How to Write a Bucket List

A bucket list by definition is a list of things or experiences you want to have done before you die. Best case these are things you get to experience throughout your life and not just at the end of it. These are things that should make your life richer and sweeter so that you have lived a life well lived. 

How to Write a Bucket List

There are no rules to this only you decide. Classics like jumping out of a plane to go skydiving or backpacking through Europe or getting a tattoo are some starters for some people. 

I have a friend for example who loves the Lord of the Rings books and movies and she wants to travel to New Zealand where they were filmed and stay at one of the homemade shires and visit the old movie sets left behind. 

So, what are some tips for making a bucket list?

Tips for Making a Bucket List

  1. There are no rules, it only needs to make sense to you.

There are no rules to this. There isn’t a set number of experiences or things you have to do. This list doesn’t have to make sense to anybody, but you. 

It could have one item on the list or it could have hundreds. It’s a living document, and it can change anytime you want. As you grow the list grows with you. 

If you’re fortunate enough you’ve crossed a lot off already and you’re adding new items to it. Even if you haven’t that’s ok too because you shouldn’t compare someone else’s middle to your beginning. 

Comparison is the thief of joy and this life is your adventure. You’ll have a great adventure waiting for you when you are ready. 

  1. Make it about the experience and not the thing.

As I get older I’m finding I care less about the thing and more about the experience and the people I’m sharing it with. 

Don’t get me wrong, I want a truck like a Toyota Tacomo, even if it’s used, but I want to pay cash for it from the experiences of running a successful business. I want to experience driving it west through Route 66 with my window rolled down and when I get tired from driving, I want to camp in the desert near a fire under the stars. 

And if you’re lucky you get to have these experiences with people you care about along the way. You get to be a witness to their life. I’m traveling with a friend to Florida next week and we are going to a theme park and some restaurants and maybe the ocean. 

I asked her if she had any goals or things she’d like to do and she told me she has always wanted to kayak with the manatees in Florida. The manatees swim upstream in the winter to the warmer waters of the rivers. There are tours with glass bottom kayaks that people can take out and kayak with the manatees while they feed. 

I have never done that myself and I’m guilty of being afraid of new things or change, but right now it’s the thing I’m most excited about for her and I and I get to be a part of that for her.

  1. Start with some easy ones.

Start with the easy ones. Start with some easy bucket list items you’ve made for yourself. What is the low hanging fruit on your list that you are capable of doing right now? 

Starting with these and knocking them out is going to give you confidence in yourself and get you excited about living your life again. 

I think I feel this the most at work and just going through the motions and that I’m just existing. I know though that once I started working on my list I felt like I was living for myself and not the company. 

  1. Remember being a kid, what dreams did you have then?

Somewhere along the line we all grew up and left our childhood behind, but what were the dreams you had then? What did you daydream of doing? 

The great thing about being an adult now is that you have access to adult money and adult money can do awesome things. What could you do to make those dreams a reality? Those are the things that belong on your bucket list.

For example some little boys wanted to be a fireman. Did you know in Roscommon, Michigan once a year they have the Fireman’s Memorial in September? You can go there and run a fire hose right off the truck. They even have controlled burned fires on makeshift dwellings to put out. This is just one creative example of how to make this happen and knock out a bucket list item. 

  1. Dream as big as you want.

Dream as big as you want because there are no rules. It might take you a lifetime to get there, but who cares. Do not limit yourself. Maybe you don’t have the resources or skill set yet to accomplish what is on your list, but in time imagine where your life could be in 5, 10, or 20 years? 

  1. Get inspiration from everywhere throughout your life.

Get inspiration from everywhere throughout our life. I mean it. It could be reading a book or watching a movie. These things take you places and help you daydream of other worlds and experiences. 

There was a movie called What Dreams May Come that starred Robin Williams. He died and went to Heaven. Part of his Heaven was near this lake with mountains surrounding it. It was beautiful and it looked like a glass mirror that reflected the mountain back. It turns out that is a real place in Montana in Glacier National Park. 

I read an autobiography about a mountain climber named Aron Ralston who hiked and climbed in Utah. He had an accident and survived but lost his arm in the ordeal. He still hikes to this day using a prosthetic arm pickaxe. 

I want to go west and see these sites like Zion National Park and Antelope Valley now because of his love to see his world. 

