What's on your bucket list?


Bucket list: a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying.

What makes a bucket list so special? It's an immediate reflection of your life goals and dreams. Everything you want to accomplish in your short time on Earth starring at you in list form, while the proverbial clock ticks.

Most people who create bucket lists have good intentions as they brainstorm adventures they want to go on, places they want to see, fears they want to conquer and so on. But is it realistic to tackle all of those far-reaching goals before you die? Likely not. What is important is setting your sights on crossing items off the list that are meaningful, yet manageable.

Create a more realistic bucket list

6 tips to create (or revisit) yours

1. Stop to think about what truly matters to you.

Everyone's bucket list will be different and filled with a lot of random items. Before you start your list, write down five things that you value most in this world. Prioritize that list. Next, create a list of five desired feelings you want to feel. Now you have a starting point. Take those lists and start creating items for each one. An example of those lists might look like this for values/feelings:

  • Family
  • Animal rescue
  • Sports
  • Home
  • Art
  • Freedom
  • Clarity
  • Excitement
  • Abundance
  • Healthy

Bucket list items might include:

  • Volunteer once/week at Animal Protective League (animal rescue)
  • Plan a family vacation to Mexico (family/excitement)
  • Plant a garden (home/healthy)
  • Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC (art/freedom)

2. Broaden your list to live in the moment.

You don't have to get overly detailed with each item on your list. For example, is traveling on your list? Maybe you've always dreamed of visiting European castles or scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. Think broader for a second. For example, put traveling to Germany on your bucket list and add Neuschwanstein on your list of places to visit. So when you go to Germany, you are free to visit anything and everything including their beautiful castles. You'll get to check off something on your list, and still go on an amazing European adventure just like you planned.

3. Strategically plan your execution of the list to make it easier to complete.

While trying to conquer everything on your bucket list, think of ways you can kill two birds with one stone. Plan your bucket list activities around your dream places to visit. If skydiving is on your list, plan the great jump while conquering something else on your list. How about jumping in California? You've always wanted to check out the beach in late August. Combining items will help you experience everything before it's too late.

4. Set goals dates for each item (or group of items).

It's hard to get things done without some structure and planning. And that means coordinating items with your handy calendar. Add a realistic timeframe for completing items and tackle them in chunks. Visit your list every year around New Year's to set 1-3 goals for the upcoming year. Or visit your list more frequently and tackle smaller items each month. Whatever you do, add goal dates in your calendar and set reminders along the way to keep focus.

5. Use a fun and visible tracking tool to keep focused.

Many people make bucket lists and lose sight of them when times get busy. Incorporate something into the tracking of your list to keep you reminded of your dream plans. If you spend most of your time online, using a blog or app to track. If you prefer to see goals in front of you, use a bulletin board or wall to post items you're working toward. Staying dedicated to live your life to the fullest is half the battle.

6. Use photos or video to add dimension to goals.

You've heard it before...a picture is worth a 1,000 words. When you're breaking out your list, use pics and even video to motivate you, especially if it's travel related. Visualize yourself in the photo conquering your goal, and think about how it will feel to cross it off the list.

Well, what are you waiting for?
Create your bucket list with this bucket list template.