Before one's time on Earth is through, it's common to make at least a mental list of all the things one wishes to do, discover, or encounter. Bucket list items represent aspirations for the future. Individuals' notions of what should be on their bucket lists will naturally differ, but common examples include traveling to a far-off country or completing a physically challenging task.
While some want to see all seven continents in their lifetime, others hope to see each nation in the world. Some other bucket list items are those things you'd love to learn one day: "learn to play the piano," "learn to sew," "learn to fly a plane," "learn to dive," or "learn to bake."
First coined to describe a person's final wishes before dying, a "bucket list" has since come to be used in a broader context. In modern times, individuals of all ages create "bucket lists" of things they wish to do, learn, and achieve in their lifetime. It could also be specific lists like a summer bucket list or a travel bucket list. A key concept is to dream big and make the most of every day.
The use of the word "bucket list" itself is rather recent. One possible origin is the 2007 film The Bucket List. In the film, Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson played two older men who were towards the end of their lives and were making a bucket list.
The film writer, Justin Zackham, came up with the phrase "bucket list" to describe his personal list of things to do before he dies. The concept of the "bucket list" has exploded in popularity in recent years.
How To Make A Bucket List
Come Up With Items
Follow these guidelines as you brainstorm your own bucket list. The categories below should serve as jumping-off points for your bucket list ideas.
What Are Life "Must Haves"
To get you started, here are some things that many individuals want or aspire to achieve in their lifetime:
- Get a high school diploma;
- Get a degree;
- Find true love;
- Tie the knot;
- Do something you're passionate about for a living;
- Be successful in your chosen field;
- Start a family;
- Purchase or invest in a property;
- Raise grandchildren; and
- Have financial freedom soon or in old age.
Where Do You Want To Go?
Next, where should you go before it's too late? Or, what are the places you really must see within the next five years?
Taking a trip on your "bucket list" is more exciting than going on just any old vacation. After your vacation is over, you may cross that destination off your list and move on to the next one.
Suppose Italy's been on your mind since you first saw The Godfather, and you're finding it difficult to choose a favorite Italian city among Sicily, Florence, and Naples; consider adding the rest of the country, including the stunning Amalfi Coast and the scenic Tuscan countryside.
Not up for the long flight? It may be time to get serious about seeing all 50 states...
What Do You Want To Experience?
Making a list of everything you want to do before you kick the bucket may be surprisingly fun and simple. Any experience that broadens your horizons—visiting the Taj Mahal, picking up a new talent, or helping another person—counts. Having a bucket list of what you want to experience is a terrific way to keep your life interesting and rewarding, and it can also serve as a helpful reminder of the things you value most.
There are certain experiences that everyone should have at least once in their lives and some that everyone should undertake at least once before they die. Everything from sailing the open seas to visiting a tropical rainforest to riding in a hot air balloon is on the list of activities everyone should experience at least once.
What Do You Want To Learn?
When you put in the effort to expand your knowledge, you'll discover that you can take up new abilities at a rapid pace, eventually becoming a veritable knowledge powerhouse. Why not try your hand at some of these learning-based "bucket list" items and level up?
- Learn the ropes of entrepreneurship;
- Master the art of public speaking;
- Learn a valuable trade, like computer programming;
- Study a foreign tongue; and
- Learn to play an instrument or how to dance.
Ask Friends And Family Their "One Thing"
If you can't think of anything to write about, talk to those close to you about what they want to achieve in their lives. You may find some motivation there.
Considering what you like doing with loved ones might also spark list additions; for instance, if you've always been passionate about sports, you and your closest buddy should make it a point to attend a national championship game.
Once you have a solid list, send it out for review. Share it on your blog or send it to your friends through email. People you know can put you in touch with individuals or groups that may help you accomplish some of your bucket list items. Making a bucket list public increases your likelihood of following through on it.
Think About Who You Want To Be
The word "bucket list" comes from the phrase "things to do before you kick the bucket." Take some time to consider the legacy you want to leave behind. Put together a more complete bucket list using this as a guide.
Whether you want to leave your children and grandchildren with an example of regret or one of a life full of passion, chasing ambitions, and meaningful adventure, the choice is yours to make.
We all want to live lives of significance, ones that show others how extraordinary life can be. Creating a bucket list might help you set a positive example for others around you. If you live a life guided by your interests and achieve your objectives, you'll leave a powerful example of your unique values for the next generation. Inspiring your loved ones and strangers alike to do better in life is a legacy worth leaving.
Capture Those Ideas
With everything going on, it's easy to forget your bucket list. Put your dreams on paper, and you'll be one step closer to achieving them. Take notes physically or record them in a digital diary or interactive map.
A bucket list eventually has to be more organized than a collection of random scraps of paper strewn around the home. You may also keep track of yours in a Word document or an Excel file with several tabs. However, a digital diary or an interactive map could be the most convenient option.
Keep It Maintainable
It would be best if you aimed to have between 20 and 30 things on your list. It will become impossible to complete if it goes on for too long. Maintaining a bucket list involves updating it regularly with new short-term goals and crossing off old ones when you achieve them.
Your bucket list is a list that is dynamic, just like your life. Time allows you to check off objectives you've reached, modify those that no longer make sense in your life or are no longer desirable, and continue working toward others. You may always revise your list as needed to account for new or changed objectives. Make sure to get your list out at least once a year to update it, especially if you don't store it where you'll see it often.
Set Goals For When You Want To Do Them
Too many individuals create such lists but never follow through on their life goals. Putting a due date next to each item on the list is a foolproof technique to ensure it gets done. Develop a strategy for finishing the task in time. For example, if you want to drink beer at Oktoberfest, you shouldn't put it off until you're 80.
Making A Bucket List Map On Proxi
Creating an interactive map instead of a list will help you better visualize your bucket list items than a standard list ever could. Proxi is well-suited for this task for these reasons:
- You can mark each item on your bucket list with a point on the map;
- You can specify the place where you would or could do this. If you wish to go skydiving, for instance, you can plot the exact location that provides such activities.
- You can create location-based or time-based categories (by 20, 30, or 40 years, for example) or categories of must-dos and must-sees.
- You can rename the map point to your bucket list item and include your motivation for adding this and how you intend to accomplish this goal in your point description. Plus, you're free to add any inspiring photos or website links!