Basic Tips


Basic Tips

  • Put it on paper - First things first, if your bucket list isn't written down it will be forgotten, overlooked and generally sit unactioned. So it needs to be written down, whether it's in a book or journal, a blog or even your own website, it just needs to be written somewhere. If it's written down, it's real and you have a record, then when you think of something to add to it, it's easy to add straight away rather than forgetting.

  • Make it public - This comes down to personal preference, however I believe it's something well worth considering. Making your list and record of achievements public can help keep you motivated and give you the drive to keep updating and working towards completion. Even if no one actually reads it, the possibility that people might can add just that little bit of external pressure that we all sometimes need.

  • Keep it visible - So you have it written down in a journal or book, that's great. Now you need to make sure you can always see it, whether it's a bookmark to your website or blog or typing it into a document and printing it out. You want it everywhere, so print it out and pin it up in your Office cubicle, put it on your living room walls, etc. The other advantage of having it everywhere is people will often ask about it, giving you motivation and reminders or the possibility that someone you work with may be able to help with ticking something off.

  • Not everything needs to be huge - Life is varied which is something your bucket list should mirror. You will have a number of huge, major adventures planned for your list but don't forget the small things in life that can still be worthy of your list. From learning to master a complicated recipe and preparing it for friends and family to donating blood or just trying a list of special foods or unique drinks.

  • Start today - So, you have your base list. Congratulations! Now what? Well, start ticking things off! Doesn't matter if it's the first step of planning one of the big major trips or just something local that could be completed in an afternoon. The important thing is that you start ticking things off, once you have a few down you will be more invested to continue and complete them all.

  • Broad and specific goals - As well as having both big and small goals on your list, make sure you also have some very targeted goals. Maybe you want to do or see something very specific, like “Climb Mt Kilimanjaro” or visit a very unique, one-of-a-kind place. But you also want to have some that are much more open ended that could be completed a number of different way, leaving you open to jumping at opportunities when they arise. Things along the lines of get on the front page of a newspaper or capture an award winning photograph could be ticked off as complete at any moment just by being in the right place or saying yes to the right opportunity.

  • Remove all limits - Bucketstorm, go crazy, you have your entire life to do these things. Just think about where is the most extreme place you could visit in the world today, maybe Somalia? Well who's to say what Somalia will be like 20-30 years from now. Maybe it won't be a place where you need an armed escort to visit any more? It might be the Vietnam/Laos of tomorrow. So if you want to do it, put it on the list.

  • Ignore the haters - Now you may have some crazy places you want to visit and dangerous things you want to do and some people will try to tell you "Oh it's too dangerous" or "Too risky, you might get hurt or into trouble". But you can't listen to those people, this is for you, not them. If you put it down, it will be because you want or need to do it. The people that will try to stop you are just people that let their own fears stop them from doing things... Try to reverse the situation and talk them into starting their own list.

  • Deadlines are optional - Putting deadlines on things like "10 Things to complete in 2016" or "25 things to do before 30" is dependent on the type of person you are. Some people are motivated by specific deadlines while others might not be, or might be dejected if they don't complete something in the allotted timeframe. Remember that life continues to take place while you are completing your list and sometimes unavoidable things happen that might delay the completion of some things. So ultimately use them if you feel they help you but don't if you feel they won't.

  • Not about dying - Bucket Lists quite often have negative connotations, because "You shouldn't be planning out your death yet" or "You're too young to worry about dying yet". Those people are missing the entire point, a bucket list isn't about dying in the slightest, it's about actually living your life while you are alive. Aside from the fact that we are all technically moving closer to death each second, because we are all going to die one day of something. So start your list as young as possible, even if just to ensure old age isn't going to stand in the way of completing something.

  • Use sub-lists - Also using sub-lists is something worth trying if too many goals on your list start to sound similar, for example visit this, visit that, visit this. Instead see if you can group some together like "Visit the top 10 tallest buildings" or "Visit the 7 wonders of the world" with the individual goals underneath them.


Now, with all those tips in mind, how on earth do you come up with 20, 50, or 100 goals for your Bucketlist? In my opinion, and that's all this is, there are three phases to creating a bucket list. First is goals you WANT to do. That one should be easy but I've put a list of questions to ask yourself below just in case.

What DO you want to do?

  • What are the places or things you want to see in the world?
  • Where you want to visit?
  • Things you want to own?
  • Achievements you want to complete?
  • Experiences you want to have?
  • Live bands or events you want to attend?
  • Food and drinks you want to try?
  • Things you just want bragging rights about doing or seeing?
  • What things you want to do that are connected to your hobbies?
  • Anything you want to do with or for friends and family?
  • Things you want to learn?

The second is things you DON'T want to do. Because a true bucketlist isn't just about things you want to do, it needs to get you out of your comfort zone and push you to the next level, both mentally and physically.

What DON'T you want to do?

  • Where don't you want to visit?
  • What are you afraid of doing?
  • What are some things that are totally out of character?
  • Things everyone raves about, that you just don't get?

The third and final phase is the goals you don't even know exist yet. So you have to find them, because while you don't know about the goals you might want to do maybe other people do. So find them.

Where to find the goals you don't even know you want to complete yet?

  • Read top 10/100/1000 experiences/sights books
  • Find other bucket lists
  • Check out top 10 *random thing* lists for places/experiences
  • Search bucket list websites