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6 Most Important Things on Life's To Do List - More Practical Ideas for Your "Bucket" List

Updated on April 2, 2016
Some to do lists are overwhelming.
Some to do lists are overwhelming. | Source
Bucket List
Bucket List | Source

What to Put on Your Bucket List

When asked by a fellow writer what the most important things are on life's to do list, I really had to ponder it. It's a very interesting question. I mean, do you include everything in your life? The day to day stuff? The things you want to accomplish before you die? And is life's to do list different from the popular bucket list we hear so much about?

Personally, I think the two lists are very different. Let's look at the movie, The Bucket List. What is it that Morgan Freeman's and Jack Nicholson's characters want to accomplish when they find out they have terminal illnesses?

What are some of the things this pair does together? They go skydiving, for one. They fly over the North Pole, see the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids. They go on a lion safari in Africa. And that's just the beginning. Now, that's quite a bucket list, a list that includes all the amazing things the two wanted to experience before dying.

But life's to do list seems to be simpler--well, maybe not simple but just more personal and applicable to everyday life. I have come up with six important areas of focus, one of which even includes that more fanciful bucket list. See what you think. I would love for you to share anything else you could add.

Career man
Career man | Source

1. Make Career Goals

Let's face it--you have to make a living. Job and career goals have to make the list. As much as you might like to live a life of leisure or do a little globe-trotting, most of us can't do that. Somebody has to pay the bills.

Finding a job may not be impossible. Finding an ideal career, however, is more of a challenge. Wouldn't it be great if we could all do what we love--or at least like--and make money at it? I'm working on that one! The closer you can get to enjoying what you do for a living, the less of a chore this part of your list will be, allowing you to focus on what else is important on life's to-do list.

2. Take Care of Your Family

Taking care of yourself and those you care about encompasses a lot of things, from buying groceries and paying bills, to spending quality time with those you love. Caring for their physical, emotional, and any other needs in your power has to be a part of the to do list as we go about our daily business.

For me and many others, this also includes taking care of our furry friends. Some feel a calling to help save unwanted pets and abused animals. Others simply enjoy the companionship, as pets add so much to the family unit. Focusing on the people and pets you spend time with has to be at the top of life's to do list.

Woman lifting weights
Woman lifting weights | Source

3. Take Care of Yourself Physically

This one is actually a big one. If you don't take care of your physical needs, your health my deteriorate long before you want it to, and there may not be time for that far out bucket list you have in mind.

Do you need to go to the doctor regularly? Maybe not. At the very least, eating healthy and engaging in moderate exercise will help maintain a certain level of health. I'm not a big fan of exercise, but I am doing better at getting in the habit of doing it anyway. I am definitely learning the value of regular exercise.

Going to church
Going to church | Source

4. Feed Yourself Spiritually

Feeding yourself spiritually and emotionally, whether it's through communion with God, church, nature, or some other source can help to keep your mind healthy. Life is hectic, life is hard, and there has to be a way to refuel--not just the body, but the mind as well.

Many people do yoga to calm their spirits, or meditation to take themselves away for a while. Others get involved in a church family to help support and lift them up. Getting out in nature can also help one connect with something larger than oneself. Whatever you do, find a way to renew and inspire your heart and soul.

5. Do Something For Others

You work hard, you take care of others, and you strive to take care of yourself, as well. Now it's time to look outward. Giving a part of yourself to others is key in leading a fulfilling life.

Finding ways to give are endless. Giving doesn't have to mean financial gifts, but there are many worthy organizations out there that you might want to donate to.

Giving of your time can be as easy as helping the neighbor lady with getting the trash to the curb. Helping neighbors, volunteering at a local charity--there are many ways to give of your time and make a difference.

To Do List vs Bucket List

Do you have a to do list or bucket list for life?

See results

6. Make a "Before I Kick the Bucket" Bucket List

Finally! Now we can start to make a bucket list just as Jack and Morgan did in the movie. Perhaps taking care of the basic to do list, the five things we just discussed, needs to be done before jumping (or skydiving!) into a more exotic bucket list. Or perhaps working on both at once might be the best way.

I've included the bucket list as important, along with the everyday needs that must be focused on. There are certain things that people dream of, and leaving them out can result in a lack of fulfillment. So take care of business, and then go for it!

Both lists are important, and I appreciate the question being asked as it forced me to focus on what matters most to me personally. I would love for you to share your own thoughts about life's to do list and bucket list in the comment section below.

