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6 Reasons Why A Bucket List Can Change Your Life

Updated on May 8, 2015
Vanessa Heart on the beach in Australia, a day before accomplishing her bucket list dream of scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
Vanessa Heart on the beach in Australia, a day before accomplishing her bucket list dream of scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef | Source

About five years ago I decided to create a bucket list. I was in my mid-20’s and life seemed stagnant. I did not have anything to look forward to and I started to feel trapped in my current life so I decided to make a list of all the things that I wanted to try or experience.

I did not put any limitations on myself or let finances affect my thought process. I just wrote it down and watched it flow. It consisted of four glorious pages that inspired me to try some amazing and beautiful things I never thought I would ever get the opportunity to do.

It started with a desire to take a burlesque class, and a friend said that she would join me if I joined her for a trapeze class. Through that burlesque class, I became good friends with the instructor which has the same love of vintage that I have.

This friendship has led me to trying some exciting new local events and invitations for vintage-themed parties started flowing. I started to see sides of Denver that I had not seen before; my social circle expanded and this has led me to some of the most interesting, beautiful and inspiring people I have ever known. That one item on my list changed my life… but it did not end there.

Next on my list I had, “Scuba Dive the Great Barrier Reef”. I had no idea how I would make this one possible… so many things needed to happen in order for this item to get crossed off of my list so I put the message out there into the universe and daydreamed about seeing the majestic underwater beauty of the coast of Australia.

Like a beacon, the universe heard my message and then everything started lining up. It started with Scuba Diving lessons as a Christmas present from my mother. Several months later I took the class and learned that I had to get 4 certified dives completed within 6 months to get my certification, yet I was broke, landlocked in Denver and not knowing how this would be possible. Around the same time I received a call from an old friend who lived in California and he said that wanted to see me… and he indicated “I could fly there or fly you here”. I took this as a sign from the universe and I asked if he would want to take scuba lessons and then I could fly out and we could take the certification dives together. He marveled at that idea and a trip was planned for a few months later.

Our captain on our tall ship off the coast of Australia, mapping out our course through the Whitsunday islands in the great barrier reef.
Our captain on our tall ship off the coast of Australia, mapping out our course through the Whitsunday islands in the great barrier reef.

Soon afterwards, my best friend tells me that she is moving to Australia! What are the odds??? And that she wants to fly me out for a visit at the end of the summer. I told her that if I came out that I HAVE TO SCUBA DIVE IN THE GREAT BARRIER REEF. Knowing how important this was for me, she found a deal for a tall ship (pirate ship) 3-day cruise through the various Great Barrier reef islands which included a scuba dive on the last day. The trip was booked!

I still marvel at how everything lined up as beautifully as it did. Things that once seemed impossible came true and I stopped being afraid of trying new things. Creating a bucket list has truly changed my life and I think everyone should sit down and create one for themselves! And here are the reasons why:

1. Gives you something to look forward to

How often do we become complacent in our lives or feel like we lack are lacking something. Creating a bucket list gives you things to look forward to. And it doesn't have to be a crazy list. You can add things such as ‘eat peanuts and cracker jacks at a baseball game’ or ‘drive somewhere you have never been and make a friend’. Something simple can lead you to unexpected places.

2. Set goals for the future

Creating a Bucket list is essentially creating goals for your future. You can include anything you want. Have you dreamed of being a writer? Perhaps add to your list that you want to have an article published or that you want to start your own blog. Have you always wanted to create a family tree, grow a garden or hug a llama? Then add it to your list, set the intention and feel how terrific it feels to accomplish one of your life’s goals.

3. Try new things

We sometimes get stuck in the pattern of our lives or we create our own little comfort bubble and we don’t want to step outside of it. Yet, when we stop to think about things that we would truly love to experience and we take out any feelings of loneliness or fears… then all you have left is that voice telling you to “just try it”. I got to admit that getting on stage in front of an audience of people and stripping down to pasties was terrifying, but it was also very liberating! The rush and thrill of doing something I never imagined I could be capable of left me feeling limitless and free.

4. Meet new people

When you try something new, you can expand your social circle. And the more things you try, the more people you will meet. If you add something to your bucket list and you want to try something new for instance ‘Take a meditation class’, you can go online and join a meditation meet up group. When you step outside of your comfort zone you might make a new best friend or find someone willing to try something else new with you such as a yoga class.

Whitsunday Islands, Australia. On Day 3, I went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef.
Whitsunday Islands, Australia. On Day 3, I went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef.

5. Expand your horizons

When you set the intention to accomplish your goals and you project a positive message into the universe, the universe acts as a beacon to draw your desires closer to you. The more things you mark off your bucket list the more you are exploring the world around you. Suddenly, you find yourself a changed person, a more worldly person.

6. Change your Life

When I created my bucket list I had several thoughts in mind. One was that I wanted to find meaning in life again. My mother was constantly in and out of hospitals trying to find what was wrong with her, after years of tests, biopsies and a small fortune, we discovered that she had cancer.

The stress of being an only child and dealing with this all on my own left me feeling hopeless and I fell into depression. My savior was the bucket list that I had created. I couldn't just give up because I had so many things that I wanted to try to do in this lifetime. I had to be a beacon of strength for my mother and stay positive in such a dire time.

I don’t know where I would be today or the kind of person I would be if I hadn't created this list. I am a more in tune, adventurous, loving and hopeful person because of the experiences I have had over these past 5 years. My life was completely changed, my social circle and the positive people around me have shaped who I am today. So I encourage you… pick up a pen and start dreaming of all the things you want to do and see in this lifetime. You may be surprised where it will lead you.


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    • chuckhughes2 profile image


      3 years ago


      Then indecision brings its own delays,

      And days are lost lamenting over lost days.

      Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;

      What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it;

      Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      This inspired me to create a bucket list. Love the article!


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