Making Your Own Bucket List

Most people don’t have a written bucket list.

The best outcome of sitting down and writing your bucket list is that it helps you think long term: Understand what’s important to you in the long run.

A bucket list is not just a set of one-time items (“Climb Mount Everest”) – but also items that require continuous changes (“Start working in film”, “Lose 20 pounds”). It is a way of life.

When I think of what to write in my bucket list, I use the following rule of thumb:

20 years down the road – what things will I regret NOT doing

So take a pen and paper (or a mouse and keyboard 🙂 ) and start writing – split the bucket list into the following categories:

  • Learn – hobbies (learn to play guitar, play ping-pong), education (go to film school, sign up for university courses)
  • Experience – Climb a volcano, publish a book, appear on TV, live abroad
  • Travel – local or abroad; a long or a short while
  • Health – run a marathon, lose 20 pounds

Remember, this list is dynamic – you constantly need to revisit it – add new items, cross-off completed items or even remove items (e.g. started playing guitar – didn’t really like it).

OK, everything is written down. Now what?

Choose one item from that list that doesn’t require any money (or a very small amount) and can be started with very little effort. Now write down a due date next to it. Lets say two months from now. You may also need to make the item more specific (“Play the piano” -> “Find a piano teacher; practice three times a week”).

That’s it.

You can force yourself into doing by using peer pressure – publish it on Facebook; invite your friends to a calendar event two months from now; make a bet with others; write a blog 😉

In the next post I’ll publish my bucket list, which I’ll keep updating and keep track of.

I’ll leave you with an interesting quote from a guy who sold his startup for millions:

The most interesting effect is that I thought consciously about my personal goals. I never did that before. Now I thought…. well, I can basically do anything I want. So what do I want? Not such an easy question. Surprisingly, the goals I identified were mostly goals that don’t require much money … but the most striking realization was that I could basically have done all these things with just a modest salary… and I didn’t, because I imagined I needed to work so hard and make money.

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