Six steps to writing a bucket list: living the life you imagined

Six steps to writing a bucket list: living the life you imagined

Writing a bucket list is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. What is it, exactly? To be blunt, it’s a list of things you’d like to accomplish before you kick the bucket.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

I used to think writing a bucket list was kind of lame. I can just keep that stuff in my head, right? Plus, isn’t this just going to make me realize how much time/money I don’t have?

When we took on this challenge to try one new adventure every day, I decided to put pen to paper and write my bucket list. Things just started spilling right out. Some things on my list include traveling (Argentina, Denali National Park) and others include adventures like driving a moped or flying in a hot air balloon.

Along the way, I’ve learned a couple of things. Here are my tips for writing your very own bucket list.

1. Get started now. Even if you just write one thing down, you’re getting somewhere. Don’t be surprised if more ideas start pouring out.

2. Use a journal. Your smart phone, laptop or tablet are better than nothing, but pen and paper are best. Call me a romantic, but there’s something about grabbing a journal and jotting down your dreams that’s more inspiring than entering goals into a bucket list app.

3. Think big. See the Taj Mahal, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, go to a Super Bowl game? Nothing is too grandiose for your bucket list.

4. Think small. Want to paint your bedroom sky blue or read the latest best seller you’ve had your eye on? The little things are just as important.

5. Always look for new ideas. An interesting thing happens once you start keeping an open mind. When you hear, read or see anything that inspires you, jot it down.

6. Decide what you can do today. You wrote down you wanted to go to China, but right now, that’s out of budget. Can you go to Chinatown? Find a genuine Chinese restaurant or cook your own authentic Chinese meal at home? Read about China at your local library or online? Gaze at fascinating Chinese pictures on National Geographic or even Pinterest?

I think you see where I’m going with this. Your bucket list says a lot about you. Often times, the big ideas can be broken down into smaller ones.

A bucket list isn’t just for adults. Lilia started hers today. She first said that she wanted to go to Disney World then immediately changed her mind and said she wanted to swim in the ocean.

She was excited when I told her she could add both. It took a second for her to get the concept, but soon she was thinking of more ideas including seeing a “glow in the dark fish” that lives deep in the ocean.

Start your bucket list today with an open mind. Think big, think small. The rest will come naturally.

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Tags: bucket list

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