Live Your Bucket List Now with Leanne Blaney - Conny Graf

Live a brave and limitless life and live your Bucket List now instead of someday. 

I admit, my first thought when I hear Bucket List is I think of the 2007 movie The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. But from now on I will think of Leanne Blaney, a certified Bucket List Coach. 

Leanne wants us to live a brave and limitless life and she will inspire us to live our Bucket List now and not wait until someday. We want to make sure that we have a bucket list and that we work on doing the things on it now not someday.

Leanne says it's not just about travelling or adventures like bungee jumping, we can bring some fun and adventure into your life without spending big bucks or waiting until we are retired and have more time. 

If you find value in this conversation with Leanne please share the episode with one or two of your friends or family members, because if you find value in it, they will too. 

Leanne Blaney

is the Award-Winning Author of ‘Balance’, the host of 'Ignite Your Life' podcast, and certified Bucket List Coach. She will help you nurture solutions to develop your creativity, increase personal passion, prioritise self-care and live a purposefully balanced life for yourself and your family. She will inspire you to live your Bucket List now and not wait until someday.

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Reading instead of Listening (Transcript) 

FYI: this text is not polished, I try to keep it as close as possible to how the guest expressed herself/himself . Also, the time stamps start when the interview start without the intro where I introduce my guest. 

Conny Graf
Welcome to my show Leanne, I'm so excited to chat with you today.

Leanne Blaney
Thank you so much. I'm excited to talk to you as well, Conny, I love talking to people about bucket listing and everything else that's going on so yeah looking forward to it.

Conny Graf
Yeah, me too because I look back and I think your podcast was the first one that I was a guest on back in 2017, I don't think I have been a guest on a different podcast before yours. And, but you're still podcasting, just check then you are at 174 episodes or something amazing like that...

Leanne Blaney
yes, Ignite your Life is definitely still going strong and I'm loving it.

Conny Graf
Yeah, and I just started mine in February like it took me that long but I'm working on. Yeah, so back when we connected last your business was called master your mountain which I always loved coming from Switzerland living in Vancouver with lots of mountains, but I assume lots has changed, but you are still the life igniter right?

Leanne Blaney
that's right yeah I still work around that igniting your life and getting that adventure into people's lives adding a bit of sparkle. Yeah, the name has changed a little bit I do like adventure school for women now. Because women seem to be my client that come to me and they're the ones that don't prioritize themselves and don't look out for themselves and think, "Oh, I'm stuck in this rut". So they're the ones that need to get a bit of adventure into their life so that's where I've just moved a little bit more into the adventure side of things and that's why I'm now a certified bucketlist coach and life coach.

Conny Graf
I love that because I love adventure so I did a few adventures in my life, and somebody once said to me "I didn't know you were so adventurous" apparently as women like you just said we're not supposed to be adventurous, or society thinks we're not so adventurous. But you want - so I'm reading here real quick so I get it right - you want people to live a brave and limitless life, and then break out of conformity and live a purposefully balanced life. And you do that with a bucket list or bucketlisting, so explain a little bit for the people who don't know what that is what is a bucket list.

Leanne Blaney
Yeah, so I like to say to your point about conformity and society, that's where I found that you know people weren't being brave they were doing everything society said, you know, women were told that I have to be Superwoman, Supermum, Superpartner, all that sort of stuff. And in doing that they've forgotten who they are, and they've forgotten they can actually do those unique individual things they used to do when they were children like you know you dreamt of doing all these wonderful adventurous stuff and then you're told "No! Women, no you need to follows this certain path of getting some education, getting married, having kids and then keep following that path and getting the material things, like getting your house and that sort of things. And I'm thinking, Well, why? You know so there's so many more women now starting to think Well Why? There's got to be more to life than this, and that's where I'm bringing up the adventure side by saying, Hey bucket listing is not for when you die or you're on a deathbed or you've got some traumatic event happened in your life, you can actually do that now. You can have that fun and variety, and those little adventures and experiences you can all have it now. So that's why I want to do the bucket listing because people understand that it is going out and doing things for yourself. Although there's still a misconception of just travel or adrenaline rush, and I'll go into that more later I'm sure, but it there's more to it than just being a bucket list for those things.

Conny Graf
Yeah but Isn't it sad that we have to tell ourselves or tell each other that it is okay to have some fun?

Leanne Blaney
We need to give permission to ourselves to go out and have fun because everything so serious now. And that's why I thought no I want to lighten life up a bit, do some stuff that really makes life fun, get the weight of the world off your shoulders. Yeah that that's so true that we don't give ourselves permission.

