good.
Activities such as taking a helicopter ride or going wine tasting could inflame so many different feelings, and uncover a new passion of yours.
Whatever you do this Wishful Thinking Week, let us know @WishfulThinkUK
The year is over half over, and if you’re anything like most of us, you haven’t achieved half of what you wanted to this year. Your new year’s resolutions, body goals, and career targets are that much closer to being missed or abandoned entirely.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
If you really want to, you can achieve incredible things in a very short space of time. An ancient Chinese proverb states:
‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.’
Even if you’ve wasted almost all year not doing what you wanted to, you’ve still got time to start.
Wishful Thinking Week is all about turning your dreams into reality, so read these top tips on how to organise your time better, make a change, and achieve those goals!
Make A List Of Your Goals
This might seem obvious, but sit down and take half an hour to really think about what you want to achieve. As long as it’s reasonable or achievable to achieve in the time you have left, they could be whatever you want.
Think about whether it’s something you really want to have done by the end of the year. Be specific. Be honest. Think about what will make you happy, and whether you’ll regret not doing these things by the end of the year.
Make your list as long or as short as you want, but really consider your options and what it will mean for you to complete them. Are they things you genuinely want to achieve, or do you just think you should? Write them down, this holds you accountable to actually get things done.
Work Out Your Priorities
Once you’ve got your goals figured out, it’s important to prioritise them. Trying to tackle everything at once is not smart – you won’t get anywhere. Take things one at a time, attempting the longest or most difficult task first. This will require planning, commitment, and determination, and when you get it done, it will make everything else seem so easy in comparison.
Now you know what you’ve got to, in what order, you need to get a plan together. Whatever the goal is, there are steps you can take towards getting it done. Whether it’s implementing a schedule, putting in study time, or setting deadlines to meet, there are certainly measurable, identifiable goalposts you can use to measure if you’re moving in the right direction, or if you’re even moving at all. It’s much easier to stick to a plan than to just wing it and hope that things will all work out: they won’t.
Hold yourself accountable. Own your successes and your failures. But just in case you don’t trust yourself, tell your friends. They’ll definitely hold you accountable. If you go a week without going to the gym, writing a chapter, or making progress, they’ll let you know about it. And they’ll make sure to keep letting you know until you get back to what you’re supposed to be doing. Your friend are one of the best motivational tools you have, because they want you to succeed as much as you do.
Make It Easy For Yourself
Do you not manage your time well? Do you get easily distracted? Do you not have enough hours in the day to get stuff done?
Either remove your distractions, or remove yourself from them. If you can’t stop checking your social media, either delete them for a while, or work somewhere where you cannot access them. If you can’t work at home, don’t go home. Use your time effectively, in spaces where you work best.
There’s no point making all these sacrifices to fall at the last hurdle, or to let yourself do anything less than your best. Make time. Put in the work. It’s worth it.
Now you’re all ready to get started, and make those dreams happen.
Stop putting it off. Stop trying. Do it.
In the wise words of Master Yoda: ‘Do. Or do not. There is no try.’
Let us know what goals you achieved @WishfulThinkUK or #WishfulThinkingWeek
One thing everyone wants to do more is read. And with kindles and audiobooks, it’s easier than ever to find time to enjoy a good book, no matter what you’re doing. So this Wishful Thinking Week, why not try to read a book you've always wanted to, but never quite got around to tackling?
But there’s still the question of what to read. There are so many classics everyone intends to get around to at some point, impressive books that you want to be able to brag about having read. But they’re intimidating for a reason: they’re old, difficult, and usually really really long.
So we’ve made a list of books we think you should read, a mix of famous books, classic books, and hidden gems that you may never have heard of, but we promise they’re all worth it, even the really long ones. Click the covers to see more about them.
Let us know what your favourite books are and what books you wish you would read on Twitter @WishfulThinkUK