What Is A Bucket List?
A bucket list is a list of ‘things’ that you would like to achieve, attain, create or experience in your lifetime. It captures your individual interests and what excites you personally. It’s unique to you.
Whilst a bucket list can also be considered a list of goals for your life, it’s more about experiences in life, rather than things.
It can also provide a reality check on how you’re currently living your life, versus what you want your life to be filled with.
Most importantly, it should be fun, inspiring and aspirational.
A bucket list is usually considered a list of ‘wants’. How you want to feel, what you want to see and do, where you want to go, etc. But just because they are wants and not ‘needs, doesn’t mean you should discount them. A bucket list is an aspirational list of wants that your soul actually needs.
The term ‘the bucket list’ was made popular after the 2007 film of the same name was released, but the concept has been around a lot longer. Like in the film, a bucket list is things you want to experience before your life is over (i.e. ‘kick the bucket’), but a bucket list can be created for periods of time in your life too, such as a “Bucket List of Things To Do Before 40’, a “Summer 2021 Bucket List’, a perhaps a ‘Quarantine Bucket List’?
Why You Need a Bucket List
A bucket list can give you direction and purpose in life. Because, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s far too easy to just get swept along, living our lives on autopilot.
When you create a personalised and meaningful bucket list, it provides an ongoing source of inspiration. It can set the direction for how you want to spend your money and your most precious resource – your time.
You can continuously add to it (or even remove items) as your life and interests change over time.
There are no rules or wrong ways of doing it, but remember, the entire purpose of a bucket list is to excite and inspire you! Plus, it’s just plain fun thinking of all the exciting things you could see and do in a lifetime!
What’s Another Word for Bucket List?
Don’t like the term ‘Bucket List’ but want to create something similar? Try the following synonyms for ‘Bucket List’:
- Wish list
- Goals List
- Living List
- Lifetime Goals
- Personal manifesto
- Amazing Things to Do In This Lifetime
- Life To-Do List
- My Big Goals
- 20 Before 20 List
- 30 Before 30 List
- 40 Before 40 List
- 50 Before 50 List
- 60 before 60 List
- 70 Before 70 List
- 80 Before 80 List
- 90 Before 90 List
- 100 Before 100 List
Remember, it’s not about thinking about impending doom or the end of your life, it’s simply about making sure that you’re living your life to the fullest. Call it what you want.
How To Make A Bucket List
You make your own bucket list by considering all the things, places and experiences that excite you. What interests you? What makes your eyes light up?
Making a bucket list should be a simple process, where you initially brainstorm any and all ideas. There are things that will immediately come to mind – things that you will already know that you want to accomplish, see, do or experience.
Grab a pen and paper, open a word document, or start a list on your phone.
Choose your favorite method of list making and just get started. It’s more a brain-storming session to start with anyway.
Ask yourself these simple questions:
- How do you want to feel?
- What do you want to see?
- What do you want to experience?
- What do you want to learn?
- What can you give?
- Where do you want to go?
- What do you want to read?
- What do you want to say?
- What can you share?
- What do you want to be?
- What do you want to try?
Some things will come to you easily and other items will need a little bravery and casting aside any limited beliefs about what you can have, do, see, experience so that you’re able to see the possibilities. Next…
Ask yourself these (slightly) harder questions to really expand on your list:
- If you died tomorrow, what would you regret not doing?
- If money and time were not a consideration, what would you do?
- What crazy/fun/exciting stories do you want to be able to tell your grandchildren?
- What things do you want to try?
- Who do you want to meet in person?
- What events would you like to attend?
- What wonders of the world do you want to see in person?
- Do you want to learn a musical instrument? Speak another language?
Get inspiration from others bucket lists and ask friends and family if they have a bucket list.
Review your list
Consider the items that you’ve listed so far. Ask yourself: Is this something I actually want to do? Why?Bucket list items shouldn’t be for bragging rights, social status, or for posting on social media. They should be: exciting, fun, fulfilling, bring you joy, excite you and rejuvenate you.
Print it out or place it somewhere you will see it often
Don’t be tempted to set your bucket list and then forget it. Place it near your computer, make it your wallpaper or screensaver and look at it often.
You will find yourself saying ‘yes’ and being open to offers and opportunities that align with things that you’ve put on your bucket list. So, as the saying goes, ‘be careful what you wish for!’
Ideas For Creating a Bucket List You’ll Actually Accomplish
If you want to create a bucket list that will actually be something you complete, then you’re in luck. I have some tips to help you achieve all of your bucket list goals, regardless of what type of bucket list you wish to create.
Hold Yourself Accountable
It’s always a great idea to have an accountability partner for your bucket list. This means a best friend or you trust to kick you in the bum when you’re slacking. Having a friendly, yet firm accountability partner is step one in accomplishing your bucket list.
The other option for holding yourself accountable is to vocalize your bucket list, keep tabs publicly on social media (if that’s you) or in a journal to hold yourself accountable for completing this bucket list.
Create Weekend or Seasonal Bucket Lists
While you may have an extensive bucket list, some items aren’t reasonable to accomplish in a short time frame. In order to keep your momentum going and that bucket list achievable, set some weekend or seasonal bucket list ideas.
Things like hometown bucket list items or tasks at home you wish to accomplish will provide you motivation to continue living your life based on accomplishing things. A list of things to complete over the summer or winter is a great short term bucket list. These smaller and short term bucket lists will help you stay encouraged to work on the longer term bucket list goals.
Create Long Term Bucket Lists
A long term bucket list may be focused on places you’d like to travel to or things that will take months or years to accomplish. You can create a long term bucket list that coincides with a smaller seasonal or yearly bucket list so that the two work hand in hand.
Your long term bucket list should have some thought put into it so that it’s near and dear to your heart. Having both short and long term bucket lists allows you to stay motivated on your number one mission; to create a bucket list you’ll actually accomplish!
Think About All Areas of Life
When creating a bucket list that you’ll actually accomplish, it’s important to think about all areas of life.
This means travel, home, relationships, career, financial and family.
Your bucket list should be something that inspires you and helps you strengthen your bond with others. A bucket list is also meant to help you live your best life possible.
Gather up all areas of life when creating your short and long term bucket list so that you don’t forget any area of life.
When it comes to creating a bucket list that you’ll actually accomplish the main key is to think about what you’re most passionate about. What are some areas of personal growth you wish to expand upon?
Perhaps you’re looking to experience more culture or you want to achieve certain career goals before you’re of a certain age.
Whatever your passion and mission in life is, make that your main pushing force to create your bucket list so that you’ll actually accomplish it. You will be amazed at what you can achieve!
- 36 Bucket List Quotes: To Inspire (& Reinspire) You
- 6 Lists To Make When You Need To Inspire Yourself