Writing Your Personal Bucket List

  • By Bob

Whether it’s a weeklong family vacation or an evening out with my wife, I always try to make the most of every experience. That’s why I’ve already started working on my personal “bucket list.” Even though I have years left before I plan to retire, I want to be sure to do as much as I can while I am ‘young’ and healthy. Here are some things I considered while creating my list of lifetime must-dos:

Set yourself up for success

I’m using my bucket list as a chance to chase life’s experiences. I need to remind myself not to shy away from an experience because you never know what tomorrow might bring. And following through on those goals requires some planning.

I enjoy travel, so one goal I made sure to include was visiting the sites of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. While I know this one might take a while (as opposed to, say, number 20 on my list: making calzones from scratch – which I have already done), it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and a goal I can chip away at over time. Right now, I’m busy compiling information about each destination, including nearby hotels, restaurants and annual weather patterns. I also started a “Seven Wonders” savings account, to which I contribute a set amount each month. I figure it will take me about two years to save enough funds, but I know it’ll be worth the work. You only get one life—and there’s no reason to keep yourself from really living it.

Incorporate multiple interests

For me, it was important to divide my bucket list into several different buckets—that way, I’d be sure to cover a variety of interests. In addition to extravagant trips and indulgent meals, I considered experiences that could make a difference in my community. There were a few volunteer projects I wanted to do but had little time for between business trips and driving the kids to practice, such as helping out in a local classroom. Plus, I’ve always wanted to build a house with Habitat for Humanity, so that was one of the first things I added. I plan to talk my daughters into joining me—it’ll be great to roll up our sleeves and get to work!

Stay committed

With so many goals on the list, it’s easy to see how planning to reach them could become overwhelming. I thought if I made others aware of my plans, I’d be less likely to talk myself out of accomplishing them. Of course, I’ve shared the list with my wife, but have also talked to co-workers and close friends about my plans. One friend told me to check out which would allow me to post my personal bucket list for others to see, and also give me the chance to add anecdotes, photos and videos each time I complete an item on that list. I am considering creating an action plan, such as meeting one goal per month, in order to hold myself accountable.

Whether your bucket list has five items or 50, taking the time to write it out can be an eye-opening experience in its own right. And, of course, if you do end up planning that trip to eat gelato on the Italian Rivera, my wife and I would gladly tag along.