Do You Have a Bucket List?
Tips to write one and actually start crossing things off.
I think everyone should have a bucket list because letting yourself think of all the possibilities available to you in life helps you stretch yourself and get the most out of your life. If you never consider the possibilities you won’t even have them on your radar, which means you most likely won’t achieve them.
What is a bucket list anyway?
A bucket list is a simple list of things you want to do, places you want to see, or things you’d like to accomplish in your lifetime. This is not a list where you play small. This is not a list of easy things you just check off rather it’s a fantastic list of seemingly impossible awesomeness.
Why is a bucket list important?
It’s important for us humans to continue to grow and stretch ourselves. It’s how we are built, we are naturally curious and made to evolve. This helps our minds and bodies stay sharp, as we get older. If we stop growing and stretching ourselves, if we stop learning and moving, we whither in body and mind and grow old. Who wants that? Not me.
How To Begin Your List
So how do we go about creating our very own personal bucket list? It’s easy, grab your journal or a simple piece of paper and a pen.
Start a list of all the places you have always wanted to go; The Taj Mahal, The Hagia Sophia, The Louvre, or Paris. Whatever lights you up, wherever you have always dreamed of going…Bora Bora maybe.
Next, think of activities you always wanted to try like bungee jumping, hiking the Appalachian Trail, or driving a race car. Again, whatever is interesting to you.
Continue your list with things you always wanted to accomplish, like finish that degree, open your own little boutique, or read the classics.
Just keep going with things you always wanted to learn. Maybe you wanted to learn how to play the guitar, speak another language, or figure out how to write code. Write down any class you ever wanted to take or skill you wanted to learn. Maybe you wanted to shoot a bow and arrow or learn to swim.
Finally, what have you always wanted to buy? Maybe you always wanted a sports car or a diamond ring but it’s never felt practical. Put it on the list.
Here are a couple more fun ways to use a bucket list.
Consider what you would like to accomplish within a finite amount of time like, in my thirties, forties, or fifties I want to do X-Y-Z. Or maybe this summer I want to…
If you are a parent maybe you have a bucket list specifically for your children or for you as a parent.
You may have a bucket list specifically for your career or trade.
But I want to warn you of some limiting beliefs that will inevitably creep in as you begin to write your bucket list and give you some tips to squash them.
Depending where you are in life you may have beliefs like, I’m too old, it’s too late, or that ship has sailed. If you hear yourself saying this in your head, STOP IT. This negative self talk will only hold you back from living your best life. Nothing more, it serves no purpose so truly, knock it off.
I’ve mentioned before, all you have to do is Google old people doing cool stuff and you will see story after story of old people living their best life, running marathons, becoming fashion models, switching gender, going back to school, changing careers, and climbing mountains. I’m too old, is just a thought in your head and it’s really limiting you. If you want to be old, keep telling yourself that.
Another limiting belief we commonly have is, I don’t have the money. The crazy thing here is we have thousand dollar cell phones, cars, homes, and five dollar a day coffee or soda habits but we tell ourselves we don’t have the money when it comes to our dreams. Guess what? A car or cellphone isn’t truly a necessity either. You are just conditioned to believe that they are. Condition yourself to believe your dreams are a necessity.
And the most common limiting belief we love to think without even realizing it is, what will people think? You might not realize it or maybe you do, but this creepy useless thought will hold you back from reaching your dreams, goals, and even just being yourself. Pay attention to your self talk as you go through the process of writing your list. Do you immediately dismiss things because you think someone will disagree, won’t allow you to, or might think you are silly or crazy for wanting it? Pay attention.
Write this list for you, it’s no one else’s place to decide what your dreams are. Not your parents, not your partner, not your siblings, not your friends…only you get to decide what’s on your bucket list.
The last pitfall I want you to avoid is not writing something down because you already tried and failed or never finished it. Do you want to lose fifty pounds but don’t write it down because you’ve tried and failed in the past? Do you want to get a degree but won’t write it down because you dropped out before, maybe even someone will think you are being irresponsible spending more money on it? Stop it. like I said before, only you get to decide what your dreams are.
Start Checking Things Off
Now that you actually have the thoughts in your head of what you want to do within your life, you’re a step ahead, just knowing what you want will get you closer to achieving them. But you can set yourself up for real success here with a bit more planning and effort.
Make a point to review your list every month, quarter, or at least every year. Can you choose one place per year for vacation that would knock something off your list? Maybe even an activity or two.
What on the list can you begin now? Want to learn piano? You can find really inexpensive keyboards online now a days and use YouTube videos for instruction. Start today.
Set up some items like you would to achieve a goal. If you need to save money or complete a series of tasks or training to get to the finish line, decide what are all the steps you need to complete to get there and schedule them into your calendar. Do the work as it comes up and you are sure to reach the finish line.
I started a bucket list in my twenties and have continued to add to it over the years. I have so many things crossed off my list now, it’s amazing even to me. It’s so rewarding to see what I have accomplished, I have come so far, I have grown so much.
The best part is remembering the time when I wrote something on my list and it felt totally impossible. Now seeing it crossed off and knowing I can do anything I set my mind to is such an inspiration for the bigger and even more impossible things for my future. It inspires me to stretch myself even further, I know I can do anything as long as I take a moment to recognize the desire, write it down, give it some thought, and take action.
Good as done. I hope you write your bucket list today or use my tips to resurrect and achieve an old one.