If you’re unfamiliar with the term bucket list, it’s basically a list of all the things you want to do before you kick the bucket. However, for too many people it takes a brush with death, hitting retirement age, or another life-altering event for them to really begin thinking about all the things they hope to accomplish before they die.
The problem with many of these cases is that it may, unfortunately, be too late to turn all of these dreams into realities. For some, they may not be physically, emotionally, or financially able to do all of the things they desire by the time it comes to thinking about ticking off their bucket lists. And that’s where we’re getting mixed up – don’t create your bucket list because you are dying, but because you want to live! So, how do we go about building a great one that’s going to be a success? Read on to find out…
Your bucket list is ultimately about living your life to the absolute fullest, regardless of how many hours you have left on Earth. For some, the connotations to ‘bucket list’ are all too morbid so pick a name that suits you best. Here are a few examples:
- My Life’s To-Do List
- The Life Plan
- Dream List
- Lifetime Goals
- Things to Conquer in My Lifetime
- Life Aspirations List
A vital step in making your list is to record it – turning your dreams into tangible goals rather than wishful thinking. You might want to purchase a small notebook or create a humble Word document. Maybe you’re super organized and want to section your bucket list into a multi-tabbed Excel file?
Find a way to store your bucket list that’ll be easy to access and won't be easily forgotten. Aside from the aforementioned ways to store your list, there is also a wide range of apps and websites where you can record your bucket list, share it with others and become a part of a community. Here are a couple of our favorites:
This is probably the most buzzing bucket list community where you’re able to record your life goals, chronicle your achievements, get inspired by other member’s goals, and encourage other people to accomplish theirs.
- iWish app
iWish is a free app that helps you identify, design, and fulfill your dreams by focusing on six key areas. The app has over 1200 bucket list ideas to inspire you as well as assisting you in planning and organizing your lists by creating reminders, prioritizing goals and building your own vision board.
This is up to you and will most likely be something you continue to add to throughout your lifetime. We recommend starting with a list of 25 objectives, all with varying levels of difficulty. Some might be as easy as taking a day trip somewhere, while others might take longer to accomplish – running a marathon for example. By having varying levels of difficulty, you’ll be able to begin completing some of the short-term goals right away, while others will remain on there as lifelong journeys. The smaller achievements will help give you a sense of accomplishment and therefore motivate you on your journey to the bigger ones.
To avoid ‘someday’ syndrome, think about creating mini lists within your main list. You might create seasonal bucket lists for particular goals that can only be completed in certain weather, this year’s bucket list for items that you know you can accomplish in the next 12 months, or a 30 before 30 list, 40 before 40, 50 before 50 and so on for goals you want to achieve before reaching a certain age.
Of course there’ll be items on your list you’ve always dreamed of doing and they’ll be the first ones you write down. Then comes the trickier part. How do you continuously come up with other incredible ideas and how are you to know all that is out there that you can choose from? Well, here are a few ideas to help get those creative juices flowing…
This is not as gloomy as it might sound. It just makes you think about what you want your life to look like while you’re alive, what legacy you want to leave behind, what you want to achieve in this lifetime, what your ideal life looks like, and how you hope to be remembered. Hopefully, it will inspire you to live a life without limitations that will leave lasting memories.
When faced with one large task, it’s often said that it’s easier to tackle if we break it down into multiple, smaller, more manageable tasks – the same goes for your bucket list. Categorize your life into different areas to make the dreamstorming (dreaming + brainstorming) process much less intimidating. To start divide your page into your selected categories, from travel and adventure to hobbies and skills to education and career. Each person's bucket list will look different so only pick sections that compliment you. Aim to list at least five entries for each section. Then, once your list starts to grow you’ve already got a great way of keeping it organized - win-win!
Although this is your list, there is no harm in sharing ideas with family and friends. Together you will provide accountability and encouragement to one another. If you share some common goals, you might want to plan days and trips to complete some of those goals together.
We have so many resources available to us now, the possibilities are endless and they’re all around you! Read books and subscribe to magazines, watch travel shows and documentaries, browse Pinterest boards and YouTube videos, search hashtags and read blogs. Once something is already on your subconscious mind, you’ll find you can’t get away from it – people are talking about it everywhere!
Now you’ve got a bunch of ideas down on paper, it’s time to start building your bucket list and checking it off! There is no right or wrong way of designing your list – it’s personal to each individual and their own aspirations. Make sure everything on your list is important, meaningful and sets your soul on fire. For example, cleaning out the shed or retiling the bathroom has no place on this list! With that said, not every single aspiration has to be opulent and earth-shattering. Sometimes some of the simplest goals are the most rewarding.
On the other hand, don’t exclude anything because you think it’s too wild and too frightening. This list is meant to push the boundaries of your comfort zone. As long as the thing has meaning then it is worthy of its place on your list. Your bucket list is your license to dream big and experience greatness, and who knows, it might just become your life’s mission statement…
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