A few days ago, I was surfing online when I came across someone’s bucket list. It inspired me to create my own bucket list and write a post about it at the same time.
What’s a Bucket List?
If you have never heard of the term “bucket list”, it is a list of all the goals you want to achieve, dreams you want to fulfill, and life experiences you wish to experience before you die.
Why Create a Bucket List?
If you don’t live your days by goals and plans, chances are that you spend most of your time caught in a flurry of day-to-day activities. Ever felt that your days are passing you by without any tangible output? What did you accomplish in the past month? What are your goals for the next three months? Look at the things that you have been doing and the things that you’re planning to do next — do they mean anything to you if you are to die today? Having a bucket list reminds you of what’s really important to you so that you can act on them.
Even if you live by goals or to-do lists, they are probably framed within a social context, e.g. performance, career, health. A bucket list opens up the context for your life. It’s a list to identify everything you’ve ever wanted to do, whether it’s big or small, purposeful or random.
It’s just like planning all the highlights for YOUR life. 😀 Even though I already set goals by default, I still found many new things to do while writing on my own list. It was an incredibly insightful exercise. What’s more, coming up with my list gave me new-found enthusiasm knowing what I have planned ahead for my life!
The objective of creating this list isn’t to create some fear-based mentality toward death. I don’t see our existence to be limited to our physical years on Earth — our physical lifespan is but a short speck of our existence in the universe. The whole point of creating a bucket list is to maximize every moment of our existence and live our life to the fullest. It’s a reminder of all the things we want to achieve in our time on Earth so that instead of spending our time on pointless things, we direct it toward things that matter to us.
Create Your Bucket List
If you don’t have a bucket list, I highly recommend you to create one. How much will it cost? Zero. How long will it take? Probably 30 minutes to an hour; more if you get really caught up in writing it. 🙂 What do you stand to gain? Significant clarity in what you want from life. It’s an invaluable exchange. 🙂
If you already have a bucket list, take this opportunity to review it. See if there are new items you want to add on. If so, add them in. Check if all the items listed are still relevant. If not, remove them.
Now, take out your pen and paper or open up a text document. Start writing down what comes to mind as you read these questions:
What if you were to die tomorrow? What would you wish you could do before you die?
What would you do if you had unlimited time, money and resources?
What have you always wanted to do but have not done yet?
Any countries, places or locations you want to visit?
What are your biggest goals and dreams?
What do you want to see in person?
What achievements do you want to have?
What experiences do you want to have/feel?
Any special moments you want to witness?
What activities or skills do you want to learn or try out?
What are the most important things you can ever do?
What would you like to say/do together with other people? People you love? Family? Friends?
Any specific individuals (celebrities, famous people, world leaders) you want to meet in person?
What do you want to achieve in the different areas of your life: Social, Love, Family, Career, Finance, Health (your weight, fitness level), Spiritual?
What do you need to do to live a life of greatest meaning as defined by you?
Come up with as many items as you can. The items should be things you have not done yet. Don’t stop until you have at least 101 things! If you find yourself stuck, chances are you are mentally limiting yourself. Release those shackles — your bucket list is meant to be a list of everything you want to achieve, do, see, feel and experience in your life. Check out the next section for added inspiration.