Conny Graf
Yeah, I think that was also what pulled me towards you three years ago when I was on your podcast because I was a little bit of a wild child but I was not allowed to be wild and so I was constantly told that girls are sitting pretty and are not running around and falling over and bruising their knees. I remember my mom telling me you never find a husband with your bruised knees. Isn't that crazy and so yeah I find it really sad that we have to tell, especially women that we can have fun. So, your business and your message I find is so important, because otherwise we just sit at home in our house. Is it in, where you are too, that we are supposed to want to have the nice house with the white picket fence around, the two and a half children and the dog.

Leanne Blaney
Yeah, it seems to be the material things that we think is success, while I don't think it is. I think success is in the journey of us having a happy, fun, life, and then we get the things along the way. Sure, I mean it's not a bad thing having material things, but it's not everything. There is so much more to life than that.

Conny Graf
Yeah. But see, I do think because we're not allowed to have fun, a lot of people do go and get a lot of the material things. Then they end up that they need my help because their whole house is full of clutter. Instead of going out and having fun and experience life to the fullest. Because we're kind of not allowed to rethink we're not allowed, we go out and we buy stuff because somehow we feel like we need to do something good for ourselves.

Leanne Blaney
Yes, I get a lot of clients or people I've talked to that think the only way they can fulfill themselves or get some comfort or whatever is going on their life they can get some control is buying something. Whereas, they don't realize if you actually go out and have the experiences, there's so much more than that in the memory, in looking back over it and celebrating those achievements and things that you've been able to step out of your comfort zone. I do see a lot of especially women, but men too, they just keep thinking, Oh, well, I got some great sort of feelings from buying that object, but the feeling is gone now so I'll go for the next object, and I just keep going from object to object rather than having those memories from experiences.

Conny Graf
Yes, they're missing something, I call it retail therapy, you go and you buy something and then oftentimes what you go buy in moments like this, when you're actually feel a lack inside of you, but you go and buy something instead of actually exploring that lack, you don't really like what you're buying and it becomes clutter. So let's have more adventures and a bucket list, what are the benefits of bucket listing, other than not accumulating clutter.

Leanne Blaney
Exactly, that's a big one. There are so many benefits to a bucket list because, I don't just do a bucket list where people think they've got a couple of travel ideas in their head. I have 12 categories in a bucket list. The 12 categories are making sure that you have a very holistic and fulfilling bucket list. So it's not just jumping out of a plane, or traveling overseas, it's things like showing kindness to others, leaving a legacy. What are you curious about? What can you do for yourself? What lessons can you take to learn something new? The things that help you step outside your comfort zone help you grow. When you do that it's so much more beneficial, not just for you but for your family, for your relationships, for people around you, for your community. Because you can build that fun and excitement. Most people book a holiday in 12 months time and they get excited and have that feeling of anticipation. But that's all they do it for is that 12 months time. Why not have that feeling of anticipation and excitement and that common bonding and thing to talk about with people every day, every week, every month. Always be searching for the next thing to do and that's what I think are the benefits, that it can bring that hope and that anticipation, because what I do is based on positive psychology. It brings in so many happy thoughts that can really benefit and ripple out to family, friends, community.

Conny Graf
Yeah, so what comes to my mind, of course, is now like one of my sayings is "a few minutes a day keeps the clutter away" so it's a similar concept. You're saying instead of just having one big thing to look forward to in 12 months you make sure that this is a regular occurrence and I basically say the same. Instead of trying to declutter a whole week long, which nobody wants to do anyways, including me, you're trying to do a little bit every day and and make your life easier that way and you with bucket listing the way you explain it, you make your life more exciting on a daily basis.

Leanne Blaney
You definitely do, and you have something to look forward to. You get up each morning think "oh, what am I gonna do today?" At the moment I'm learning how to juggle, it's been something that I've always wanted to do. So I need to practice that. I won't be able to tick that off until I've actually practiced it for quite some time. So those are the little things I can do. I can also look into the big things like your holidays and travel, when we can go back to those times, but there's just so much little things that we were talking earlier about, just exploring your local area, knowing what you have in your local area because we get very complacent about what's around us. So why not have that time where "Ahh, I've got five minutes I might just walk around the block and see what's new. Or, on the weekend, let's go exploring along the foreshore, or go hiking in the trails, or whatever it is. You can do it and not have to go very far and it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. That's the other thing that I hear a lot "Oh bucklelisting, it costs money. It doesn't have to, there's lots you can do without actually costing hardly anything, just petrol, sometimes.