My father immigrated from Canada and our family originated from Scotland but then traveled overseas to an Island off the coast of Cape Briton, Nova Scotia called Mabou. This island is made up of nothing but my family from generations. My dad before he died wanted to visit there. He didn’t get that chance, but I hope to carry on this goal with my son. So that is one of my goals now and a way I can honor and remember my dad.

  1. Write it down, take pictures or it didn’t happen.

Here’s the thing, write it down. You are more likely to follow through on a goal you have written down. A study led by Psychologist Dr. Gail Matthews and 270 participants about goal setting showed that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. By doing this consciously and subconsciously you will begin to strategize how to achieve these goals and become more aware when the opportunity presents itself. 

I follow a lot of different inspirational speakers or self-made people and one-man entertainer Steve Harvey swears by vision boards. These boards are made up of cut out pictures from magazines or copy and paste images from your computer that get put on a board or a wall. 

The idea is to manifest what you want you have to visualize it and see it; put it into the universe. If you don’t like writing things down and you are more of a visual learner than this may be another way for you to create a bucket list of things you would like to see, do or achieve in your life. 

Example of my Bucket List

These are some of the things on my list I wanted to share as an example.

Joe’s Personal Goals

  1. Travel to Japan with Cole
  2. Have a Hot tub; coleman portable
  3. Have  a Hot tub, nice one with a canopy
  4. Travel to Europe (England, Italy, France, Scotland, Finland, Spain)
  5. Travel to Mabou
  6. Have a Toyota Tacoma truck
  7. Get a job in HR
  8. Get a job with my own office and name on the door
  9. Teach online college as a professor
  10. Create a successful blog and affiliate marketing plan for income
  11. Compete in NPC bodybuilding competition
  12. Make my yearly salary blogging
  13. Travel to California to see Redwood Forest
  14. Make enough money to send kids to college
  15. Own 2 tvs side by side to watch tv and game at the same time
  16. Build an outdoor kitchen
  17. Have a million dollars in a retirement account
  18. Have a place by the ocean
  19. Have a suit tailor made for me
  20. Take a cooking class at a culinary school
  21. Make a couples costume
  22. Thru hike North Manitou Island with Jeff
  23. Take kids to Disney World
  24. Buy a dog, long haired golden retriever, lab, english bulldog, corgi
  25. Have a pool table
  26. Get a tattoo, quarter sleeve/chest
  27. Get more balance in my life/love myself meditation
  28. Create an educational scholarship
  29. Write an E-book
  30. Go crabbing and BBQ
  31. Go fishing on the ocean and BBQ
  32. Go to Comic Con in California
  33. Travel to Thailand
  34. Pray at a temple in Thailand
  35. Camp in the desert
  36. Spend one New Years in Times Square
  37. Go to a comedy show with a big headliner
  38. Learn to box
  39. Go on a cruise
  40. Become debt free
  41. Earn my SHRM certification
  42. Become an HR Manager
  43. Complete counseling to learn to be present and happy
  44. Earn $102,000 as an HR Manager
  45. Go to a Ted Talk
  46. See Brene Brown lecture
  47. Travel to New Zealand
  48. Grow a vegetable garden
  49. Have a successful Fivver account
  50. Create a food truck idea and try to sell my food at a festival alone or with Jeff
  51. Go to Mardis Gras
  52. Live someplace warm all year round
  53. Drive route 66 on a road trip
  54. Travel to Key West
  55. Go on Dave Ramsey and do a “Debt Free Scream”
  56. Go to a real Finnish Sauna
  57. Learn how to SCUBA
  58. Snorkel in coral reef
  59. Join a team (bowling, basketball)
  60. Go to Zion National Park
  61. Fly first class overseas
  62. Eat Beignets from Cafe Dumond in New Orleans like in Chef
  63. Give an incredible toast at a party
  64. Pick a cookbook and cook through the entire thing
  65. Eat at a Michellin Star restaurant
  66. Watch Gary Vee speak
  67. Have a pinball machine
  68. Create a successful blog that makes more than my annual salary
  69. Visit hot springs in Colorado or in the world
  70. Visit Antelope Canyon in Page Arizona
  71. Be in the Saturday Night Live audience
  72. Go to a nude beach
  73. Eat a buried pig at a Hawaiian luau
  74. Compete in a 5k
  75. Write a book
  76. Compete in a BBQ competition
  77. Learn to speak a foreign language fluently
  78. Visit the Louvre in Paris
  79. Go to a Broadway show in New York


However you decide to write your list and whatever you decide to put on it I hope its fantastic and I look forward to hearing about your adventures. 

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