Are there things you’ve always wanted to do but just haven’t got around to yet? Places you want to visit or new experiences to try? Creating a bucket list is a way of writing down your hopes and dreams to help you focus on actually achieving them. In this article, we look at just what a bucket list is, give some ideas to get you started and help you plan to make those dreams a reality.
What is A Bucket List?
The term ‘bucket list’ seems to have entered modern parlance over the past couple of decades, especially after the release of the film The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in 2007, but what does it actually mean? According to the Collins Dictionary, it simply means a list of experiences one wants to have before one dies – or ‘kicks the bucket’, to give the phrase context. We prefer to phrase it as a collection of your goals, aspirations or dreams that you would like to accomplish within your lifetime, no matter the size. If the term ‘bucket list’ seems a little too ‘final’, by all means rename it to suit how you feel. You could call it a ‘Life Goals List’ or ‘Amazing Experiences’ instead.
What Could I Include On My List?
This is deeply personal and unique to each individual. For some, there will be bold, adventurous plans. For others, it may be more everyday ideas – but every bit as desirable to achieve. The length of the list doesn’t matter – a few items or a long list – it’s entirely up to you! Your goals and dreams could be personal, professional, educational, fitness, aspirational, mundane or a mix of all. In fact, a mix of life’s simple pleasures alongside more extravagant ideas is a great way to create a list that keeps things achievable and exciting too.
To get you started, here’s some ideas from a sample of lists found on the web:
- Ride the world’s longest zipwire
- Rappel down a waterfall
- Be running my own business
- Swim with dolphins
- Learn Spanish
- Be on a TV quiz show
- Try squid for the first time
- Learn to swim
- Go for a Police ride-along
- Run a 10K
How Can I Make My List a Reality?
We probably all have a list a mile long and wonderful as this is, it might not be possible to achieve each and every idea for a number of reasons. Waning motivation or lack of time and finances might get in the way and dampen enthusiasm. Here are some tips on how to give yourself the maximum chance of success.
- Write your list down and pin it somewhere where it is visible on a daily basis. Let it motivate you and enjoy the progress as you cross items off. Create a photo board on a wall of each experience as you achieve it and use it to motivate you to keep moving through your list.
- Have a ‘List Buddy’. Share ideas with a friend or family member and compile a list that shares some activities together. You are more likely to achieve your goals if you have support, encouragement and the possibility of shared experiences.
- Break your list into timeframes. Maybe years or seasons – by the end of this year I will… or by Summer 2023, I will have…. little short-term goals and longer-term plans keep things achievable and interesting!
- Plan well. Write by each item the likely cost, any travel needed, is there a time limit, who you might take with you and what barriers to success might you need to overcome. Start a Bucket List savings fund and see how far you can go.
The one thing to always remember is that a bucket list is aspirational, it doesn’t really matter if you achieve all those goals and desires, what matters is the fun you will have and memories you will make whilst doing them as well as the satisfaction every time you achieve a life goal.