What is a bucket list? A bucket list is a collection of goals, dreams and aspirations that you would like to accomplish in your lifetime. The basic idea of a bucket list is to keep track of your goals in order to maximize the memorable experiences in your life. Many people see this as a list of the top things they want to do before they die. Remember that your bucket list should be ever evolving like your life. Over time your life changes and so will your dreams, goals and aspirations. This list is for you but the things on your list can be done solo or with your family, spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend or friends. The most important thing to remember is to have fun and never stop chasing your dreams, no matter how long it takes to achieve them or how impossible it seems. This is your life…..LIVE IT!
Now that you know what a bucket list is, let’s talk about how to create your very own epic Bucket List.
Step 1. Name Your Bucket List
Some people don’t like the term “bucket list” because they associate it with a reminder of their own mortality. But, making a bucket list is really about living life to the fullest with all the hours you have left on Earth. You don’t have to name your list a “bucket list”. You can call it whatever you want. This is your list. Find what works for you. Some ideas are:
Things to Conquer
Amazing Experiences To Be Had
Things to Achieve in My Lifetime
Step 2. Find a Place to Store Your Bucket List
Sometimes people make a mental bucket list. They know what they want to do but they never write it down. Writing it down helps you visualize your goals and makes you feel more accomplished when you can check something off of your list. Studies have shown that people are 33 percent more successful with achieving their goals when they write them down, share them with the world, and are held accountable with updates. There are many bucket list apps that can help you organize your list and make it even more exciting. My favorite bucket list apps are B4 and TripBucket. These free apps are fun and give you very useful information, too. And for a simple, kid-friendly app, I recommend BBL. This app allows you to add your own categories and simply type in their dreams. Once they complete the item, they get a chicken foot next to the completed item. Here are the websites to check out after you finish this blog.
Bear Bucket List (BBL): Recommended for kids
3. Pick the Length of Your List
The length of your list is up to you. This is your dreams and your goals and they should be limitless. You should have a variety of goals on your list. Some will be checked off in a weekend, while others may be lifelong journeys. Including short-term goals that can easily be completed will give you a sense of accomplishment and help to keep you motivated for the ones that may take years.
If your list gets too long, you can break it up into smaller lists with deadlines. Setting deadlines for a select group of goals can help escape the “someday” syndrome, a common excuse for why you won’t begin today because you will get to it someday. The goals you choose to currently work on should have a deadline different than “in your lifetime,” as it will create a sense of urgency. Push yourself, but also be realistic with your deadlines. You can also create mini-lists within your main list, for example:
Seasonal Bucket List – Each year create a winter, spring, summer or fall bucket list. This year I am creating a “Tennessee Thanksgiving Bucket List” for my upcoming family vacation and a “Christmas in South Carolina Bucket List” for my trip in December to visit Lauren Jackson. Summer bucket lists are probably the most common seasonal list and can be lots of fun for everyone.
📷itsmekatrinalee, Stephanie Pernas, LoveThisPic
This Year’s Bucket List – Instead of making a New Year’s resolution, on the first of the year break your list down to the items you want to complete in the next twelve months. This will give you something to look forward to each month. I usually do this with concerts since I go to at least one concert a month. This will work for my upcoming trips or events, too.
30 Before 30, 40 before 40, or 50 before 50– Choose goals that you want to do before reaching a certain age. Don’t let your age hold you back from doing something, especially if you feel “too old”. I celebrated my 43rd birthday in Disneyland with my friends and LOVED it. I will never grow up! 🧚 Chase your dreams as long as you can!
4. Find Ideas
Once you have made the decision to make a bucket list, you need to start cultivating ideas. You probably have some ideas of things you want to do. But, how do you come up with other incredible ideas? The following are different methods to stimulate ideas for your list.
✦ WRITE YOUR EULOGY
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? Use these answers as a guide to help you write your list. One of my goals when creating Live Like Lorie was to inspire others to live a life beyond fear and adventures that would leave lasting memories. I know that whoever reads my eulogy will have a lot of stories they can tell and amazing pictures to share. And when everyone leaves my funeral, I want them to be encouraged to LIVE LIKE LORIE.
✦ CREATE CATEGORIES
Organizing your list into different categories can make the brainstorming process much easier. It also helps you from becoming too overwhelmed by long lists. My lists are broken up into “People to Meet”, “Places to Travel” and “Things to Do”. Some other examples are:
Career & Finances
Family & Kids
Food & Drink
Nature & Wildlife
✦ ASK YOURSELF 20 QUESTIONS
Play a game of 20 questions with yourself to find what adventures you would be most passionate about. 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 would you like to visit?
If you had 6 months to live, what would you do?
What types of foods do you want to try?
What cultural traditions (such as Mardi Gras in New Orleans) are you interested in?
Are there any activities that you want to try?
What events do you want to go to?
What is your biggest dream in life?
What classes have you wanted to take?
If money was not an issue what would you do?
Who have you always wanted to meet?