Conny Graf
Yeah, and sometimes it just needs us thinking a little bit more and a little bit outside the box. I had that one lady as a guest on and she didn't spend, that was the goal, she didn't spend money for a whole year. And she had to become very creative. So now with this pandemic situation we possibly can't travel where we want to travel to but that doesn't mean we can't have fun or we can't have an adventure. So let's find one that we actually can have in our own neighborhood or in our own country or province or whatever. I just came back from a three week long road trip here in BC and it was unexpected, it was not even on my bucket list. Well actually, the trip itself was on the bucket list but not for this year. Tt was just something I wanted to do one day and it turned out to happen this year. There's always ways how you can do something fun and play tourist in your own town or play tourist in your own, like you said, hiking trails, wherever you are living there's for sure something exciting to see

Leanne Blaney
It certainly is. I've had to teach people to ask themselves, okay what's in your local area, what can you go and look at, what can you do, what can you see, what can you do at home. We can take so many lessons now on our computer, there's free lessons out, there there's free courses, there's just so much that you can actually do. I was saying to someone recently. I'm a runner, I love to run and I said, well, let's go up to Wild Horse Mountain which is about 40 minutes from here between where I live and the Sunshine Coast. I've always said, Oh, I'd love to get to Wild Horse Mountain one day, and you just never do. But now I've thought, oh okay let's go running, so we ran 10K around the base of it and then we climbed up and had this beautiful view to end it. And that's the experience that I can actually tell people about. It was on my bucket list because I always wanted to stop there. But it's not far , ll it was was a bit of petrol to get up there. There is so much around you that, now is the time to start looking, what have you got in your back yard? What have you got in your local town? Or are there new coffee places that you've never tried? Do something totally different, and that's what brings a variety and the fun into your life.

Conny Graf
I love that. So, of course you have to ask since we're on a podcast, back when you started your podcast, but was that on your bucket list?

Leanne Blaney
Definitely was like I had things that write a book, start a podcast, all those type of things because with business you think, oh yeah this is what I want to do. And so it definitely was. And when I did start I thought, well can I do this? and I had my doubts but you know, you just get help from people, there was so much support out there. I wasn't great, I did my first couple and I said "oh yeah I can improve here" but I mean now I'm 175 episodes in, and it is such a wonderful thing that I can tick off and say: yes I started the podcast, yes I'm leaving a legacy. Because I'm actually leaving something for people to listen to it doesn't just disappear. I can tick off so many things and I've met so many people. Because that's another category: meet a personal hero and well I've talked to people like you and got your story, I've talked to people all over the world, which has been amazing so yes podcasting was definitely one of the things, and I've written a book, the book as well was on the list. So, yeah, it's been wonderful.

Conny Graf
Yeah and again we always think like we can't do these crazy things that's just for other people. like I kind of had podcasting on my bucket list for a while, and I really had to overcome that inner gremlin that told me "who are you? who would want to listen to you?" and then I just had to do it anyways. It's so amazing what you're experience when you finally start. I don't listen back to my earlier episodes and I don't really know whether I got better or not. But that's not the point. the point is that you meet awesome people, you grow, the other person grows, the listener learn something or gets inspired. You never know where it's leading you, that's the adventure, you can have an adventure as a podcaster.

Leanne Blaney
you certainly can, and that's one thing that bucket listing does, it helps you grow. It helps you get outside your comfort zone and you can't be the same person if you're doing these things you can't be the same person you were before. You have grown in some way. And I think podcasting for me allowed me to voice who are really was. I had thought about blogging and I'm not a regular blogger, I did write my book but I'm not a writer. To me I love the conversation and the passion I can show that when I'm actually talking to somebody. So I think if you're frightened of it, it's probably a good thing. It actually means I'm going to grow if I just take the first step and then keep going with it, and I totally recommend that.

Conny Graf
Yeah, and it's so funny when you're getting to the point where you think "I don't care how I sound, I just put it out there anyways." It also helps to listen to some other people who just start a podcast, to their early episodes and then realizing that oh they're not perfect either. I listened, and I will not name any names, to a podcast episode from a big wig influencer and the audio was horrible, and I'm like okay my audio is better, so I can put out an episode. We all don't have to be perfect, and I think it's a huge gift that we give ourselves if we're actually allowing ourselves to be not perfect and still go out and do these adventures. Even with hiking I'm sure you had clients who were not good at things, or at hiking, or you mentioned juggling before, it's funny how we always think we have to be perfect from the beginning, which is so unrealistic.

