Bucket Lists Rather than New Years Resolutions by Monica Williams-Murphy, MD

Sunday, 29 Dec 2013 17:41

About Dr. Monica Williams-Murphy (120 Posts)

Dr. Monica Williams-Murphy is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician, who practices in one of the largest emergency departments in the United States at Huntsville Hospital. Through her writing and speaking, she is devoted to transforming the end of life into a time of peace, closure and healing. Media Page


I turn 43 on New Year’s Eve, not that you really care, but it does convey a certain perspective to be ending your year in two different ways.

So, as a general rule there are two things for sure with me:

1st- I always work in the ER on my birthday (it’s far more interesting than any party I have ever attended and I get paid to show up!)

2nd- I never make New Years resolutions.

Now, I have nothing against New Years resolutions (or birthdays
for that matter), I just believe they make you think too small….they encourage you to view your life in small yearly increments.

Let me break you out of this mindset by asking this question:

What if 2014 is your last year?

Voila! Your New Years Resolution (or your birthday wish) becomes transformed into your bucket list.

Bucket lists are about thinking BIG! Now that gets my attention! OK, so you don’t have to be dying to live like this, but living with your bucket list foremost in your mind invites you to think of your life from a vastly larger perspective- so that each moment and each choice is seen within the context of a whole- a whole life…now that’s thinking BIG!

Despite being turned on by the idea of bucket lists, my own list is very short and yet contains a big undertaking. The only significant item remaining on my bucket list is to safely deliver my children to adulthood with as much wisdom as I can awaken within them. Wish me luck!

So thing BIG!

Instead of a measly old New Years resolution, I challenge you to create then begin to empty your bucket list today!

Care to share what’s on your bucket list?

Don’t know where to start or need some ideas? Download my bucket list guide here!



Photo Credit:

Our Book: It's OK to Die

"It's OK to Die" is a ground-breaking book filled with graphic stories straight out of the Emergency Room illustrating how most Americans are completely unprepared for death and dying. In response, the authors have created a unique and comprehensive guide urging EVERYONE to prepare in advance, to assure their own peace and to prevent the suffering of their loved ones.
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7 thoughts on “Bucket Lists Rather than New Years Resolutions by Monica Williams-Murphy, MD

  1. Rea

    May your “significant item” come true!! It’s one of the biggest wishes we could make. It’s never so very easy, but it is entirely within reach.

    End of the year and end of your year! Ending and beginning. Perfect, special, interesting. Why wouldn’t we care??? Of course we do!!! Imagine the double perspective. Imagine double the growth?!

    Happy birthday! May the ER be interesting! Happy new year! May it bring more bucket list items (those smaller ones, maybe) off the list. And now, when we send you best wishes, we know what we’re wishing you! GOOD LUCK! All good. And by the way, thank you!

  2. M. Jane Markley

    Monica, great thoughts for the coming year. I agree with your working on NY Eve. Always a fascinating time. I’ve had a bucket list for years and continue to add to it periodically, not just at the turn of a year. I have also successfully completed items on the list, like this year I visited my 100th country. But with that has come the opportunity to get to know people around the world. I find that they all have similar concerns and problems of which death is a key issue. Your work regarding helping people to better deal with this is inspirational not just for those of us who live in the US but worldwide as well. Keep up your great work!!!

  3. Nancy Usher Williams

    Happy Birthday, Birthday Twin! I’m a decade older than you, turning 53 tomorrow on NYE. My life really began when I was diagnosed with and treated for depression. It’s pretty good now and getting better.

    I face death pretty head on and believe that people are moving on to a better place. But I certainly miss many and still grieve some. I did notice that my brother conveniently disappeared to move the car when it was time to check on Mom before her casket was closed. Dad had already said he didn’t want to see her like that. I think she was pleased with the decisions I made as I put together her service and did what she had told me she wanted, overruling my brother when he wanted to do things she specifically said she didn’t want.

    I miss her every day!

  4. Pingback: Bucket Lists Rather than New Years Resolutions by Monica Williams-Murphy, MD | It’s OK to Die | All Things Palliative - Article Feed

  5. Pingback: Bucket lists, not resolutions, for this new year… | Re-entry Is Risky Business

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