What would you like to do with your friends or family?
What ways do you want to improve yourself?
What skills do you want to learn?
Is there a charity you want to support?
What was your childhood dream?
If you won the lottery, what would you do?
If you were dying, what would be your regrets?
What travel stories would you want to share?
If you had 3 wishes what would they be?
Is there someplace you have always wanted to take your spouse, parents, or best friend?
Once you answer these questions, you should have a better idea of what your bucket list should include.
✦ GET OUTSIDE INSPIRATION
Outside inspiration is a great way to help build your list. There will always be inspiration through social media, tv and the internet. You just have to be open to it. Once you start cultivating ideas your instincts will automatically be on high alert whenever anybody mentions something worthy of a spot on your list. You can also get inspiration from browsing Pinterest boards, watching travel shows, subscribing to adventure magazines, reading blogs (like Live Like Lorie), searching specific hashtags on Twitter, etc. The inspiration possibilities are almost endless. 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 make the term more popular and may help you with your ideas.
5. Make Your Bucket List
Now that you have some ideas for your list, it’s time to start creating it. This is YOUR list! There is no right or wrong way of designing a bucket list. Each one should be different because it is meant to reflect what you most desire in your own life. I love meeting famous people. So I have a list of people that I want to meet. And getting the opportunity to meet them is very meaningful to me, even though some people wouldn’t care if they ever meet some of the people on my list. But the only thing that matters is what I want. Also, you shouldn’t exclude anything because you think it is too difficult or scary. Your bucket list is meant to force you to step out of your comfort zone. After watching the movie Jaws as a child, sharks were scary to me. But that didn’t stop me from swimming with sharks in Atlantis. It was scary but exciting. And now I want to cage dive with sharks! Sometimes you just have to be a thrill-seeker in life. And don’t leave out things that you think may be too simple. As long as it has meaning to you it should be on your list, because even the smallest achievements can give us the feeling of a great accomplishment. Making a bucket list is your license to dream big, go beyond the realistic goals, and write down everything that you have ever wanted to see, touch, and experience. Be realistic, but also understand that we are capable of doing so much more than we think we can.
Now that you know how to create a bucket list, I challenge you to create your own bucket list. Your solo bucket list is important because it gives you personal dreams and goals to accomplish on your own. But there are also other bucket lists that are important. Below you will find ways to make these lists fun and exciting for everyone involved.
Family Bucket List -
Family bucket lists are probably one of the hardest bucket lists to create because everyone is different and will have different dreams and goals. Not everyone will want to do the same things. We are going on a family vacation to Tennessee Thanksgiving week. My Mom wants to go to Dollywood. My brother wants to go to the caves. My sister and nephews want to go ice sledding. And my 4 year old nephew, Karter, wants to play in the snow and make s’mores. I really want to go to Dollywood (I haven’t been since I was a teenager) and play in the snow (although it probably won’t snow while we are there) and make s’mores (I LOVE s’mores). However, I have no interest in going to the caves or ice sledding. But because I know that is what will make them happy, I will go (if I’m there when they go). And I just want to take pictures of everything (they aren’t interested in photography the way that I am but they will let me take all the pictures I want because they know that’s my passion). Sometimes it just takes a little compromise and thinking about everyone else, too, in order to create a successful family bucket list. The lifelong memories that you will make will be worth it. So spend some time with your family and come up with a bucket list that you can all do together and make some unforgettable memories. Some of my greatest memories in life are trips that our family went on that my Grandma came with us. She would be standing in her driveway with her suitcase at her feet in the dark waiting to go on the next adventure with us. Although she’s not with us anymore, her memory will definitely live on when we get to one of her favorite vacation spots, Dollywood. And I will always cherish the vacation memories that we made with her.
📷: loveandrenovations, raisingkidswithcharacter, themommadiaries
Couple’s Bucket List -
“What do you want to do?”
“I don’t care. What do you want to do? “
Does this conversation sound familiar to you? There are so many couples that are
missing out on amazing experiences because they don’t have a plan. They spend more time trying to decide what to do. Making a couples bucket list can help with all the time wasted trying to decide on what to do. Couple’s bucket lists can include things that are romantic (like a couple’s massage), fun (like a couple’s only trip to a theme park...sorry kids), adventurous (like a hot air balloon ride or a nighttime helicopter ride over the city) or anything you would like to achieve together. I once decided to do a “First’s Dates Bucket List”. I planned the bucket list but me and my then boyfriend would check each thing off together. Each thing we did was a recreation of the first time we did something together. The date started at the first restaurant we ever ate at together. I wanted to sit at the same table but that plan didn’t work out. While we were sitting at the table, it brought back memories of the first time we were there and how nervous I was that night. I was wearing a t-shirt from the very first concert we saw together. That was a really big moment because concerts are such an important part of my life so the fact that he was willing to drive over an hour to see someone that he had never heard of because I was a big fan meant a lot. The next stop was the movie theater. He worked late so pretty much everything was closed by the time he got off....except the movie theater. So we went on lots of dates to the movies (often times we were the only two in the theater which made it feel even more special....like we were getting VIP treatment). We went to the first movie theater we ever went to. We saw part 2 of the very first movie we ever watched at his apartment together. It came out at the perfect time. To me, this was a perfect date because it brought back all of those feelings that I had the very first time we did those things together. And it was a fun little bucket list challenge. Have fun! Be adventurous! Act like a new couple even if you’ve been married or together forever. Just find something to do TOGETHER to make memories that will last. Even though we broke up years ago, just writing this brought back all of those memories like they just happened yesterday. That’s what bucket lists should do....leave you with memories that you won’t forget.