Leanne Blaney
Well that's right we got to start somewhere. We did win even as children, learning to walk, learning to ride a bike, learning to drive a car. We weren't good at these things straightaway we had to practice so it's like anything else. The more you put yourself out there, the more you're gonna keep pushing yourself, you're gonna keep growing. And you can keep doing things that you thought wow I never thought I'd be able to do that. I just put things up. One of the things on my bucket list is to learn the guitar. When I was a child I was only allowed to do the piano, because that's what girls did piano, not guitar. So that's on my list one day I'm going to get a guitar and to get lessons, but that will take time I'm not going to be great at it. I'm not gonna be perfect but I'm not doing it to go out and be on stage. I'm doing it for me. I'm doing it for me and for doing for me I'm more fulfilled, and that way, I'm better for other people. And it's like the podcast, you and I both put it out there because we want to help other people, even if one person listens to our podcast and gets something out of it and changes their life. I mean that's what I'm talking about, isn't it?

Conny Graf
Exactly! And it's so funny when you say about playing the piano. When I was a kid, I wanted to learn the piano and I was not allowed to because my grandfather didn't like the sound of a piano so I wasn't allowed to play. So this is definitely on my bucket list. It's not urgent but that's on my bucket list. I feel if we help somebody or if we just help ourselves I think we have the right too to help ourselves and do something for ourselves.

Leanne Blaney
Exactly because we don't do things for ourselves, we were told so often it's selfish to do stuff for you. Women especially will listen to their family and then not do things that they really want to do. But that's not only not helping but you can also get a bit resentful, you can get cynical, you can get bored, you can get really complacent about your life, so it's important that you do things that you love. I mean I love that I've now got the support of my partner with by running. He never used to like running, he was like "oh yeah I'll take you in there" and he'll take me to the different venues. And now he started running, and he's really loving it and it's really evolved our relationship because we've been able to do something together. I've seen families do the same thing if they got that common goal, saying what are the things that you want to do in a bucket list and let's go around and do something for everybody. It's a completely different experience and bonding experience for the family.

Conny Graf
Yeah so beautiful, so beautiful. So other than learning the guitar what is one other big thing that you have on your bucket list, or a small thing like, just to give people some other ideas.

Leanne Blaney
So I've got lots of things on my bucket list, big, small and medium. So there's things like taking lessons or even satisfying curiosity there's things like I want to see a sloth. In real life, I mean,

Conny Graf
oh yeah that would be fun.

Leanne Blaney
You wouldn't want to see a sloth. I want to hold a ferret because we are not allowed to have ferrets here where I live, they are not alloud in our state, so it can't have them so I want to be able to hold one. And other things like it doesn't have to be travel it's like a want to leave a legacy, yes my book is one, but I want to write letters to my child, and her child, well she's having another child now so I'll have two grandchildren, but just leave a legacy for them to know what did I actually do, what was my life about. Because you don't often tell the stories. So things like leaving the stories behind so that when you'reon your deathbed and go "oh I wish I let them know".... or your loved ones go "oh I didn't really know my grandma".... you know that sort of stuff. So I want to be able to do things like that. But then there is the stuff like learning to juggle and visiting certain places, and I think you call it Macrame. It's just learning how to do craft, I'm not a crafty person but I thought I want to put myself out there and make something so I chose Macrame. There's lots of things like that for example, I want to be a mascot. I want to go running around a football field in a mascot uniform, and I want to ride a mechanical bull. These are things to lighten up your life. It's not all serious or just jumping out of a plane. I've done zip lining and things like that, but it's not just things like that, it's having fun and lighten up and going hey I just want to be silly. I'll sing a duett in karaoke with somebody who wants to join me.... things like that. That's what I have a very different sort of bucket list and that's what I teach 12 different categories 12 different types of things to really be holistic and fulfilling.

Conny Graf
That's so awesome, I think that whoever brings some light and fun and adventure into our life that's awesome. So where do we start best? Do we just started writing down what we would want to do and then start taking steps towards it, or do you have an extra tip on how to start or some wisdom how to start and how to overcome our stinking thinking, the Gremlin who says, We have no time for that, you have obligations, you need to make money.

