A bucket list is the perfect way to set goals and keep them at the forefront of our mind. They’re much more than tasks we need to complete to get to a higher goal, they provide purpose, a visual, and more importantly: a path. Keeping a bucket list may certainly translate into a more fulfilling life, I know it did for me.
Unlike traditional goal setting, keeping a schedule, or mundane to-do list; a bucket list is a highly visual checklist that allows us to articulate our biggest dreams and desires. Of course if you’re able to find your bucket list inside a magazine and can create a visual masterpiece on a board I highly recommend it.
Some get turned off by the words bucket list, as its name was originally created for retirees to check off before “kicking the bucket.” And we’ve all seen the movie Bucket List that demonstrates just that. What if instead, we created a bucket list to start living right now?
Not convinced? Here’s 7 powerful reasons you should create a bucket list:
It keeps us grounded
It’s too easy to get overwhelmed with our ongoing daily responsibilities and obligations, but a bucket list keeps us grounded. It connects us to something that’s much greater than ourselves and isn’t a part of a schedule, and certainly not something our boss or client put on our list. It gives us a truer understanding of the importance of the ordinary things in life, even when they seem out of reach.
There’s no doubt that the feeling of crossing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing a 19.4km (12.05 miles) trek across New Zealand’s gorgeous volcanic peaks with natural turquoise lakes can compare to checking off an item off our regular scheduled work list. An item so large opens a new perspective to, let’s say, a real goal to accomplish. One that challenges us in a completely new way. Having such larger than life goals that can also be accomplished in just a day will ground you more than ever.
It increases motivation
A lot of times the goals we set for ourselves don’t necessarily motivate us–especially with how many steps are needed to get there. A bucket list increases our motivation because they aren’t necessarily hard to achieve. It helps us get in touch with our values and understand what’s really important to you and give you perspective on how you’re spending your time.
Creating a bucket list is very innovative and inspirational. You’ll find that the things you come up with you can check off more easily than you originally imagined. Nothing gets your creative juices flowing more than taking a virtual spin on the globe and popping in a few keywords into Pinterest.
Brainstorming is almost more fun than checking off the actual list itself. Creating your list ultimately triggers motivation to make it happen. Pinterest is a great tool to create a digital tiled version of a bucket list, as well as any travel magazines you can get your hands on. However you choose to create your bucket list, you’ll be motivated in your everyday life to put those dreams into action.
It brings out our inner child
You may find that your bucket list starts to resemble what you used to love to do as a child. Then you’ll start to wonder, when did I stop doing the things that I love? As we grow up and become responsible adults, we tend to forget that life is, well, supposed to be fun? This may spark a past passion, activity, or sport from your childhood that your grown up self can get back to doing but on a much larger scale.
Maybe you were a kid that loved to play with toy airplanes; now you can take a class and learn to drive a plane and fly. Maybe you used to write your own story books and comics; now you can write a children’s book, comic, or novel to be self published. Maybe you spent your childhood playing dress up with your dolls and have afternoon tea parties; now you can travel the world, dress the part and have tea with locals (and your girlfriends).
It keeps our focus
If you get into a funk and feel unmotivated with that thing called life, a bucket list is the perfect thing to bounce you back. It reminds us that even on the lowest of days there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and can instantly trigger us to stay on track. By having a list, you have something to focus on.
We traditionally get in the habit of pushing off our wants and desires for later. Especially with every season or new year. We make a mental list of all the exciting things we could do this summer, this fall, and next year. Then all of a sudden the window of opportunity passes us and we become disappointed with ourselves. That’s because it never was a priority. We never took 10 minutes out of our day to just make a list, whether it’s seasonally, yearly, or lifelong. We let life take over as we always do and only focused on our day to day task list.
If you don’t prioritize the things you want in life, short or long term, well your bucket list will end up becoming that kick the bucket list. Creating a bucket list helps keep your eye on the prize and remain focused on the bigger achievements, raise your quality of life, and not let the daily grind take the forefront.
It gives us direction
Creating a bucket list can bring us a real sense of clarity and a look into where we’re spending our time– and if we should realign where that time is being spent. It’s the perfect first step to give us a clear direction to what we want. It helps guide you toward new experiences and places you want to have and see. It guides us to what type of career and work lifestyle you want to have. And gives a real sense of direction towards your life purpose.
By doing this, it could springboard you into taking serious action. Is your bucket list aligned with what you’re doing right now? Are you living the life you imagined for yourself? Creating a bucket list will help you remember what you value most and give you the direction you need.
It satisfies our curiosity
There are so many different hobbies we’d love to try if we could only find the time. Well, make the time. The notion of trying new things we’ve never done before is a significant pay off, nevermind bring fun into your lifestyle and satisfy curiosity and possibly a new found passion.
There are so many things to see in the world that we’re curious about. Between scenes in the movies to travel magazines, wouldn’t it be amazing to see them in real life? Discovering a new place, adding to our life experiences, and satisfying our curiosity is one of the greatest perks of checking off our bucket list.
It’s never ending
Best part about creating a bucket list? It’s ongoing. You can always add to your list whenever you come up with a new idea, come across an inspiring blog article, or even add something to your list after having a bucket list experience that fell onto your lap.
It’s essentially a list that never has to be completed.
Now take action:
It’s important to take time for yourself and the things you enjoy doing in your life. Don’t let the “if only” statements keep you from living your bucket list. If only I had more time. If only I had more money. Hey, we all want more time and money, and somehow some of us are still making it happen. They don’t have a secret time stopping machine like Rick and Morty, or a special tree where money grows. They made their bucket list a priority, as you should too.
Put creating a bucket list on the top of your list, you’ll be so happy you did when you’re on top of that mountain a year from now!