Kid’s Bucket Lists -
Kids of all ages can create a bucket list. Some of the younger kids may need a little more help but you can make it fun for them. When I was a kid, I didn’t know what a bucket list was. Chances are, some kids won’t know what it is either. But this is where you can teach them the importance of dreams and goals in life. My 4 year old nephew, Karter, wants to fly in a plane to the moon.....and to see Lauren’s farm (especially her little donkeys....that she doesn’t even have). My other 4 year old nephew, Grayson, wants a Tesla. While some of these dreams may not be possible right now, I keep encouraging them to chase those dreams. They could come true one day. Don’t discourage kids from putting things on their list that seem impossible. As they get older, they will either work harder to achieve them or will update it with newer dreams and goals, maybe a little more realistic ones. The BBL app is great for kids. It lets you add whatever you want to the list and makes it even more exciting by using chicken feet instead of check marks. We recently worked on Karter’s bucket list for Tennessee. Lauren made us bucket list vinyls to make shirts to wear while we are there to make it even more fun and exciting. I know one check we will have fun doing together....making s’mores! And we will definitely be making memories that I hope these kids never forget.
📷:IndieTot, TheFarmGirlGabs, LoveThisPic, SecondChancesGirl, MooshuJenne, PrettyOpinionated
Friend’s Bucket List -
Probably one of the most fun bucket lists to make is the friend’s bucket list. If you’ve never been on a trip with your friends, you are missing out! Some of my greatest adventures have been on trips with friends. I’ve been swimming with dolphins, held a sloth, played with monkeys, shopped at the high-end shops on the Vegas strip, went on a pub crawl (and almost had to crawl back to the ship), snorkeled in more places than I can count, went to Disneyland, hung out with celebrities and most recently, got my daith pierced, all with my friends. Each memory is one I will cherish forever. I’ve had so much fun with my friends. And you can have fun with your friends, too. If your friends live in other states, go visit them or plan a trip for everyone to meet somewhere. Take a cruise (follow my Live Like Lorie group page for an upcoming announcement that you don't want to miss), visit where your friends live and see what you can do together there, or invite them to your hometown and show them around. I finally had a chance to do that last week. We had so much fun! And I got to try something new, too! On my most recent trip, I went to South Carolina to visit Lauren. If you haven’t had a chance to check out my blog, E-I-E-I-Oh, you should. It was such a great trip! And we both got to do some really exciting things and we didn’t have to travel too far from her city or spend a lot of money to make unforgettable memories. I had so much fun that I’m going back in December. And this time I am creating a seasonal bucket list (we will be celebrating an early Christmas together with lots of fun Christmas activities planned) with my friend! I’m excited to help Lauren venture out of her comfort zone to create her bucket list, too! I’m ready to teach her how to Live Like Lorie....sparkles and glitter included!
Creating a bucket list can help you tap into the creative part of you that dreams bigger, nurtures your inner child, and makes life more worthwhile. Once you’ve put your creative side into play by creating a bucket list, your everyday self can stay inspired to put those dreams and plans into action. Creating a bucket list can be inspirational. While you may not complete every item on your list, you will likely complete some, and get more out of your life than if you hadn’t created the list. These are the experiences you may remember the most in life, that may change who you are in a positive way. Don’t wait for that “perfect time” to begin - make your bucket list not because you are dying but because you want to live! NOW is your chance to LIVE LIKE LORIE! Are YOU ready to make your bucket list and chase those ✔️’s?
"One of the best days of my life! My Aunt Nonnie was 97 years old and had never been on a swamp tour. One night, actually 3am which was a normal time for us to be awake talking and getting into trouble, she and I decided to make a bucket list for her. I was blown away by the things she wanted to do but never had a chance to do it. I think my favorite was going to Marie Laveau's grave...whaaaat!?!?!!! Unfortunately we never got a chance to make it there. BUT we DID get to take a swamp tour thanks to Darlene and Calvin! The 4 of us had the best time! It has been 2 years since I lost her but I will NEVER forget the memories that we made together! I love and miss her every single day!"
(Story shared by Georgina Lacoste)
Thanks Georgina for sharing this beautiful story. I hope you will always cherish the memories you made with your Aunt Nonnie. As a thank you for sharing your story, I will be sending you a special Live Like Lorie gift! 🌏
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Dare to Dream,