Leanne Blaney
You need time to stop and think, okay if I had no issues with time, no issues with money. Just forget about all the qualifications that I want to put on these things, just sit down and think: "In an ideal world what would I like to do?" And if you can get together with other people that's even better because ..... this is the only time I say to people you can copy and steal of everyone else because they might have a great idea that you want to do as well. So, I run these vision board workshops for bucket lists only. So we do the 12 categories, we cut things out and people go yeah I want to do all and you go through the magazines and get ideas. So the best thing is to get it out of your head, because often we'll have only a couple of things in our head, say you want to visit Europe or I want to visit there... or I want to jump out of a plane, but that's all it is. So yes, put those things down on paper, but start writing other things down whether you get pictures or just write it down because I started off with 101 things I wanted to do. And then I just kept adding to it. Then I made a spreadsheet and said oh this is exciting all these things that I want to do. Then somebody else said, I want to do this aand I said, Oh, I'm putting that on my bucket list. So, the important thing is to write it down because we've all heard that with the goals, people who are successful with goals have the written down, and they see them every day. So I do that, I write them down, I have my spreadsheet open every day, and I have a look at my list, and go: "What can I do now, what can I plan for, and just start taking the small steps, if it's just one small thing it's visiting some local thing in your area, a statue, whatever, do it take a photo of it, then go "Yeah, I did it" and get that feeling of excitement and share it. And then you'll find that momentum just comes.

Conny Graf
Mm hmm. I love that. So that's probably also what keeps us from feeling overwhelmed because I was just thinking if I put all these things on my list and then I can't do anything for whatever reason right now, maybe because of finances or because of the pandemic, or time, or whatever. So we should have smaller things on the list that we for sure can do, so you have 12 categories and then you have like you said, small, medium and bigger things, and do you recommend a special mix or does it not matter? Like a mix between small and medium and big?

Leanne Blaney
I don't think it really matters. I think the important thing is not to qualify it, to say oh, that's too small to put on a bucket list. Well no, it's not because if we celebrate the things that we achieve, we're more likely want to move on to bigger things. We might say okay so I'm gonna do all these small things but I'm gonna put some money away for the biggest things as well. So you start budgeting so you start working at ways that you can do it. It's amazing when you put it out there, how things pop up. I was doing something for my business and I met somebody online on Facebook as you do. We sort of talked about things and she said I'm gonna run a retreat, I'm gonna run a retreat over in Fidji and I said oh yeah I'd love to be part of that. So I was a facilitator, we had 150 women, this was in February just before everything hit. We took over a resort in Fiji, and our keynote speaker was Elizabeth Gilbert. Well she was on my bucket list to meet, and she came so it's amazing when you put it out there what happens. I ticked off many things like Fidji, retreat, Elizabeth Gilbert all in one go. So sometimes we can have multiple things in just one experience. It's amazing.

Conny Graf
Yeah, that sounds amazing, and I love how you say that with the smallest things because that's what I always say with decluttering too. There's nothing too small and even if you just have five minutes you do five minutes and you got rid of something or you you decided to get rid of something or whatever you're doing anything just small steps is important because that builds momentum and then like you said, we may meet Elizabeth Gilbert.

Leanne Blaney
I know! I was listening to one of your podcasts, and I'm not very good at just sitting here, if I'm walking I listen to a podcast but I haven't been listening to one of yours so I thought what can I do? So I've got my juggling balls out and started juggling. Now I'm listening and I'm thinking I'm just practicing juggling, so it's little things like that you can practice and do things while you're doing something else. And it doesn't cost me anything I just bought my three juggle balls and I'm practicing. I'm very bad at the moment I'm telling you, but it's still coming. I get balls going off in all different directions but...

Conny Graf
you're probably still 100 times better than me, because I'm not practicing,

Leanne Blaney
It's a lot of fun,

Conny Graf
So much fun. Do you have any last words of wisdom or tips that you really want to get out there before we close the conversation.

Leanne Blaney
I think the main thing is to stop qualifying what you can do on a bucket list and stop waiting for someday, one day, when I retire, when I've got more time, when I've got more money. Sit down, make the bucket list and start working on the little things, that's my biggest thing because we just wait for too long. It's not for when you die or going to die or when something traumatic happens, live it now. That's the most important thing start living now because we just lose so much time live a life of no regrets that's what I say.

Conny Graf
Yeah, awesome, I think we leave it right here. Thank you, Leanne so much for being a guest on my podcast. We came full circle, first I was on yours now you're on mine.

Leanne Blaney
Oh, thank you so much I've loved it. I love talking this stuff and I love talking to you, Conny, thank you so much.

Conny Graf
Oh, thank you. I love talking to you too We should do it more often. Bye bye.

Leanne Blaney
Bye.

If you have any questions

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