How a Bucket List Can Help You Live a Fuller Life
Have you ever stopped to think about what you really want to do with your life?
Most people wait until it’s too late.
Instead of living life to the fullest every day, they don’t start living until they find out they don’t have much time left.
In the movie “The Bucket List,” Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman play two terminally ill men who meet at – and escape from – a cancer ward where they are both patients. Then, they head off on a road trip with a wish list of things they want to do before they die…or “kick the bucket.”
Hence, the title/term “The Bucket List.”
My question is: WHY DO PEOPLE WAIT?!
I, for one, want to do, see, and experience as much as I can while I’m still (relatively) young and able.
I want to lie on my death bed (but not anytime soon), smiling as I reminisce about all of the amazing things I experienced during my life, not full of regret for all the things I meant to do but never got around to.
What’s the point of a Bucket List?
Well, as I see it, a bucket list serves many purposes:
- It makes you think about what makes you happy
- It gives you activities to look forward to, which can be as exciting as the event itself
- It helps you become happier and experience more joy through those activities
- It helps you live a richer, more fulfilling life since you are making your happiness a priority
- It helps you create new, lasting memories with each activity you do
- It gives you a sense of accomplishment every time you check off an item you completed (just like a “To Do” list)
- It inspires others to live each day to the fullest when they see how you are living your life
What should I put on my Bucket List?
Your Bucket List is just that: yours.
What you put on it is totally up to you. There are no rules.
Start by asking yourself “what makes me happy?”
- Taking a trip?
- Acquiring a new skill?
- Volunteering here or abroad?
- Learning a new language?
The sky’s the limit!
I make New Year’s Resolutions each year. Why do I need a bucket list?
New Year’s Resolutions and Bucket Lists are not the same.
Did you know that 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, but only 8% of those who make resolutions keep them? Kinda surprising, right?!
The most common resolutions usually include things like:
- Losing weight
- Getting organized
- Spending less/saving more
- Quitting smoking
These and other resolutions are made with the best of intentions. However, those who are unsuccessful often feel guilt and/or shame.
Who wants that? Not ME! I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions a long time ago.
Instead, I have a bucket list instead full of things I want to do, things that will create lasting memories and bring me joy.
How should I go about making my Bucket List?
Again, it’s totally up to you. There are many ways you can go about it. You can…
Make a Simple List
* Want a copy? Request it below*
Make a Vision Board Using Images
(For ideas and How To’s, check out Pinterest)
…or a Combination of Images & Words
Make a Digital Bucket List
Once you’ve created your Bucket List, hang it somewhere you will see it several times a day.
Then, use visualization techniques in conjunction with your bucket list.
- Close your eyes and visualize yourself enjoying each activity on your bucket list.
- Imagine how much pleasure and joy you’ll feel when doing each activity.
- See yourself checking each item off your list.
(I know it sounds hokey, but if professional athletes and other successful people use visualization, there must be something to it!)
“What you think you create.
What you feel, you attract.
What you imagine, you become.”
Okay, I’ve made my Bucket List. Now what??
Simple. Pick something on the list and do it!
In the words of Red in the movie The Shawshank Redemption: “Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.”
Want some inspiration? Click here to check out MY bucket list.
* Source: Statistic Brain Research Institute
After reading your article I created my Bucket List almost right away. I went the simple route with just a list of places I wanted to go and things I wanted to do. When I finished my list the first thing that hit me was how young I was when some of these items became goals in my life that I never got around to doing. Some of these dreams have been with me for three decades and I’ve never followed through on them.
Putting these into a Bucket List was the best thing I’ve ever done. One of my top three Bucket List items has now become a reality for me. I just got back from my first trip to Hawaii where I came face to face with volcanoes and stood less than five feet from actual flowing lava! I spent nine days with my best friend across three different Hawaiian Islands that culminated in a 7-mile round trip hike across a treacherous landscape of twisted, folded, cracked and barren volcanic glass to reach the area where lava flow was still active. It’s been a while since I’ve ever felt so alive.
Thank you for this blog and the never-ending wealth of information on all things travel. My Bucket List is no longer just a list. It’s a living document that is going to have a major impact on my life and the decisions I make in the future.
Created one and added it to my blog. Thanks for sharing. Made me realize its not only inspirational to create one, but to help others realize their own potential for happiness as well.
That’s great, Kellyn! I hope you get to checkoff lots of items on your bucket list this year 🙂
I loved the article! It made me start picturing where i want to go. I especially like the idea of clipping pictures and aricles to make a collage Bucket list! Thanks for the kick start.
Sheri D, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and that it inspired you to make your own Bucket List. Pinterest is a great place to get ideas. I also find the “old school” collage method a lot of fun. All you need is scissors, some magazines, poster board, and a glue stick. Have fun with it – and thanks for reading and commenting!