How many times have you sat down to think about what you really want to do in life? We are so busy that we rarely take the time to think about it. That’s why making a bucket list gives you a good reason to do so.
Keep reading because this post:
- tells you what a bucket list is for
- helps you make a list
- gives you ideas for your list
- guides you on what to do after you are done making your list
But, if you are still not too sure if creating a bucket list is right for you, let me start with why you should.
Why should I make a bucket list?
Before you start thinking about what you want to do, it’s important to know if there is even any benefit for creating a bucket list. Because, after all, why spend time making another list if it doesn’t help you.
The good news is that making a bucket list have several benefits and here some of them.
5 Benefits of creating a bucket list
Benefit #1 – Gives you hope
As I said at the beginning, a bucket list gives you a reason to sit down and think of what you have thought to do in life but haven’t done yet. It helps you evaluate your current life and make plans for the future.
Benefit #2 – Helps you prioritize things in your life
You may want many things in life but in the process of making your list, you are able to determine which items mean enough to you to be added to the list.
Benefit #3 – Keeps you motivated about your future
If you made a list based on what you really want to do, it should keep you motivated and excited throughout the process of achieving it.
Benefit #4 – Reminds you of what would make you happier
It’s always easier to plan something and then forget all about it after a few days. For that reason, having the list in writing and visible keeps you focused to move in the right direction of achieving your dreams.
Benefit #5 – Increases satisfaction
Every time you check off an item means that you completed something that you wanted in life. Therefore, your satisfaction and happiness should increase too.
Just imagine checking off every single item on your bucket list. You would be more satisfied with your life, and as a result, more positive and happier.
How to Make a Bucket List in 5 Steps
The term “bucket list” was normally used to describe a list of things to do in your lifetime. Fortunately, it has evolved over time and now they are widely used for other purposes and even for shorter periods of time.
Step 1 – Write all that you want
Here is where the fun begins. Sit down and write down all the things that you want to achieve. Don’t forget those things that you once thought about doing but had to push back for one reason or another.
Don’t judge your items, just write down everything that comes to your mind. This is the time to let your imagination go.
Step 2 – Prioritize your bucket list items
Once you are done making your list, review it, and put your items in order of importance. In that way, you know exactly which ones are the most important to you when you work on your final list.
Step 3 – Make your final list
Now, it’s time to add those final items to your official bucket list. I suggest keeping your list short and simple. After all, the purpose of a bucket list is to motivate you, not overwhelm you with more things to do.
Adding too many items to your list will probably make you want to quit.
Once you are done adding the items to your list, determine if every single item listed is meaningful to you. Otherwise, you won’t put enough effort to complete it.
Also, make sure to keep your list in a visible place (such as your planner, refrigerator, or mirror) that would keep reminding you of what you decided to add to your life.
Step 4 – Check off the items once you are done
As soon as you complete an item, take the time to check it off on your list. The satisfaction of doing so will motivate you to keep working on the rest of the items.
I know that the goal of the bucket list is to complete what’s on there, but sometimes things happen, and you are not able to complete every single item included on your list. That’s okay.
Just stay positive and focus on all the things that you were able to achieve. Remember, you can always add those unfinished items to a new list!
Step 5 – Schedule some time to review your list
Scheduling some time in your planner or calendar increases the probability of completing the items on your list. Because of that, make sure to review your list on a regular basis and adjust it, if needed.
What are good ideas for a bucket list?
As mentioned before, a bucket list was usually just a long list of things to do throughout your life. Now, more people have been creating lists that are focused on topics such as summer, fall, birthday, adventurous, and more.
The type of bucket list that you choose can also determine the length of your list. For example, a summer bucket list would probably be shorter than a 5-year bucket list.
Therefore, when thinking of good ideas for a bucket list take into consideration the following:
- the topic or purpose of the list – is it for the summer, trip, year?
- period of time to complete the bucket list – based on the topic, determine if it is for the season, month, next 2 years, or even lifetime.
- people involved – is the list for you, your and your partner, your family, team?
Let’s go over some ideas…
35 Simple Bucket List Ideas To Get You Started
Individual or Personal level
As a mom, you probably have many ideas and suggestions for your kids, marriage, and even friends. But, more likely, you haven’t taken the time to think about yourself, your needs, and your wants.
What things can you do now to fulfill your purpose in life, be a better person, and increase happiness? Here are some ideas for you:
- Volunteer at a charity
- Ride a horse
- Start painting
- Join a yoga club
- Swim with dolphins – Based on the site called Bucket list, swimming with dolphins is in the top 5 of the most popular bucket list If you haven’t tried it yet, add it to the list…my daughter loved it!