Clips from "Bucket List" to song by Tim McGraw


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    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      True, Alexander. That list can always change!

    • profile image

      Alexander Dmitriev 

      4 years ago

      Not the easiest task, to sort 6 most important things in life to do. The problem is that this list is being dynamically changing, and what was the most important today, can always be surpassed by something more important tomorrow.

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, DDE! I've always been more about the practical things--and still am!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      An interesting hub and you are so right this is such a thoughtful and encouraging hub on such a list. You created awesome ideas.

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Yeah, ps, don't go too far. :-) I'm glad you like this. I'm still working on my first five, too! :-)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Great suggestions for a young life, Victoria. I have spent my life trying to do those five you listed....and am still working on some of them. But now my list also includes some silly things that I would not have been able to do when I was younger due to family commitments and fundage.

      Now I can.

      thanks for sharing this....Victoria. This is why I come back to visit; there is always something insightful that I have not read. Angels are on the way ps

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Me too, rajan jolly! Thanks for commenting!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      A fine list most I'd like to finish before the 6th. Voted up.

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      janetwrites--I'm still working on the list, too! I think we would all be happier and healthier if we stuck to it. It's a challenge sometimes. Thanks for your comments!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      CyberShelley--I've realized that about physical health, too. It becomes so much more important to be physically active as we get older. Thanks for your comments!

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 

      6 years ago from Georgia country

      I love the life to do list as the goals included in this list are simpler and more realistic. At the moment I'm focussing on #1 - 3 on your list. Thank you for sharing this great list.

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I agree, catgypsy! There are so many important things to focus on in just our everyday lives! Thanks for the awesome comments!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Faith Reaper. I struggle sometimes in each of those areas, but I am sure trying to do better all the time! Thanks for reading.

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Eddy--you're welcome. Thank you for reading! :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You're welcome, btrbell. It was good for me to focus and remind myself, too! :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Suhail and my dog--I'll have to read Covey's book! I never have, so your comment is very cool! I'm glad you joined HubPages. That's great!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      David, I'm working on my list, too. Losing my 9 to 5 job last year threw me way off, but I'm working on it. Good luck with yours!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Efficient Admin--I'm working on the career goal, too! I work mostly from home, and I love the flexibility, but I don't have much free time yet. I've got to get the making a living part going better first. Good luck with your goals, too!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Good point, Dr. Mark. NO need to kick the bucket after doing these lists! LOL. Thanks for coming by!

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Bill, I don't have the bucket list part, either. I honestly don't know what I would do, anyway.I'm too busy with everyday life! :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Maria--Thanks for your nice comments. Glad you agree.Thanks for all the votes!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      6 years ago

      A few gently nudges from your list is a good thing, and covers my base - although I don't have a physical list, just the one in my head. As I get older, I realise the physical health and strength must be taken care of, in order to fulfill and enjoy the list effectively.

    • catgypsy profile image


      6 years ago from the South

      Loved your list. I think we just need to get back to basics. Too many people have these outlandish lists that they will probably never do. I think your "important things to do in life list" is so much more important than the bucket list! Nice hub!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Great list there. Yes, taking care of oneself physically, emotionally and spiritually is oh so important to me.

      Interesting hub.


      Faith Reaper

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful read and thank you Victoria.


    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Great list and great food for thought. Thank you for giving good advice for getting everything priortized. up+

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      6 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Very much in line with Stephen Covey's '7 habits of highly effective people', I agree with your list.

      Actually joining hubpages was because of my bucket list.

      Voted up and awesome!

    • David Trujillo profile image

      David Trujillo Uribe 

      6 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      I confess I have struggled in the past year with all of those things in the bucket list. I used to be very fit, was very confident on owning my own business and practiced meditation constantly. I had balance in my life and after loosing my job its been hard to keep all that together. But this Hub reminded me on getting back on track and start checking each list item at a time.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Michelle Dee 

      6 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      This is a great list to start with. I think the first one about career goals is the most difficult for me - I have been trying to figure out that one for a while, but I am grateful I have a job though and it does pay the bills! My dream job is one where I am able to work at home and have more flexibility so I can actually live more life! Thanks for an interesting hub, voted up.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 

      6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      I like your list, Victoria, because with the other bucket lists I have seen it seems like you should kick the bucket after doing them.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have no bucket list, Vicki, and probably won't have. I have five of the six things you mentioned; obviously, #6 I don't have. :)

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Your priorities are sound and wise...for me, self care in the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects are paramount.

      Well written and worthy of pondering...voted UP and UABI.


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