How to create a bucket list

10th October 2019

A bucket list should be personal, fun and help you accomplish the things you want in life. We often talk about things that are on bucket lists, whether it’s travelling to a new destination or trying your hand at something different, but have you ever written down your ideas? Putting together a bucket list can give you some direction and inspiration when you’re looking for something to do.

But with so many different options, what should you put on your bucket list? Here are some steps and things to keep in mind to help you start building a bucket list you look forward to completing.

Set out your priorities

The first thing to do is consider what your priorities are. It may be that travelling is at the top of the list or that hobbies take preference. When you start out, don’t limit yourself to a few areas, but all the different goals you have in your life. You may already have some items that come to mind instantly when you start a bucket list, which is great. But searching for inspiration can help flesh out ideas and broaden your horizons too. From a Google search to leafing through magazines, there are lots of sources of inspiration. Don’t just focus on the big things either, sometimes smaller goals can be just as fun and rewarding.

Look back at what you’ve already achieved

As you plan future adventures, looking back at those already completed can give you a boost. Take some time to think about the experiences you’ve already had; which did you enjoy the most? Is there anything you’d do differently? Are there some you remember more often than others? Looking back can help you see where to focus your attention and create a bucket list that suits you. Whilst bucket lists are often filled with travel destinations, if you look back on activities more fondly, focus on these, for example. You should be excited to get to work on your bucket list, so don’t be afraid to put down something a bit different.

Don’t get distracted by numbers

When you’re looking for inspiration, you’ll no doubt come across plenty of examples to browse. From ‘50 things to do before you’re 50’ to ‘101 must-have experiences, the numbers are often large and deemed significant. But don’t get distracted by how many things are on your bucket list. It’s far better to have a shortlist that’s filled with things you’re excited to tick off than one where experiences have been added to fill slots. Focusing on the numbers can take some of the enjoyment out of putting together your own bucket list. Remember, you can always go back and add to the list as you think of new things too.

Remember to keep it realistic

You might want to spend the summer months on a yacht, but how realistic is it? Having unattainable experiences on your bucket list can be disheartening and put you off planning others. Whilst your bucket list should be ambitious, remember to take a look at how realistic each item is. If you’ve had dreams of spending months on a yacht but that’s out of reach, what are the alternatives? Shortening your stay could be an option, or you could look at alternative ways to spend some time out on the water.

Set yourself some goals

Creating a bucket list is just the first step. Plenty of people set out what they want to achieve, only for them to be forgotten about or put off. Giving yourself some measurable goals can help you keep working through your bucket list. When you’re writing it, giving some time frames for when you might do them is a good idea. Remember some will need far longer to plan and others will be affected by seasons or other factors. Where you’ve got bigger goals, breaking them down into smaller chunks can make them seem more manageable. Ticking off the steps as you progress towards a bigger goal can be just as satisfying.

Keep track

Many people write a bucket list and then never go back to it. Keeping track of where you are is a great way to ensure you’re working your way through it. Whether you have your list written down and tick off completed items or use an app, find a way of marking the progress that suits you. Planning to go back and review your bucket list from time to time is an excellent idea too. You’ll find inspiration in everyday life, perhaps a TV series will spark a desire to visit a new city, and your priorities will inevitably change too. Reviewing your bucket list is a great chance to reflect on those things you’ve already achieved as well.

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