FREE CHALLENGE: Helps you identify and plan your goals
Career or Professional level
The Mental Health Association conducted a survey that included more than 17,000 employees across 19 industries in the United States. (source)
The study covered topics such as workplace stress, employee engagement, recognition, and more. One of the results showed that 71% of the survey respondents were thinking about, or actively looking for new job opportunities.
If you are part of those statistics, it’s time to work on it.
Evaluate what’s currently missing in your professional life. Think of new skills, certifications, or even new ventures that you may want to take such as starting an online business.
- Start your own business
- Start a YouTube channel
- Participate in podcasts
- Learn computer programs
- Book public speaking gigs
Group of people
In this case, the purpose is to make a bucket list as a group. So, the focus is on you and those around you such as your family, friends, and employees.
Get together with those involved and brainstorm ideas that you all want to achieve as a group. Things like:
- Enjoy a bowling night
- Visit Disney World or Disneyland
- Watch a movie in a drive-in theater
- Plan a retreat
- Have an employee appreciation event
Seasons and Holidays
I feel that I speak for anyone when I say that it’s easier to make plans during summer when the weather is beautiful and warmer. But you can still create a good season or holidays bucket list so let me give you a few ideas:
- Go to the beach
- Visit an amusement park
- Watch a Nutcracker show
- Attend a Christmas parade
- Visit a pumpkin patch
Traveling is one of the most popular topics among different generations. When you are ready to make your list, think of local, national, and international places that you would like to go. And, to get you started, here are some travel bucket list ideas:
- Go on a cruise – I love Disney Cruises!
- Travel to Paris
- See the Grand Canyon
- Visit Costa Rica – it’s beautiful and the volcano is amazing!
- Spend time at a National Park
Favorite Interests or Hobbies
There are so many things out there to learn and explore that coming up with ideas should be pretty easy. Start with things that you have always wanted to learn. Even if you are scared to try, go for it and see how it goes. Some suggestions are:
- Go skydiving
- Register for cake decorating classes
- Learn how to play the viola (the instrument that my oldest daughter plays 😊)
- Go roller skating
- Take photography lessons
As you have heard, it’s always important to create long-lasting memories. Think of activities that you can do during special dates or events such as your birthday, retirement, or anniversary. Here are a few ideas:
- Attend your favorite singer’s concert
- Go to Hawaii
- Live by the lake
- Eat at your favorite restaurant
- Visit a safari
Ok, we went over seven types of bucket lists. You can focus on only one topic first or multiple ones especially if they are related to each other. In that case, you can make one list that combines several topics.
Use the examples mentioned above to help you get started but, just in case, below are a few more ideas.
Additional Bucket Lists Ideas to Consider
- Funny things to add to your life
- Fitness activities to keep yourself active
- Adventures that you want to experiment
- Books that you want to read
- Financial actions that can be improved
- Places to visit in your city, state, or country
- Food that you want to try at home or restaurants
- A period of time such as a month, quarter, new year, or the next five years
As you can see, you can make a bucket list for anything and adjust it to your specific situation. Consider those lists while making yours.
By the way, you can also motivate your kids to start their own lists too!
Reverse Bucket List
Ok, now that you have a better idea of how to make a bucket list, it’s time to do everything in the opposite way.
But, let me explain it to you before I get you all confused…
Here, I am talking about making a reverse bucket list. As the name implies, it is pretty much the opposite of a regular bucket list.
As you just saw, a bucket list is based on things that you would like to do in your future while a reverse bucket list includes your accomplishments or things that already happened.
It’s an opportunity for you to say great things about yourself by listing your accomplishments. As with a regular bucket list, you do what works best for you.
For example, I have seen people creating massive lists of what they have achieved in their lives. You can do that if you want to. But I feel that creating a reverse bucket list often helps you stay connected with your achievements than occasionally adding a few items to an already long list.
That being said, you can create it as often as you want. You can have a short list at the end of each day or week. Or a longer list at the end of every month, quarter, or year.
Another idea is to make a monthly reverse bucket list. Then, you can combine your achievements on a “Year in Review” list where you can choose your top 10, 12, or even 25 achievements of the year.
That would give you the opportunity to go back and see all your accomplishments including some that you probably had forgotten. You could also add that list as part of your end-of-the-year or Christmas tradition.
Final Thoughts on How to Make A Bucket List
Ok, you got all the information you need to make a bucket list. Now it’s your turn to start writing and creating a happier life.
In the meantime, let me know in the comments section what’s the first thing that you want to add to or achieve from your bucket list?