The Monthly Bucket List

When I lived in downtown Toronto, I lived close enough to Sherbourne Commons (a park by the lake) that one day, when I was bored, I decided to take a solo stroll down there to just sit and enjoy the weather. While I sat on the bench looking at the sail boats passing by and listening to the lake lap against the dock I thought to myself, “Why don’t I do this more often? This is great!”.


It occurred to me then that there are a lot of things that I enjoy doing that I simply forget to do. You know, like those simple pleasures people always talk about? Ya–I had forgotten to enjoy them, and not only that,  but I entirely forgot what they were.

So there I was, looking at the lake, asking myself a stupid question:

“Pennee, what do you like to do?”

So, I made a list (I like to carry around notebooks weirdly, so I literally sat there and wrote it out):

  1. Listen to the lake
  2. Read books
  3. Go for walks/hikes

That was it. That was my grand list! Very impressive eh? I am a high achiever.

But then I looked at the 3 points I had made, and the truth was I had not done any of them for a long time. I mean, I walked to the park and listened to the lake that day but before that I couldn’t remember the last time I went for a leisurely walk (especially by myself!). As for reading books, I know I love them but I just hadn’t found time to delve into a good story in a long while. So, I went home and informed my then fiance that I would be doing these 3 things on a regular basis from now on so that I can take care of me and be happy. And I did…

for a week.

Then, as it goes, life took over. I worked a lot then went shopping after work, I watched TV before bed, I browsed Instagram on the couch and in the end I got too lazy to do the things that I told myself make me happy. Let’s be clear: I was deathly bored, but I just was not motivated enough to get off that couch and do something for myself.

Years passed, and I kept up this routine: work, TV/Instagram/Facebook, sleep. Every. Single. Day. Sometimes I would spice things up with weekend adventures and an evening drink but “work, TV/Instagram/Facebook, sleep” was my jam and it was the rule…everything else was an exception.

Recently, while creating this blog, I found myself thinking:

“Pennee, what makes you happy?”

And I almost had the same conversation with myself that I had about 2 years prior!! Can you believe that!?

Sensing a déjà vu coming on, I revived the list of things I like to do and that make me happy; however, this time I decided to make it into a challenge for myself to give me motivation to do it. Thus, the Monthly Bucket List Challenge was formed!


Here we have it, some very simple and personal goals for the month to remind me to do the things that make me happy:

  1. Try a new recipe
  2. Go somewhere i have never been before
  3. Watch a sunrise
  4. Go for coffee with a friend
  5. Watch a sunset
  6. Read a novel
  7. Go for a hike
  8. Try a new restaurant

Follow me on The Happy Project during the next few weeks to see how I am coming along with this month’s Bucket List Challenge, and let me know in the comments down below if you have a Monthly Bucket List challenge that you do and if you find that it works for you.

Talk to you soon,


7 thoughts on “The Monthly Bucket List

  1. Good for you for realizing that you need these things, to not only challenge yourself, but to find fulfilment in your everday life.
    I have made it a goal to always try something new. It can be as little as a food I have never eaten, to an experience that I thought i would never have. I want to enjoy the life that I have! I want to be a good partner to my husband and a Mom that my kids can look to for anything!
    I can achieve that by taking care of me.
    Thanks for sharing Pennee! Looking forward to the progress you make on your bucket list.


    1. I like to try new things too, but sometimes I get into the same old routine and keep getting food from the same place… and making the same order! Way to take care of you, Tracy! It’s definitely the most important 🙂


  2. Great stuff Pennee. A monthly bucket list… brilliant idea!

    In my pursuit of happiness I have a daily list. I set myself the task to try to do something for my mental health (deal with those letters or emails waiting for my attention) something for my physical health (take the stairs in the office, hassle free exercise and I am being paid too!) And I do something around the house too no matter how small. 😊

    I always have some delayed gratification in the shape of a nice glass of Pinot Grigio or a chat on the phone with a loved one.

    Good luck with your project. I will participate and follow it closely from Auld Reekie.

    Love Auntie Anne.


  3. This is an awesome idea Penn! Looking forward to your updates. Good luck on your journey! Also, if you need a friend for that coffee, pick me! Kristen (Kris)


  4. “Who you are inside is not the whole equitation. The way you share yourself with the world and how you connect with the world also matters. To succeed you must know yourself and, more importantly, be yourself, no matter what the rest of the world thinks.”
    Enjoy the journey to discovery and being yourself!


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