Welcome back to my monthly series on building self-confidence to enhance relationships and strengthen communication skills. This month, I’m excited to host Lara Krupicka, an incredibly gifted writer, author and speaker, and a leading expert on how to create family buckets lists.
When we see our family as our home team, we’re empowered to achieve so much more than if we’re all spinning in different directions on separate quests. With a fresh new year on the horizon, now is the perfect time to learn how family bucket lists can inspire increased confidence in both you and your kids while helping you pursue your individual and collective dreams.
CMH: How can setting and achieving bucket list goals help enhance self-confidence? Should we start with smaller goals first or what’s the best strategy when starting out to avoid setting ourselves up for failure?
LK: In many ways setting bucket list goals is about getting to know yourself better and understanding what you are most drawn to in life. So when you acknowledge those goals by putting them in writing, your self-confidence receives a boost because you are in essence telling yourself your inner dreams and desires are valuable. And achieving bucket list goals gives such satisfaction and energy that our self-confidence can’t help but be boosted. Plus we’re able to draw on memories of past success when we face challenges. Bucket lists really call on us to push our boundaries and often let us see we’re capable of more than we realized.
I think small goals are great! We often get tripped up on the idea that bucket list goals are so far out there that they’re unreachable. But if you think about it, the only requirement for something to go on your bucket list is that it be something you haven’t done yet, but have wanted to do. Which means we can include simple, inexpensive goals too.
I advocate for starting small with bucket list goals (unless a big goal suddenly comes within reach) because of the energy and momentum we can gain from seeing success. And don’t forget that many big goals could be looked at as a series of small goals ( for example, running a marathon starts with training short distances and building up your endurance – each bit of training can be its own goal).
CMH: In your experience, what kind of trickle down effect from parents to children occurs as kids see their parents making a conscious effort to go after their dreams?
LK: In a lot of ways, Mom and Dad are pretty two-dimensional people to kids. We’re the parents. Period. And a lot of times we get sucked into this place of being focused on helping our kids succeed that reinforces this view, because we stop being individuals with hopes and desires for ourselves. When we go after our own dreams it’s expansive. Our kids see that it’s not all about them and that we’re people, not just parents. Plus they get the thrill of cheering us on toward our goals – it’s a role reversal. That alone changes the dynamics and creates a feedback loop for goal achievement, where everyone is inspired to keep dreaming and doing.
CMH: How do you think creating and fulfilling bucket lists as a family can help kids grow more confident in how they look at opportunities in the world?
LK: Again, it’s the idea of pushing boundaries. Bucket lists are essentially a way of engaging more broadly and deeply with our world – trying new things, meeting new people. The more we take kids outside of their everyday settings, even if it is something as simple as going to a new restaurant, the more they see that “new” and “different” aren’t scary, they’re just unfamiliar. That’s what makes a family bucket list so powerful. Doing things as a family provides the security kids sometimes need when approaching the unfamiliar. We’re all in it together. From there kids learn that they can approach even their individual goals with confidence because they know their family will be there to back them.
CMH: It’s not news that we live in a busy world with plenty of distractions. How can creating a bucket list together help build a stronger family? How can your new Udemy course help families make that happen?
LK: Creating bucket lists as a family gives you an opportunity to talk about heart matters – those inner hopes and dreams. You get to know each other in new ways. And you learn to lean on each other for support as you tackle different goals.
My new Udemy course, Build Stronger Bonds Writing Family Bucket Lists is designed to walk you through practical steps (geared toward the ages of your kids) to not only get your lists down in writing, but also make the most of the interactions that happen as you do so. And students in my class learn how to make it a natural part of everyday family life that enhances relationships. The goal is to help parents bring family members closer, create more camaraderie and make quality memories.
Thank you for letting me share with your readers. I hope they’re inspired to bring bucket lists into their families.
Thank you, Lara!
Lara Krupicka is an internationally published parenting journalist and author who encourages parents to make the most of the years while raising their children by setting out of the adventures that matter most to them. Lara is best known for her Bucket List Life Manifesto and her books Family Bucket Lists and Bucket List Living For Moms.
Lara’s work has been published in dozens of magazines and newspapers including The LA Times, San Diego Family, Family Australia Magazine, Calgary’s Child, and the Chicago Sun Times. She also serves on the executive board of the Redbud Writers Guild.
When she is not at her desk writing, Lara loves beautifying the world through crafts and sampling new food, skills, sports, and locales. Lara and her husband, Mike, are raising their three daughters in the western suburbs of Chicago.