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The 10 Lists You Need to Make to Plan a Great Party or Event

The 10 Lists You Need to Make to Plan a Great Party or Event

Are you thinking about throwing a surprise birthday party for your best friend?

Maybe you want to organize a special retirement luncheon for your longtime coworker.

The easiest way to keep track of all the different tasks and activities associated with planning a function is to simply create lists. Splitting up your list into smaller ones allows you to focus on specific items at any given time.

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Here are 10 lists to create to help make your next event or party a success.

1. Theme list.

Are you going to have a specific theme for your party or event? Are you having a historical costume party, an under-the-sea event, an ’80s dance party, or a black-tie silent auction or raffle? This list is a good place to start collecting all the different details surrounding your particular theme, from special food, to props or decorations to purchase or rent. You can further break out all these different list items into any of the lists mentioned below for even more detail.

2. Budget list.

How much are willing to spend for your party or event? Is it a little…or is it a lot? You can approach building this list from two different angles. The first is to decide on the total amount of money you’re willing to spend for the whole event and start to divvy up your funds according to food, decorations and the like. Your second option is to start to price out the individual costs of food, decorations and rentals and come up with the total amount of money it will cost to throw your party.

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3. Invite list.

Whom do you want to invite to your event? This list can be more than just your list of guests. Who are the attendees, speakers, guests of honor, emcees, vendors, exhibitors, party or event helpers, and organizers? If you’re sending out invitations, you could also create a list with all the preliminary event details, such as the date, time, location, dress code, RSVP date and information, whether invitees can bring guests or not, and so on.

4. RSVP list.

Slightly different from your invite list, this list is a way to keep track of all the people who will be attending your event. Who’s coming? Are they bringing any guests? If so, how many? Do your invitees have any special requests or concerns when it comes to attending your event? Will people have any assistants, helpers, or workers coming with them the day of the event or party?

5. Decoration list.

What type of decorations are you going to have at your event? Will you have streamers, balloons, flowers, ribbons, centerpieces, sculptures, artwork, confetti, wall or freestanding signage, plastic toys, trellises, tablecloths, seat coverings or party favors? Use your imagination and write down everything that comes to mind that you might like to have when it comes to decorations.

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6. Food and drink list.

It’s time to eat, drink and be merry! Well, at least to list the items to do so, anyway. What items do you already have on hand and what items will you need to buy? Don’t forget to list out any recipes you’ll need to find or use when it comes to preparing refreshments. Something else to consider as you prepare your list: will you have to make a trip to one store or to many different stores?

7. Supplies list.

What supplies will you need to pick up? Do you need: tables, chairs, plates, knives, forks, spoons, serving dishes and bowls, scissors, tape, napkins, tablecloths, speakers, channel mixers, jacks, extension cords, trash bags or duct tape? Write down anything and everything you can possibly think of when it comes to supplies.

8. Music playlist.

Whether you’re DJing your own party or having a professional DJ mix tunes on the turntables, it helps to have a music playlist prepared and ready. You could make note of all the different songs you’d want to play at your event, or maybe you already have several playlists in mind you’d like to collect and play.

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9. Day-of-the-party/event to-do list.

This list will be your go-to guide for all the different tasks you need to attend to on the big day. Will you need to set up decorations, prepare food, buy last-minute supplies, do some cleaning, pick up guests from the airport or train station, set up tables and chairs, or set up electronic equipment?

10. Cleanup list

The party may be over, but that doesn’t mean your work is finished! Make a list of all the final items you’ll need to attend to, from returning supplies or decorations to their original owners, to taking out the trash, washing dishes, and mopping the floor. Besides, having a list in hand will make it easy to answer a guest who kindly asks you, “Is there anything I can do to help you?” Not too bad for making a list ahead of time, huh?

What party or event are you planning on throwing in the near future? What lists will you create to help you keep things organized and on track? Leave a comment below.

Featured photo credit: Free glitter background from user shaire productions via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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