Creating Your Bucket List
I’m not exactly a spring chicken and as I age, I find myself taking stock of my life and forming an ever-longer list of things that I’d like to do before I kick it…my bucket list, so to speak. As I reflect on accomplishments that are important to me, I realize just how important having a bucket list can be. Perhaps the pessimist would argue that having a list of goals, written concisely and neatly tucked away, is a reminder of all of those things that you will likely never get to, thus also reminding you what a failure your life has been. Well poo on the pessimists! I say that writing down one’s aspirations is a great way to remain motivated. You have a list you can take out from time to time and use to set realistic goals. You will know how much money you need to save for some of them. You can remind yourself of what is important in your life. You can be reminded to spread joy and good cheer even during the bleakest of times. And let’s face it, we all need a little reminding once in a while. I think a good bucket list is a well-rounded list that includes things that appeal to you as a whole person. That means that you will have some physical, social, emotional and cognitive goals.
It is important not to include things over which you have no control such as, “I will never get Alzheimer’s Disease.” The desire to avoid getting dreaded diseases is obvious and you can adopt a lifestyle that gives you better odds, but you cannot control the outcome, so leave those types of goals off your list. Likewise, “I will win the lottery” is a poor goal, because despite all of the dreamy things you could do with the winnings, you cannot control whether or not you win the lottery. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy your tickets!
When creating your bucket list, it is important to take stock of what your values are. What are the things that give you the most pleasure in life that do not infringe upon the rights or happiness of others? What were your childhood dreams and why did you lose sight of them? Are there any that you would resurrect if you could? Add them to the list.
So with that being said, here is a list of things that you might want to add to your bucket list. I’d love to hear from you about what other things might be on your personal list!
- Compete in a triathlon
- Run a marathon
- Learn a new language
- Learn to play an instrument
- Take a whale watching excursion (orcas are incredible!)
- Volunteer for your favorite non-profit organization
- Travel to at least one exotic location of your choice
- Mend an estranged relationship
- Run for office (could be Senator, could be President of the PTA)
- Achieve and maintain your healthy goal weight
- Write a novel
- Publish something (yes, self-publishing counts)
- Do something daring (think skydiving, bungee jumping, spelunking, parasailing, white water rafting or hang-gliding)
- Make someone else’s dream come true (set up a scholarship fund for an underprivileged youth; send your spouse on their dream trip; tutor someone; etc.)
- Buy a sports car
Whatever you put on your list, don’t forget to take it out from time to time and think about how you can make your dreams reality. Share your list with someone you love. You never know, they may have the means and inclination to surprise you! And don’t forget to thoroughly enjoy the feeling of pure joy that will come as you are able to check items off of your list and realize that your life is pretty great after all!
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