1. Attend the Samba Parade in the Brazilian Carnaval.
2. Backpack through Europe.
3. Bathe in the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, Iceland.
4. Camp in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness, Oregon.
5. Edge Walk at Toronto’s CN Tower.
6. Enter the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.
7. Explore ghost towns in the Pacific Northwest.
8. Explore Iao Valley State Monument, Hawaii.
9. See the Dead Sea.
10. Fly in a hot air balloon over the Loire Valley.
11. Go on an African safari.
12. Go parahawking in Nepal.
13. Go roller-skating at Oaks Park in Portland, Oregon.
14. Go snorkeling.
15. Go to a nude beach.
16. Go to the top of Pike’s Peak.
17. Go volcano boarding in Nicaragua.
18. Go whitewater rafting in Maine.
19. Hike in Fern Canyon in Redwoods National Park.
20. Hike the Inca trail.
21. Play the Old Course at St. Andrews.
22. Ride a gondola in Venice, Italy.
23. See Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
24. See the Coliseum in Rome.
25. See the Grand Canyon and walk the Skywalk.
26. See the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).
27. See the spring tulips in Woodburn’s Tulip Festival, Oregon.
28. See the Tower of London.
29. Stand at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
30. Stand in the Sistine Chapel.
31. Stay at the Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden.
32. Stay in each of the arrondissements of Paris, France.
34. Swim in the Mediterranean Sea.
35. Swim in the world’s largest swimming pool in San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Chile.
36. Swim inside cenotes in Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico.
37. Visit [name of country].
38. Visit all countries.
39. Visit [name of state].
40. Visit all US states.
41. Visit all Disneyland Resorts.
42. Visit Canada’s Niagara Falls.
43. Visit Cape Perpetua on Oregon’s coast.
44. Visit Easter Island.
45. Go to the Louvre Museum.
46. Visit Granite Island in Australia.
47. Visit Hallstatt, Austria.
48. Visit Old Havana other places in Cuba.
49. Visit Machu Picchu in Peru.
50. Visit St. Mark’s Basilica.
51. Visit Stonehenge.
52. Visit the best castles in Europe.
53. Travel to Brazil during Carnival.
53. Visit the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
54. Visit the Palace of Versailles in France.
55. Visit the best pink sand beaches.
56. Visit Universal Studios in Florida.
57. Walk through Ice Castles at Silverthorne, Colorado.
58. Do the Sydney zombie walk.
59. Cycle down the Danube Bike Trail.
60. See Holland in bloom.
61. Stick my toes in every Great Lake.
62. Do [one of your favorite things] for an accomplishment. For example, “Run a marathon in every state.”
63. Visit a winery in France.
64. Visit Romania and see Dracula’s Castle.
65. Hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail.
Experience Life Milestones Bucket List Ideas
1. Enjoy my first kiss.
2. Move out of parent’s house.
3. Go on a holiday with friends.
4. Fall in love.
5. Get engaged.
6. Get married.
7. Have a [location] wedding.
8. Become a parent.
9. Adopt and raise a child.
10. Be there for a baby’s first step
11. Become a godparent.
12. Rescue an animal.
13. Be a bridesmaid/best man.
14. Clear my debts.
15. Finish high school.
16. Get a bachelor’s degree.
17. Get a masters degree.
18. Get a PhD.
19. Get your dream job.
20. Become a [position] at work.
21. Earn [amount] per year.
22. Buy first home.
23. Buy an investment property.
25. Host a dinner party.
26. Buy properties to let.
27. Start a business.
28. Retire at [age].
29. Go on a vacation twice a year.
30. Become a millionaire by [age].
31. Get a passport.
32. Live and/or study abroad for [time period].
33. Join a ministry in church.
34. Go on a religious mission to help [people/place]
35. Vote in an election.
36. Prepare a will.
Unique Outdoor Activities Bucket List Ideas
1. Bathe in waterfalls.
2. Be in two places at once.
3. Be part of a flashmob.
4. Capture lightning in a photo.
5. Drive Route 66.
6. Go BASE jumping.
7. Go SCAD diving.
8. Go beach horseback riding and swim with horses.
9. Go blob jumping.
10. Go bungee jumping.
11. Go cliff jumping.
12. Go flyboarding.
13. Go helmet diving.
