Kudos to you for deciding to start a bucket list!! But now comes the harder part, you need to start filling it up will incredible experiences. You’re bound to have a few things that you have always wanted to do in the forefront of you mind.
But, how do your come up with other incredible ideas?
How do you know what’s out there in the world to choose from? The following are 5 different ways to stimulate ideas for your bucket list.
1. Write Your Eulogy
At a time when I was suffering from a serious case of the blahs, a close friend challenged me to write my own eulogy.
What? Why would anyone want to think about his or her own death?
The answer is that by doing so you can learn a valuable lesson about what you want your life to look like when you are alive. What legacy do you want to leave? What do you want to achieve? What would you want your friends to say about you and your life after you are gone? What does your ideal life look like?
I took his challenge, without realizing the impact it would have. My eulogy read something like this:
Annette was a devoted daughter, wife and friend. She was always the first to laugh at herself and the last to judge others. She was a true lover of life — her biggest passion was trying something for the first time and sharing her adventures in order to inspire others to step out of their comfort zone. Her curious nature and eagerness to learn led her around the world collecting thousands of memorable experiences and making friends of all nationalities, creeds, ethnicities and race. These first hand experiences and the people she met were her best teachers in life. She designed an unconventional lifestyle that she was excited to wake up to every morning. It was filled with travel, adventure, giving back and lots of laughter. She touched the hearts of people from all walks of life, though she would say that it was her heart that was touched by them.
I took these words and translated them into goals for my list; travels that would immerse me with the locals, ways to inspire others to live a life beyond fear and adventures that would leave lasting memories. My bucket list and this eulogy became my life’s mission statement.
2. Create Categories
Breaking up your life list into different categories can make the brainstorming process much easier. This is also a great way to organize it once it starts growing. Divide a page into your selected categories and list at least five entries for each one. You will find that some goals fit into two different sections, that is no problem just record it in one, the most important part is that it’s on there somewhere.
Following are only examples of categories, if you find many of your entries fall into a category not shown here simply create it —this is your list.
- Career + Finances
- Entertainment & Events
- Family + Kids
- Food + Drink
- Just for Fun
- Local Experiences
- Personal Growth
- Nature + Wildlife
- Sports + Activities
3. Ask Yourself 20 Questions
Play a game of 20 questions with yourself to find what adventures you would be most passionate about.
If you get stumped, just skip to the next one and come back later.
Don’t let your answers be controlled by fear or self-doubt, this is the place to dream bigger than you ever thought possible.
- Where in the world would you like to visit?
- If you had one month to live, what would you do?
- What types of new foods do you want to try?
- What cultural traditions are you interested in?
- Are there any activities or sports that you want to try?
- What events do you want to attend?
- What has always been your biggest dream in life?
- What classes have you always thought about taking?
- If money and fear were not an issue what would you do?
- Who have you always wanted to meet in person?
- What would you like to do with family and friends?
- In what ways do you want to do improve yourself physically, mentally or spiritually?
- What skills have you wanted to learn?
- Is there a charity you have always wanted to support?
- What was your childhood dream — is it still relevant today?
- If you won a multi-million dollar lottery today, what would you do?
- If you were on your deathbed, what would be your regrets?
- What travel stories would you want to share with your grandchildren?
- If you had three wishes what would they be?
- Is there someplace you have always wanted to take your spouse, best friend and parent?
4. Use the Buddy System
Sometimes you can be gung ho about goal setting on your own and the ideas will flow easily, while other times you need a little help from your friends. Not only will they bring new ideas to the table, but also together you will be providing accountability and encouragement to each other. Connecting with likeminded people, especially if they share the same goal, can be a great support system to keep you motivated.
There are plenty of options when it comes to writing and tackling your bucket list with others:
- Set up a girl’s night at a wine bar, a special date night with your significant other or get the entire family together to throw ideas around.
- Think about trading in your book club for a bucket list club, a group that can meet once or twice a month to create your lists, get motivation and even accomplish goals together.
- One of my favorite ideas is to throw a bucket list party. You can supply decorative paper, sparkly pens and the margaritas, then your best friends can hang out and conjure up ideas.
5. Get Outside Inspiration
You have ventured deep inside yourself to find experiences for your list, now it’s time to get some outside inspiration. In this modern day of television, Internet search engines and social media, inspiration is all around you; you just have to be in the bucket list mindset to see it.
Once you start cultivating ideas your instinct will automatically be on high alert whenever anybody mentions something worthy of a spot on your list. It is similar to when you’ve finally determined your dream destination is Italy and everywhere you look you notice either people going there, mentioning it in conversation or it being written about in magazines. This is because your subconscious mind is already thinking about it.
Until this mentality kicks in, you can get inspiration from browsing Pinterest boards, watching travel shows, subscribing to adventure magazines, reading blogs (like this one, Bucket List Journey — shameless plug), searching specific hashtags on Twitter, etc.
The inspiration possibilities are almost endless.
If that’s not enough to get your brain juices flowing, you can also watch the movie “The Bucket List” with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Though it did not start the bucket list phenomenon, it did bring the term to the forefront.
Still stumped? Get some ideas from my bucket list.
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