14. Go ice skating on an outdoor rink.
15. Go indoor skydiving.
16. Go Jet-Skiing.
17. Go kite buggying.
18. Go kitesurfing or kite-boarding.
19. Go on a horse drawn sleigh ride.
20. Go on a luxury cruise.
21. Go on a road trip with a friend.
22. Go on a camping trip.
23. Go on a picnic.
24. Go on an early morning forest walk.
25. Go on mountain biking.
26. Go paintballing.
27. Go paragliding
28. Go aqua zorbing or sphereing.
29. Go sandsurfing.
30. Go skinny dipping.
31. Go skydiving.
32. Go tandem skydiving.
33. Go SCUBA diving.
34. Go water tubing.
35. Go waterskiing.
36. Go whitewater rafting.
37. Go windsurfing.
38. Go ziplining.
39. Go zorbing.
40. Go ZUBA diving.
41. Kayak with whales.
42. Plant a tree.
43. Ride a double-decker bus in London.
44. Ride a Segway.
46. Ride in a hot air balloon.
47. Ride on the back of a motorcycle.
48. Ride the AquaSkipper or the Pumpabike.
49. Run the [name of marathon].
50. Run the New York Marathon.
51. See a snowy Christmas and make snow angels.
52. Sleep underneath the stars.
53. Solve a Rubik’s Cube.
54. Spend my birthday in a foreign country.
55. Swim in bioluminescent water.
56. Swim with dolphins.
57. Swim with manatees.
58. Take an outdoor shower.
59. Take underwater pictures.
60. Walk barefoot in the rain.
61. Walk on stilts.
62. Watch a meteor shower.
63. Wrestle an alligator.
64. Climb a rock wall.
65. Cut down my own Christmas tree.
66. Do a retreat in a Buddhist monastery.
67. Drive a dune buggy.
68. Go skinny dipping.
69. Have a bonfire on the beach.
70. Have a drink on a rooftop bar.
71. Complete a Triathlon.
Personal and Family Goals Bucket List Ideas
1. Become an early riser.
2. Make my own homebrew beer.
3. Chop my hair off.
4. Try a strange color hair (blue, pink, etc)
4. Clean up after myself.
5. Cook a new recipe once a week for a year.
6. Cosplay [character] in Halloween.
7. Create a family mission statement.
8. Create a family tradition.
9. Create family tree.
10. Develop an exercise habit.
11. Stop procrastinating.
12. Get arrested.
14. Get a straight razor shave.
15. Go on a memorable family vacation.
16. Go to bed at 10 PM.
17. Stay up two days straight
17. Kiss under the mistletoe.
18. Meditate every morning.
19. Name a star.
20. Break a bad habit.
21. Read one book a week for a year.
22. Join a book club
23. Ride a mechanical bull.
24. Take a photo every day for a month.
25. Take cute pictures in a photobooth.
26. Use portion control successfully.
28. Write my future self a love letter.
29. Make cool stuff with woodworking for your home.
30. Do a [difficult pose] in Yoga.
31. Live an entire day mindfully.
32. Have your “15 minutes of fame.”
33. Fix a major home appliance by yourself.
34. Survive a bad hangover.
35. Read your 500th, 1000th or 10,000th book.
Take Action! 🙂
After you finish your list, here’s what to do next:
Start acting on them! Plan out the successful path toward these goals.
Be reminded of the list all the time. Use environmental reinforcement — put them up in a prominent spot where you will see them every day / very regularly. Put it in your life handbook, set it as your wallpaper, pin it on your noticeboard, print it out, stick it on your wardrobe/locker.
Share them with your family and friends. Inspire them to create their own bucket lists too! This way, you also create accountability for yourself as you complete the items on your list.
Don’t limit your list items to a certain definition. Sometimes opportunity present itself in a totally different manner. Keep your eyes peeled! The universe will start throwing things your way. 🙂
Review your list regularly. Cross out the things after you do them. See if some of the items become irrelevant and if there are new things you want to add. Just as you finish the items, you’ll add new ones as they come along. There is absolutely no reason why your list should ever be empty. There is such an incredible wealth of things, events, activities, experiences to witness/go through in life that it’s impossible that you will ever be done with living. Likewise for me, I’m continuously completing and adding on new items that will help me live my life to the fullest, so my bucket list always has new items to accomplish.